September 25th, 2016

So many reasons to be very proud

Updated: 9:35 am, May 07, 2015

UNSUNG heroes making a difference to the life of Redditch were recognised in an emotion filled ceremony.

Almost 70 people, businesses and organisations were nominated for a Pride of Redditch Award with the 25 winners being chosen by an independent panel of judges and revealed at a special Christmas celebration last Friday (December 12) held at South Redditch Social Club.

Among them was the the family of Richard Fellows for their work raising money for the Royal Life Saving Society and awareness of the dangers of open water swimming following the 15-year-old’s death in the River Arrow earlier this year.

The family and friends of Lucie Southall, who lost her life to leukaemia last year aged 12, were also honoured for their fund-raising for the Ronald McDonald House Charity, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the CLIC Sargent charity, which totals more than £40,000.

Individual winners included Maggie Underwood, for performing life-saving CPR on a man after he collapsed in Morrison’s, Naheem Akhtar for helping save his neighbours when their house was on fire and Janet Johnson for her work with Redditch Play Council.

The night also included a performance from members of I Dreamed A Dream, who will be performing a charity show at the Palace Theatre in March.

Madge Tillsley MBE, the awards patron, closed the event by saying it was an example of ‘the real Redditch’ and ‘real Redditch people’.

Now in their second year, the awards were hosted by founder Rebecca Blake, a borough councillor and Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Redditch. She said: “The Pride of Redditch is about thanking those who do what they do because they care, those who aren’t looking for recognition and that’s why it’s so nice to acknowledge their work on behalf of our town. It also lets others know just what good work is

going on and that we should take a pride in what a caring, giving place Redditch so often can be.

“I’m sure I can say on behalf of the majority of local people, Redditch is a good place to live and as we strive to improve it together, we must make time to remind ourselves of the people who make us proud and to let them know why they are so special.”

Discussions are already taking place about next year’s event. Any business interested in sponsoring the 2015 awards should email contact@prideofredditch.org.uk for more information.

Redditch First Responders were recognised for providing emergency cover across the borough. (s)

Maggie Underwood was recognised for rushing to the aid of a man who collapsed in Morrisons. (s)

Sue Yeng celebrates with Mayor Pat Witherspoon after being recognised for her work promoting cultural diversity and harmony. All pictures by Paul Curtis Photography (s

Lorna White’s dedication to improving services for older people won her an award. (s)

Awards founder Rebecca Blake said they demonstrated why people should be proud of Redditch. (s)

The night sold out. (s)

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