The glittering event which took place at the John Fretwell Centre on Thursday saw awards recognising the bravery and commitment of people in Mansfield and Ashfield who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make our area a better place to live.
More than 140 guests and nominees heard some truly remarkable stories of bravery self sacrifice and achievement against the odds as Mansfield and Ashfield celebrated the area’s courage and determination to succeed.
Introducing the awards Jon Ball, content editor Mansfield and Ashfield Chad, thanked the sponsors and added:
“There are many reasons to be proud of Mansfield and Ashfield the main one is the incredible people who live and work here to make it such a fantastic community.
“We have received many nominations from people across the area and tonight we recognise our area’s true heroes - the unsung people of courage and commitment who deserve recognition the most.
“Everyone here has been truly moved by some of the stories we have heard.
“We have a lot to be proud of in Mansfield and Ashfield , especially the amazing people who live here.”
The Overall Winner Award was sponsored by Specsavers and presented by Imogen Hoyle.
It was won by seven-year-old Roman Baker, who also won the inspirational Young Person Award.
Roman suffered a brain tumour at the age of three, which left him educationally blind.
He now has to attend regular lessons to get used to using a cane, read braille and maintain his mobility and independence.
He found his new classes difficult, but has helped to set up a club at school to teach others his age to learn braille.
This has given him the confidence to persevere when things get harder. Roman is also committed to raising money for the school and other charities including the Royal National Institute of Blind People.
The judges wanted to give Roman the special award because despite having his own difficulties, he has a positive outlook and puts lots of effort into helping others his age and teaching them about the importance of using braille, a skill they would otherwise know nothing about.
Roman uses specialist technology to learn for himself how to better his braille use and than teaches his classmates and staff in an after school club - often coming up with innovative ways to make the sessions effective and fun.
INSPIRATIONAL YOUNG PERSON
The Inspirational Young Person Award was sponsored by the Evolve Trust and presented by business development director Jon Hodgkinson.
The winner was seven-year-old Roman Baker.
THE LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE AWARD
The Love Where You live award, sponsored by Sutton Community Academy and Academy Trust Further Education was presented to Friends of Yeoman Hill Park by principal Tim Croft.
The group holds events all year, such as clean up days and planting days to improve the park.
They support and encourage council to give feedback from the public about new ideas and issues relating to the park which is now a transformed place.
The group is currently looking for a youth centre to encourage younger people to use and respect the area. The team is very dedicated and want to shout about what they do.
MUSIC AND PERFORMING ARTS
The Music and Performing Arts Award was sponsored by Rainworth Skoda and presented by Chris Lineker.
The award was won by Mansfield St Peter’s C of E Primary and Nursery School Kim Denman and Rebecca Sharples for the difference they have made to so many of their pupils’ lives through teaching music and performing arts, raising thousands of pounds for local charities and the countless hours they have put in outside of their work.
Several of their performance groups have won national competitions, appeared in local shows and have even been on BBC’s Songs of Praise.
THE YOUNG FUNDRAISER AWARD
The Young Fundraiser Award sponsored by the Warsop Sporting Trust, was presented by Kate Allsop, the Mayor of Mansfield.
The winner was caring Lily Jones
Lilly, 7 from Duckmanton recently learned that some little girls didn’t have any hair going through chemotherapy treatment and decided to donate her hair to the Little Princess Trust, a charity which makes wigs for youngsters who need them.
She underwent the big chop in February donating nine inches to the charity along with £717 which is enough to make two wigs.
Her family and friends are very proud and it’s amazing that a little girl has given up her hair to help others who need it most.
The Emergency Services Award sponsored by the Peaceful Uhuru Trust was presented by Charlene Burton Betts.
The winner was Janet Franks. Janet has been a member of St John’s Ambulance for more than 50 years where she has given up her free time to support the organisation whilst also having a full time job and bringing up her daughter.
She attends weekly meetings, is area manager for the East Midlands and has previously been awarded one of the highest honours within St John of Serving Sister, which requires approval from the Queen.
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN THE COMMUNITY AWARD
The Special Achievements in the Community Award was sponsored by Tommee Tippee and presented by Scott Rontree and Leysa Ralf.
The winner, David Ellis aged 85, a volunteer a John Eastwood Hospice .
David works in the garden in all conditions and is a n active member of the Baptist Church on Chesterfield Road north, where he helps with church maintenance and participates in a council-run scheme providing a winter shelter for the homeless through the coldest months .
He is a member of the street pastors in Mansfield and goes into tow once a month on a Saturday night to help those in need.
OUTSTANDING BRAVERY AWARD
The Outstanding Bravery Award was sponsored by The Mercian Regiment and presented by Captain Lloyd Watts.
It was won by Inspector James Oliver who risked his life to save a woman from drowning in the River Trent last year.
He fought his way through the current and held her out of the water with his legs for five minutes trying to resuscitate her.
After 20 minutes in the watr the woman was revived and the fire brigade and police helicopter came to assist. Insp Oliver said he was: “Just at the right place at the right time.”
THE LEE SPICK SPORTING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The Lee Spick Sporting Achievement Award was sponsored by Southwell Races and presented by executive director Mark Clayton
It was awarded to Steve Ward, who defied all odds by recovering from a works accident, which specialists said meant he would never walk again without the use of aids.
Steve got back into the boxing ring aged 54, beating opponents half his age and became the Guinness World Record Holder for being the World’s oldest active boxer in 2011. Steve is currently the GWR holder despite an American taking the title in 2015.
The Neighbourhood Superstar Award was sponsored by Plastek and presented by general manager Mick Shaw.
The winner was nurse Hazel Shaw who was nominated for the care and support she gave to her young patient Corah Slaney and her family in a very difficult time.
Corah passed away last year aged 16 after battling a terminal illness.
CARER OF THE YEAR
Carer of the Year was sponsored by Mansfield Manor Hotel and was presented by owner Diane Doran.
The winner was Lisa Slaney who gave outstanding care to her daughter Corah, who suffered from a terminal strain of Mitochondrial Disease. Knowing your child’s condition will not improve is heart-breaking, ut Lisa never showed any self pity and comforted her daughter, trying to make her life as normal as possible.
Lisa helped attract a huge following on Facebook called #AChorus4Corah where people would post video clips singing, encouraging Corah to sing messages back. Lisa was supported by her husband Carl in caring for Corah until she died last year.
FUNDRAISER OF THE YEAR
The Fundraiser of the Year was sponsored by Specsavers and presented by Mansfield store director Imogen Hoyle.
It was won by Brian Hawkins and Michael Dickinson, who have dedicated 12 years to raising as much as possible for the John Eastwood Hospice. Brian’s wife ws looked after there in her last weeks and he was so impressed with the care they provided, he was determined to raise as much money as possible to repay them. The pair have taken on arduous walks and are planning on a 200 mile walk from Edwinstowe to London. The men have raised more than £215,000 so far.
The event was hosted by Steve Gentry.
Steve is a guitar vocalist who plays in tribute bands the BluesBrothers and the Motown Show and is an accountant by trade.
Steve has been playing at pubs and clubs for many years, as a solo guitar vocalist. He said: “I feel very proud and honoured to have been asked to give recognition to such wonderful people.”