Heroes shine at Derbyshire Times’s Pride Awards

Derbyshire Times Pride Awards.'Ruby and Kitty Pearce pictured with Dom Stevens after receiving the Overall Winner Award.
Derbyshire Times Pride Awards.'Ruby and Kitty Pearce pictured with Dom Stevens after receiving the Overall Winner Award.

Overwhelmed guests and community heroes have been celebrating the courage and spirit of human endeavour during this year’s Derbyshire Times’s Pride Awards.

Those who have defied the odds, gone beyond the call of duty and shown great courage in the face of adversity were honoured at the annual event at Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium, on Thursday, April 16.

Pride Award recipients pictured after the ceremony at the Proact Stadium on Thursday night.

Pride Award recipients pictured after the ceremony at the Proact Stadium on Thursday night.

Nominees of great character attended the prestigious event where 13 awards were presented for a range of achievements for inspirational community actions, sporting success and for bravery.

Following a tough selection process, community fundraiser Ruby Pearce, aged eight, was crowned the overall 2015 Derbyshire Times Pride Awards winner with her five-year-old sister Kitty.

Ruby organised a winter walk for Chesterfield-based Ashgate Hospice after her late auntie Julie had been treated at the hospice. Ruby was also joined on the walk by Kitty.

Their auntie died just three days before the walk and so many were moved by their story that more than 200 walkers turned out for their trek from Ashford-in-the-Water.

The youngster originally wanted to raise just £80 but her efforts attracted an incredible £14,226 in sponsors and donations.

Dom Stevens, of Destination Chesterfield - which sponsored the overall winner award - said: “This is a truly inspirational story of determination to encourage the community to support a good cause to help others.”

After receiving the award, Ruby said: “It feels brilliant. We might just do it again next year.”

The 2015 Derbyshire Times Pride Award winners also included the following amazing category winners:

The Love Where you Live Award, sponsored by Destination Chesterfield, was won by the founder and project manager 71-year-old Tokkie Haywood for the charity Living Hope, of Holmewood.

The charity was set up to help people struggling to feed themselves and their families in difficult economic times. It operates a shop and two foodbanks.

Destination Chesterfield spokesman Dom Stevens said: “The food bank has become a place for people to meet and connect with others and for some it is their only connection with other people.”

Tokkie said: “It’s hard work. I won’t pretend it isn’t but when the stories come back to you it’s worth every hour you put in.”

The Sporting Achievement Award, sponsored by the University of Derby, was won by racing driver Ben Barnicoat.

Ben began his career when he was eight-years-old and with backing from a charity which helps drivers who cannot afford to compete he moved from karts to race cars in 2013.

He went on to win the Protyre Formula Renault Autumn Cup and entered the formula Renault NEC 2014 championship and won at the age of 17.

University of Derby spokesman Peter Dewhurst said: “He has resisted the temptation to jump into F3 and will race in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 next year.”

Ben said: “The ultimate goal is Formula One, though it’s hard to break through.”

The Emergency Services Award, sponsored by the Derbyshire Times, was won by Buxton Ambulance crew members Louise Smith and Joanne Taylor.

The paramedic and technician were taking a patient to hospital in Chesterfield when a car travelling in the opposite direction aquaplaned and spun into their path on the A619.

The injured crew managed to move the ambulance and sprang into action to make the patient they were transporting safe and help the passengers in the car.

Despite the deaths of a man and a boy in the car, an inquest praised Louise and Joanne.

Derbyshire Times editor Graeme Huston said: “It was only once other crews arrived and were able to treat those involved that Louise and Joanne received treatment for their own injuries.”

The Young Fundraiser Award, sponsored by Derby University, was won by eight-year-old Ashgate Hospice community fundraiser Ruby Pearce.

Ruby organised a winter walk for Ashgate Hospice after her late auntie had been treated at the hospice.

Derby University spokesman Rob Dubrow-Marshall said: “Her aunt died just three days before the walk. The poignant timing touched so many that more than 200 people turned up for the start at Ashford-in-the-Water.”

The Special Achievement Award, sponsored by Chesterfield College, was won by Gillian Scotford and Jane Carver.

Gillian’s sons Tom and Sam and Jane’s daughter Megan are severely disabled and they set up the charity Accessible Derbyshire to improve the lives of disabled people, their families and carers.

College principal Stuart Cutforth said: “They have raised about £30,000. This has been used to set up a website, and to film around 30 holiday venues from a disabled person’s point of view. The money has provided accessible specialised equipment for a number of holiday properties.”

Gillian and Jane told the ceremony that they know the difficulties people in similar situations to theirs face every day which is why they are so determined to help improve others’ lives.

Michael Garvey who supports community projects in Mastin Moor and helps people with mental health problems also received a Special Achievement certificate

The Outstanding Bravery Award, sponsored by Chesterfield Borough Council, was won by Alison Elliott.

Home carer Alison overcame heavy snow over two days to fulfil her duties and visit clients in the community during the festive season.

She has also rescued a man who had collapsed at traffic lights. She put the man into the recovery position and helped alert an ambulance crew.

Council chief executive Huw Bowen said: “She is really thoughtful and very brave.”

The Carer of the Year award, sponsored by One to One Support Services, was won by Liz Marriott.

Care worker Liz took on a colleague’s shifts over four months so he could look after his brother who was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Liz also had to bring her wedding plans forward after her late partner Keith was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

She is now planning to campaign for more support for cancer sufferers and their families.

Liz told the ceremony: “I’m very grateful for the support I get from friends and everyone. You have to make the most of your life because you never know what’s going to happen.”

Michael Garvey also received a highly commended honour in this category for the support he has given to his seriously ill wife.

The Outstanding Achievement award, sponsored by Mark Leeson, was won by Sharon Kamara.

Sharon set up a care agency for elderly and vulnerable Derbyshire people which now boasts 80 staff.

Director Richard Darby, of Mark Leeson, said: “Her hard work has not only given the elderly of Derbyshire the chance to be cared for at home but her staff have been able to gain qualifications in care.”

Sharon said: “It’s my passion and I hope to keep doing it for many years to come.”

The Community Group Award, sponsored by Chesterfield Borough Council, was won by Chesterfield Town Women’s Institute.

The one-year-old Chesterfield WI has been praised for successfully bringing women together and creating new friendships.

Council chief executive Huw Bowen said: “They have high hopes to be a huge success over the next few years and they have really got off to a great start.”

A Chesterfield WI spokesman also announced during the ceremony that the group will be supporting Ashgate Hospice with its fundraising efforts.

The Fundraiser of the Year Award, sponsored by Chesterfield Football Club, was won by Chesterfield Fundraising Group for Cancer Research UK.

The group organises fundraising events throughout the year to raise money to combat cancer.

Group co-chairman Michelle Hawkins has been inspired by her own personal experiences after her husband James overcame testicular cancer.

A group spokesman said: “The support we get from the people of Chesterfield is fantastic.”

Alison Ward-Foster, of Ashgate Hospice, also received a highly commended certificate for her commitment and work as a fantastic role model.

The Inspirational Young Person Award, sponsored by Mark Leeson, was won by Kiron Fitz-Patrick.

Kiron was struck down with seizures from March, 2013, before he was diagnosed with epilepsy.

He now works as an IT apprentice at Chesterfield College despite drowsy spells and memory loss.

Mark Leeson spokesman Shaun Hall said: “He is just 17-years-old but has coped so well.”

Kiron told the ceremony: “I had to take every day as it came and I started to pick back up and I realised you have to take every day as it comes and you have to keep fighting.”

The Neighbour of the Year Award, sponsored by The Social Inclusion Charity, was won by Andrew Lawton.

Designer craftsman Andrew, of Grindleford, has provided part-time work for a neighbour with learning difficulties.

Derbyshire Times editor Graeme Huston said: “These kind of awards are what newspapers are all about. We want to reflect what’s best about our communities and that’s what we have been celebrating here at the Derbyshire Times’s Pride Awards.

“These are real stories about ordinary people doing very special things which is amazing.”

Overwhelmed guests and community heroes have been celebrating the courage and spirit of human endeavour during this year’s Derbyshire Times’s Pride Awards.

Those who have defied the odds, gone beyond the call of duty and shown great courage in the face of adversity were honoured at the annual event at Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium, on Thursday, April 16.

Nominees of great character attended the prestigious event where 13 awards were presented for a range of achievements for inspirational community actions, sporting success and for bravery.

Following a tough selection process, community fundraiser Ruby Pearce, aged eight, was crowned the overall 2015 Derbyshire Times Pride Awards winner with her five-year-old sister Kitty.

Ruby organised a winter walk for Chesterfield-based Ashgate Hospice after her late auntie Julie had been treated at the hospice. Ruby was also joined on the walk by Kitty.

Their auntie died just three days before the walk and so many were moved by their story that more than 200 walkers turned out for their trek from Ashford-in-the-Water.

The youngster originally wanted to raise just £80 but her efforts attracted an incredible £14,226 in sponsors and donations.

Dom Stevens, of Destination Chesterfield - which sponsored the overall winner award - said: “This is a truly inspirational story of determination to encourage the community to support a good cause to help others.”

After receiving the award, Ruby said: “It feels brilliant. We might just do it again next year.”

The 2015 Derbyshire Times Pride Award winners also included the following amazing category winners:

The Love Where you Live Award, sponsored by Destination Chesterfield, was won by the founder and project manager 71-year-old Tokkie Haywood for the charity Living Hope, of Holmewood.

The charity was set up to help people struggling to feed themselves and their families in difficult economic times. It operates a shop and two foodbanks.

Destination Chesterfield spokesman Dom Stevens said: “The food bank has become a place for people to meet and connect with others and for some it is their only connection with other people.”

Tokkie said: “It’s hard work. I won’t pretend it isn’t but when the stories come back to you it’s worth every hour you put in.”

The Sporting Achievement Award, sponsored by the University of Derby, was won by racing driver Ben Barnicoat.

Ben began his career when he was eight-years-old and with backing from a charity which helps drivers who cannot afford to compete he moved from karts to race cars in 2013.

He went on to win the Protyre Formula Renault Autumn Cup and entered the formula Renault NEC 2014 championship and won at the age of 17.

University of Derby spokesman Peter Dewhurst said: “He has resisted the temptation to jump into F3 and will race in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 next year.”

Ben said: “The ultimate goal is Formula One, though it’s hard to break through.”

The Emergency Services Award, sponsored by the Derbyshire Times, was won by Buxton Ambulance crew members Louise Smith and Joanne Taylor.

The paramedic and technician were taking a patient to hospital in Chesterfield when a car travelling in the opposite direction aquaplaned and spun into their path on the A619.

The injured crew managed to move the ambulance and sprang into action to make the patient they were transporting safe and help the passengers in the car.

Despite the deaths of a man and a boy in the car, an inquest praised Louise and Joanne.

Derbyshire Times editor Graeme Huston said: “It was only once other crews arrived and were able to treat those involved that Louise and Joanne received treatment for their own injuries.”

The Young Fundraiser Award, sponsored by Derby University, was won by eight-year-old Ashgate Hospice community fundraiser Ruby Pearce.

Ruby organised a winter walk for Ashgate Hospice after her late auntie had been treated at the hospice.

Derby University spokesman Rob Dubrow-Marshall said: “Her aunt died just three days before the walk. The poignant timing touched so many that more than 200 people turned up for the start at Ashford-in-the-Water.”

The Special Achievement Award, sponsored by Chesterfield College, was won by Gillian Scotford and Jane Carver.

Gillian’s sons Tom and Sam and Jane’s daughter Megan are severely disabled and they set up the charity Accessible Derbyshire to improve the lives of disabled people, their families and carers.

College principal Stuart Cutforth said: “They have raised about £30,000. This has been used to set up a website, and to film around 30 holiday venues from a disabled person’s point of view. The money has provided accessible specialised equipment for a number of holiday properties.”

Gillian and Jane told the ceremony that they know the difficulties people in similar situations to theirs face every day which is why they are so determined to help improve others’ lives.

Michael Garvey who supports community projects in Mastin Moor and helps people with mental health problems also received a Special Achievement certificate

The Outstanding Bravery Award, sponsored by Chesterfield Borough Council, was won by Alison Elliott.

Home carer Alison overcame heavy snow over two days to fulfil her duties and visit clients in the community during the festive season.

She has also rescued a man who had collapsed at traffic lights. She put the man into the recovery position and helped alert an ambulance crew.

Council chief executive Huw Bowen said: “She is really thoughtful and very brave.”

The Carer of the Year award, sponsored by One to One Support Services, was won by Liz Marriott.

Care worker Liz took on a colleague’s shifts over four months so he could look after his brother who was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Liz also had to bring her wedding plans forward after her late partner Keith was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

She is now planning to campaign for more support for cancer sufferers and their families.

Liz told the ceremony: “I’m very grateful for the support I get from friends and everyone. You have to make the most of your life because you never know what’s going to happen.”

Michael Garvey also received a highly commended honour in this category for the support he has given to his seriously ill wife.

The Outstanding Achievement award, sponsored by Mark Leeson, was won by Sharon Kamara.

Sharon set up a care agency for elderly and vulnerable Derbyshire people which now boasts 80 staff.

Director Richard Darby, of Mark Leeson, said: “Her hard work has not only given the elderly of Derbyshire the chance to be cared for at home but her staff have been able to gain qualifications in care.”

Sharon said: “It’s my passion and I hope to keep doing it for many years to come.”

The Community Group Award, sponsored by Chesterfield Borough Council, was won by Chesterfield Town Women’s Institute.

The one-year-old Chesterfield WI has been praised for successfully bringing women together and creating new friendships.

Council chief executive Huw Bowen said: “They have high hopes to be a huge success over the next few years and they have really got off to a great start.”

A Chesterfield WI spokesman also announced during the ceremony that the group will be supporting Ashgate Hospice with its fundraising efforts.

The Fundraiser of the Year Award, sponsored by Chesterfield Football Club, was won by Chesterfield Fundraising Group for Cancer Research UK.

The group organises fundraising events throughout the year to raise money to combat cancer.

Group co-chairman Michelle Hawkins has been inspired by her own personal experiences after her husband James overcame testicular cancer.

A group spokesman said: “The support we get from the people of Chesterfield is fantastic.”

Alison Ward-Foster, of Ashgate Hospice, also received a highly commended certificate for her commitment and work as a fantastic role model.

The Inspirational Young Person Award, sponsored by Mark Leeson, was won by Kiron Fitz-Patrick.

Kiron was struck down with seizures from March, 2013, before he was diagnosed with epilepsy.

He now works as an IT apprentice at Chesterfield College despite drowsy spells and memory loss.

Mark Leeson spokesman Shaun Hall said: “He is just 17-years-old but has coped so well.”

Kiron told the ceremony: “I had to take every day as it came and I started to pick back up and I realised you have to take every day as it comes and you have to keep fighting.”

The Neighbour of the Year Award, sponsored by The Social Inclusion Charity, was won by Andrew Lawton.

Designer craftsman Andrew, of Grindleford, has provided part-time work for a neighbour with learning difficulties.

Derbyshire Times editor Graeme Huston said: “These kind of awards are what newspapers are all about. We want to reflect what’s best about our communities and that’s what we have been celebrating here at the Derbyshire Times’s Pride Awards.

“These are real stories about ordinary people doing very special things which is amazing.”

Keep posted to the Derbyshire Times’s website and newspaper for further pictures and video from the ceremony and send us your tweets via #dtprideawards.