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My Local Hero awards 2013

 Published on: 2nd December 2013   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

The inspirational work of local residents was recognised on Friday at the My Local Hero Awards 2013, hosted by My News Magazines. The glittering black-tie event at the Watford Hilton included a champagne reception, three course meal, auctions, a raffle, entertainment and dancing – all in aid of charities Peace Hospice Care and DRUM. Three hundred people attended, including Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, former pro-footballer Luther Blissett, Watford MP Richard Harrington and Leader of Hertsmere Borough Council Morris Bright. Local singers Shaniah Williams, Emily Hatchett and Beth Perman performed as well as My News reporter Emily Ansell. There were nine awards presented to inspirational people from across South West Hertfordshire. My News editor Nik Allen declared the event a great success and, although donations are still being counted, it is expected to have raised in excess of £15,000. Photos of the night can be purchased from The winners were: Neighbour of the Year – Matthew Chant Thirty-year-old Matt recently broke his back but never lets this stop him from helping others. He clears his elderly neighbours’ drives, does their shopping and hosts community barbecues. Young Achiever – Josh Cramp Josh was just three years old he tragically lost his dad. He is now dedicated to helping Peace Hospice Care and has helped raise an astounding £55,000 to date. Sporting Achievement – Cheryl Hall Cheryl works full-time but has won 26 world titles and over 20 European titles in clay pigeon shooting. Her most recent victory was in the World Compak Championship. Parent of the Year – Steve and Sharon Kelly Steve and Sharon’s son Spencer is wheelchair-bound, suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The 21-year-old is a huge football fan but was unable to participate in sports when he was a child, so Steve got him into power chair football. Steve is now vice chairman of the national Wheelchair Football Association as well as chairman for the Aspire Powerchair Sports Club Charity and Evergreen Powerchair team, where Sharon is secretary. Young Sporting Achievement – James Ross James has been severely bullied at school but is overcoming his problems by driving racing cars. The 16-year-old won the Swift Junior Rally cross Championship last year and competed in the Fiesta Junior Championship this year, winning seven of the first eight races this year. Outstanding Bravery – Graeme Whyte In 1971, during Apartheid, Graeme risked his life in South Africa. At just 20 years old he travelled to Durban on behalf of the African National Congress (ANC) to send hope to black people while Nelson Mandela was in prison. His task was to distribute ANC leaflets to the people – those caught in the act were imprisoned, tortured and killed. Above and Beyond – Billy’s Wish Paul Dove tragically lost his only child, Bill Dove, when he was murdered in Hemel Hempstead in 2011. He now runs charity Billy’s Wish alongside his fiancée Tanya and sister Sally, educating youngsters about knife crime. Child of Courage – Emily Mott Emily is battling a rare form of childhood cancer but has not let this hold her back. She spends her time making jewellery to raise money for Cancer Research and helping others like herself. My Local Hero – Matthew Loddy Matthew ran 100 marathons in 100 days to raise funds for the Hospice of St Francis and the Teenage Cancer Trust, after losing a close friend to cancer, last year. This effort raised £100,000. This year, he ran 30 marathons in 30 days to raise funds for the Trust and finished the challenge with the London Marathon. The gallery will be available to view shortly.  

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