OVER the years we have met a lot of remarkable people with good stories to tell – and 2019 was no different.
One of the most memorable this year would be our campaign to help brave teenager Amelia Hart get the spinal surgery she needed.
The talented footballer’s family had less than three months to raise £81,000 for the procedure to not only correct the curvature in her spine but also allow her to carry on playing the sport she loves.
After Amelia’s story first appeared in the Standard (October 18) she went on to be a guest on Good Morning Britain, had a charity football game dedicated to her and even paid a visit to her team Birmingham City FC where she met her favourite players.
In the end an anonymous Redditch donor gave the family a £17,000 loan to ‘get her over the line’ (November 22).
At the time, Amelia said: “I want to say a massive thank you for all the support I received and to everyone who made this treatment possible.”
In August Redditch was blessed with its very own superwoman, Sonia Tudor.
Sonia spent her 50th birthday running 50 miles around Arrow Valley Lake to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support which took good care of her mum before she passed away.
After she reached the finish line, an emotional Sonia said: “I’m a strong, independent woman who just puts her head down and gets on with life and it’s only when you reach out into the community that you realise how genuinely good people are.”
With 2020 fast approaching and new year resolutions being set, it’s a good time to remember it’s never too late to try something new.
And that is exactly what former investment banker Claire Slater did earlier this year when she started her new career as a midwife at 61-years-old.
She began her dream job in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Worcestershire Royal Hospital after completing her training at the University of Worcester last summer.
“People asked ‘why are you doing this? Why don’t you just retire?’ But age is just a number,” said Claire.
Finally it was great to see Redditch’s community rallying together in the closing moments of 2019 to help a family in need after a fire swept through their home (December 20).
Kind-hearted people acted quickly to donate furniture, televisions, Christmas trees, presents, underwear, toothbrushes and have even received calls from local businesses offering to decorate their future home.