VIDEO: Mansfield and Ashfield celebrates the pride of the district

Mansfield and Ashfield’s community heroes were honoured at Chad’s 2013 Pride awards. Indivuduals from all walks of life, groups and organisations were recognised for their amazing achievements during a special ceremony at Forever Green. The annual event, now in its fourth year, was sponsored by Mansfield Specsavers on West Gate with support sponsorship from local companies represented in our winners photographs. It was hosted by Chad editor Tracy Powell. The category winners were:


Polly Cartledge won this award after she came up with the idea of raising money for comic relief this year by not wearing any make up for the day. She organised an event around this idea and got a number of other students involved. From start to finish she was hands on and created sponsor forms, advertised the event and collected all the money in.


Our Environment Champion award went to Wendy Radford of Cedar Wildlife Sanctuary in Kirkby. Wendy goes above and beyond to care for injured and unwanted wildlife in the local area. She was nominated by a number of individuals as well as the pupils at Abbey Hill Primary and Nursery School, who said of her, “We were amazed at her dedication towards the animals in her care – we could not believe that she gets up every two hours in the night to feed a baby squirrel and fox cubs that she has in her care.”


Sarah Frearson and the school she works for were nominated by a parent of one of the pupils. She said of her and Maun Infant & Nursery School that, “they have a special understanding of children with extra needs. She has been the biggest help and support to her in the past 3 years by taking on all the challenges that are faced with special needs.”


Phil and Sam Wyville, from Rainworth, were honoured for their bravery. The couple have had their world turned upside down for the last five years as Phil has been battling a cancerous brain tumour. He has been undergoing treatment ever since, however the tumour keeps growing.

He is still ongoing with his treatment, but he and his wife have been given something to keep fighting for. Despite having been informed that the intensive chemotherapy treatment he was enduring would make him infertile he and his wife conceived a ‘miracle’ baby.


JOINT WINNERS: Kieran Vardy (14) is an extremely bright and courageous young man, who despite being born with Cerebral Palsy always has a smile on his face. He has a love of sport, particularly football, he lives and breathes it. He takes part in football training every week and every night after school he can be found outside in all weather kicking a football around. His parents, Robert and Angela were told that he would be a quadroplegic with not much quality of life, but they encouraged him to become an independent boy. He believes that his disabilty is the ‘norm’ and although he needs help with certain day-to-day chores his motto is ‘make the best of what life has given you’. He is a real inspiration and an ambassador for football showing that sport can be enjoyed by all.

Norths Notts Hockey Club was nominated by their founder who established the club in 1949 and have recently celebrated their most successful season to date. Out of the four men’s and three ladies teams four of them have achieved promotions to higher divisions of their respective leagues. This is a great achievement for Mansfield to carry the Hockey Flag for North Nottinghamshire.


JOINT WINNTERS: Jay Tyler Watson is a year 11 student who lived alone with his mum. Earlier this year one morning, he discovered his mum deceased in her bed whilst he was preparing for school. His mum was always supportive of his school work and since that tragic event he has shown great courage in returning to school almost immediately and staying focussed on his studies and determination to complete his exams and finish vocational courses. He is hoping to secure a place at west notts college and his school are supporting him with this.

Having been diagnosed with the worst strain of meningitis as a toddler, Abbey Sharpe lives with chronic bladder problems, no spleen and chronic renal failure with the likelihood of a future kidney transplant. Despite all this she has good attendance at school and a real positive attitude to her learning, she also trains with Mansfield’s Swimming Squad weekly doing 40 lengths per session. She is currently supporting her mum through aggressive cancer treatment, encouraging her to eat, take her medicine, tending her scars and massaging her.


Mansfield Welfare Rights dedicate their time to the disabled, elderly and needy people of Mansfield and surrounding areas. They assist with all types of benefit assistance, form filling, appeals and home visits for those who are unable to get to their office. One person who nominated them said, “They are always polite, put you at your ease and help explain the difficult and complicated process of coping with never ending changes to the benefit system. Anything that they can do to assist you they will try to do at your convenience. They lift the burdens that weigh heavily on anxious people who feel there is no light at the end of an extremely long dark tunnel.”


Mark Taylor was nominated by his wife after an amazing four years helping numerous charities for soldiers, including The Armed Forces, The Royal British Legion and many other Armed Forces charities. In 2009 he and his friend ran from Mansfield to Skegness non stop for Help For Heroes and raised a staggering £1500. In 2010 he ran from Mansfield to Edinburgh raising around £3000 for Help For Heroes & The Royal British Legion. 2012 saw him and 12 friends run to London & Back which was approximately 470 Miles for Help For Heroes, The Royal British Legion & SSAFA and then afterwards organised for Bon Jovi UK to perform for them and an Auction which helped to raise £3500.


Sophie Dunlop started as a volunteer with the National Autistic Society and now runs three youth clubs for the NAS and organises all meetings and events and outings. She oversees all the volunteers and continued a befriend scheme after funding was cut all while studying for her second degree in mental health.

At the age of only 23 she is a true inspiration.

This year the Pet Bereavement Support Group celebrates its 20th anniversary which was founded by Yvette Price-Mear. Throughout it’s 20 years it has helped more than 12,000 clients from all over the country. She has worked extensively within the voluntary sector since the age of 13 and her career includes re-homing dogs, cats and small animals when someone has died leaving a much-loved pet behind.


Our overall winner for the Mansfield and Ashfield Chad Pride Award goes to the our Community Group Award winners. They received the most nominations of any category.