The fourth annual Stars of the Stokes awards evening was held at the Aztec Hotel & Spa on Friday 21st June. This year’s sparkling red-carpet event was hosted by ITV’s The Chase star, Paul Sinha, who presented the awards to the winners in each of seven categories. The evening recognises and rewards the achievements of members of our local community who either go out of their way to help others or face daily challenges of their own.
Nominations are invited for people living or working in the Almondsbury, Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke, Stoke Lodge, Stoke Gifford, Patchway, Frampton Cotterell and Winterbourne areas for the following categories: Champion Carer, Parent / Guardian of the Year, Star Teacher, Achievement Against the Odds, Young Hero of the Year, Coach of the Year and Unsung Hero.
This year, 130 people were nominated across the seven categories, with more than twenty nominations received in three of the categories. The evening celebrated twenty-six of the leading lights in the community who were short-listed and publicly thanked and acknowledged for their contributions.
The event was created and managed by Andy Wynn, manager of the Willow Brook Centre, who said:
“It feels like Stars of the Stokes has come of age with so many worthy people being nominated. All the nominations are people who make a difference to others’ lives and are all people who deserve recognition. I wish we could recognise them all this evening. It is a privilege to read through the nominations and the process is incredibly rewarding and heart-warming. Everyone nominated is because someone, or some people, think that they make a difference to the community, that they make others’ lives better, or, that they do more than most and deserve recognition for what they do. Congratulations to everyone short-listed and, of course, to our winners.”
Hosting the event, Paul Sinha commented on what an honour it was for him to present awards to people who make a real difference to their local community. As well as appearances on The Chase, Paul is a stand-up comedian and he certainly kept the room laughing with his funny and witty comments.
The event was sponsored by the Bradley Stoke & Stoke Gifford Journals, Aztec Hotel & Spa, Carisway Facilities Management, Olympus Academy Trust, First Bus, Honeyfield Property Services and Tesco Extra, with support from Frome Valley Voice and Bradley Stoke Radio.
Photos: 1 All the award winners. 2 Guests listen to the welcome speech. 3 Guests posing for photos on the red carpet.
Coach of the Year Award • Winner: Isabelle Potterton
Isabelle lives in Charlton Hayes and was nominated for her work coaching Little Stoke Primary School football team. Isabelle felt shocked, completely overwhelmed and emotional to think that parents of Little Stoke Primary would take the time to vote for her. When she saw the other shortlisted nominees, Isabelle didn’t think that she could have won as they were very impressive people who dedicate a lot of their time to coaching other people. Isabelle thought the presentation evening was wonderful and she particularly enjoyed the magician. “Going to an event like this really showed me how much incredible work everyone does in the local community. I think it is an honour to have been nominated and would like to take this moment to thank everyone who nominated me.
I only hope I can continue to make Little Stoke Primary proud.”
Shortlisted in this category: Ken Elliott; Pete Douglas; Alison Finn
Champion Carer Award • Winner: Dee Crowther
Dee from Stoke Gifford is described as “an angel in disguise” who looks after her double amputee husband, her 89-year-old mother and her grandchildren. She was nominated for her selflessness and the continued love and care she has for her family and community. Dee was very surprised to receive a phone call telling her she had been short-listed and actually thought Rebecca from the Willow Brook Centre was trying to sell her something! She felt the entire evening was a tremendous success. “Hearing about people of all ages, from 8 years old upwards being nominated for helping others uplifted my spirits. My husband had tears in his eyes when the two young boys in the Young Heroes category collected their award.” Dee wishes to thank her loving and caring family whose help she could not do without and for the caring community in which she lives.
Shortlisted in this category: Bev Johnson; Linda Keary
The Bailey Cooper Award for Young Heroes
Winners: Charlie Wheeler and Senna Huke
Charlie and Senna, aged 7 and 8, recently ran a full 42km marathon to raise almost £1,000 for Wheatfield School. They planned and organised their runs themselves and ran three days a week, whatever the weather, to complete the distance. Charlie’s mum, Adrienne, said the boys were elated when they found out. “I don’t think it was until the moment their names were called as winners that they realised their achievement. They have embraced every element of the challenge they set and this was an amazing way to celebrate! It was a magical evening that they will never forget and has inspired them to continue to help others!” Adrienne said that it was humbling to hear of others’ accomplishments and sacrifices and to learn of so many modest, dedicated and hard-working people helping locally. The boys are already planning their next fundraising event which is sure to be another success.
Shortlisted in this category: Katelyn-Renay Watts
Paige lives in Patchway with her young family and was nominated for the amazing work she has done in setting up and maintaining a Facebook group which allows people to post free items that can be passed on to people in need. She has helped many families including those needing emergency refuge or social care and families struggling with poverty. Paige felt overwhelmed that people thought she was deserving of an award and she was shocked to win it. “The presentation evening was incredible from start to finish and to be able to share that with the admin team who work so hard with me every single day was the best part.” Paige thanks all the people who support her and the Facebook group and who work so hard to ensure it is a positive community group. She hopes it continues to grow and to support those families who need help.
Shortlisted in this category: Adrienne Wheeler; John Morris; Susie Beresford-Wylie; Clive Mason
Achievement Against the Odds Award • Winner: Ellie Paton
Ellie lives in Bradley Stoke. She was nominated for this award for displaying great courage and achieving success despite her personal battles coping with Asperger’s and supporting her mother through terminal cancer. Ellie was very excited and overwhelmed to be nominated. Although very proud, she was also very sad that her mum was not there to share the celebration with her. She described the event like being nominated for an Oscar with cameras popping up everywhere! “Being honoured with this award made me feel like someone has noticed me. For most of my life I felt like I was invisible. It feels truly amazing to have people take an interest in all the brave things I’ve done and gone through. To bring back happiness to my family and friends and to prove that when you suffer loss and tragedy, there is always hope. I really hope this award will help me enjoy more success in the future.”
Shortlisted in this category: Calum Morris
Parent/Guardian of the Year Award
Winners: Ian & Geralidine Satherley
Stoke Gifford couple Ian and Geraldine were nominated by their daughters for the way their entire lives revolve around helping their family. Ian is known as ‘Pop’ll fix it’ because of his vast skill set and Geraldine is described as an amazing mother and grandmother who goes above and beyond what the “average” parent does. Ian and Geraldine felt very emotional and humbled to be nominated as they believe, like many other parents, they always show love and give support where they can to their children and extended family. “It was a privilege to be part of the presentation evening and to share it with some of our family, we all enjoyed it immensely. Receiving the award from Paul Sinha was amazing. We are proud of our two daughters, their husbands and our grandchildren, and what they have achieved. We are very touched that our daughters entered us. Thanks to all those who organised the awards and the ceremony.”
Shortlisted in this category: Teresa Banks; Joy Daniels
Star Teacher Award • Winner: Emily Standing
Emily from Bradley Stoke is the Class 2 teacher at Holy Family Primary School in Stoke Lodge. She was one of 26 teachers nominated for the award for her amazing work relieving her class of the pressures associated with taking SATS tests. Emily was shocked and overwhelmed to be nominated but also very flattered to have someone appreciate the hard work that goes into teaching. She describes teaching not only as her job, but also as a huge part of her life that she enjoys each and every day. “The awards evening was so lovely. Everyone was made to feel special and a part of this amazing community. The sense of joy and pride in the room was lovely and the atmosphere was so enjoyable. It was clear that people had gone to great trouble to make it a fantastic event.” Emily extends her congratulations to all the nominees, especially the other teachers who will understand what a rewarding job it can be.
Shortlisted in this category: Rebecca Burnett-Sulley; Sadie McCombe; Alissa Jones
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 2 to 5). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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