Selfless acts heralded at Cheshire’s Local Hero Awards

Acts of courage, special achievements and community champions were all celebrated as part of the Local Hero Awards.

A packed auditorium learned about some truly selfless acts as part of the awards, hosted by Cheshire radio station Silk 106.9 and supported by Cheshire East Council.

The quick-thinking actions of Harry Norton, of Macclesfield, were enough to save six-year-old Caymen when he suffered a fit in the back of the family car as their mother, Angela, was driving.

The awards took place at the Tytherington Club on Thursday with special guest, Cheshire East Council Mayor Councillor Dorothy Flude, who was one of the judges.

Councillor Flude said: “This was an incredibly inspirational evening and I am delighted to have been invited to present the Pride of Cheshire Award on behalf of Cheshire East Council.

“Our aim at Cheshire East is to be constantly working together to improve community life, and every single one of our award winners has demonstrated those qualities, enhancing the community and the lives of others not once or twice a year but week in week out for their community and those they care for.

“Every nomination we received has been such as shining example to us all of how truly fantastic the people of Cheshire are and we are constantly reminded of the selfless dedication and hard work put in by literally thousands of people, young and old throughout the area.

There were 12 categories in all: Act of Courage Winner: Ruby Marlow – Macclesfield Eight-year-old Ruby has overcome tragic circumstances to retain a very positive outlook on life. She remained in plaster from six weeks of age until she was four, after being diagnosed with hyper-mobility, which causes pain and discomfort in the joints. This hampered her natural development and meant she could not walk straight for some time. Having not often experienced regular contact with her parents, and suffering the death of her mother earlier this year, Ruby continues to have a ‘twinkle in her eye’. She is an active member of Macclesfield Disability Swimming Club and is the club mascot for Macclesfield Academy Cheerleading Group.

Neighbour of the Year Winner: Zoie McGrath – Macclesfield Zoie lives at Upton Priory and is said to have brought her whole community together with the generosity of her spirit. She helps by offering food, a cooker to one person who did not have one and arranged a barbecue for her neighbours. She is described as having a ‘big heart’.

Champion Child Winner: Harry Norton – Macclesfield An 11-year-old boy who saved the life of one of his two severely disabled brothers and helped to raise £80,000 for charity.

Volunteer of the Year Winner: Kenneth Woolley – Poynton Kenneth has given 40 years to voluntary work in his community, including being a Special Constable, a volunteer for St John Ambulance and the British Red Cross and also a first responder for the North West Ambulance Service. He does emergency life support training and has trained more than 1,500 over 14 years and has installed four defibrillators in his hometown and trained 40 people how to use them.

Parent/Guardian of the Year Winner: Yvonne Farrington/Ian Tomkinson – Crewe Yvonne and Ian have been foster carers for 15 years, 13 of those were spent caring for children with disabilities. They are soon to adopt a little girl and are described by their nominator as ‘highly-motivated’ and ‘dedicated’ and an inspiration to other foster carers. They have also successfully moved children on to loving, adoptive homes yet remain in touch with them.

Carer of the Year Winner: Angela Hodder – Ellesmere Port Angela cared for her mother, Tess, for seven years despite suffering with rheumatoid arthritis, getting up at 6am every day to feed her and tend to her needs. Tess had survived breast cancer but later had liver and skin cancer and suffered severe dementia – but Angela gave up everything, including her job, to spend every day with her mother, allowing her to retain her dignity when NHS support wasn’t always available.

Best Use of Technology in Business Winner: Axon IT – Macclesfield A young, expanding company which has increased its number of staff over last 12 months and achieved Microsoft Gold partner status. It has a hi-tech premises in Macclesfield.

Teacher of the Year Winner: Lorraine Renfrey/Gaye Holmes – All Hallows Catholic College, Macclesfield This duo’s nominator describes them as going ‘above and beyond’ what might be expected of a teacher, encouraging one pupil to achieve despite adversity.

Young Achiever of the Year (15-25 years) Winner: Dane Swindells Dane organises the annual Loominus Festival in Macclesfield and presents the Music Vibe show on Silk FM – some achievement for a young person.

Social Enterprise of the Year Winner: Andy Lomas – Congleton Andy is Dane Housing’s neighbourhood director, whose nominator describes his attitude as ‘first rate’ and actions as ‘way above what might have been expected’ when helping a Dane Plus Housing tenant. He makes life much more tolerable for the majority of tenants.

Sports Person of the Year Winner: Neil Gunn – Macclesfield A volunteer who has managed the Macclesfield Run England group for the past three years, encouraging others to start running, some who never thought it possible due to illness. He also organises the Macclesfield half marathon, raising thousands of pounds for East Cheshire Hospice and is part of the Macclesfield Harriers.

Pride of Cheshire Award Winner: Graham Alcock – Sandbach Graham organises the Sandbach Christmas lights with a small group of volunteers, is the show director of Sandbach Transport Festival and is the chairman of the talking newspaper for the blind and other disabilities in Sandbach.

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