Monday, 9 June 2014

Raising a glass to the Pride of Burton

The first Pride of Burton Awards proved to be an emotional night when the achievements of many unsung heroes from East Staffordshire and South Derbyshire were celebrated.

The glittering awards event was held at Branston Golf & Country Club by commercial radio station TouchFM and supported by organisations including the Federation of Small Businesses, Burton and South Derbyshire College, the Octagon Shopping Centre and Punch Taverns. It also raised cash on the night for the Liberty Rose Trust - a Swadlincote-based charity that raises funds for research into children's brain tumours.

I'd enjoyed writing a few nominations for colleagues and contacts and was delighted that three of them resulted in awards on the night.

Much to my surprise I'd also been nominated and was chosen as one of three finalists for the Business Person of the Year - and was in some illustrious company. The award went to Tim McNeilly and Chris Emmerson who took the helm at I C Electrical after the original business was destroyed in an arson attack 14 years ago. They have battled against great adversity and survived the recession without shedding any jobs and now I C Electrical is a multi-million pound company.

Ben Day and George Finch
A standing ovation greeted the announcement of a Special Award  to George Finch (pictured left with Ben Day of TouchFM), a Queen's Hospital volunteer who completed an amazing 31 years' service before retiring on his 90th birthday in February. Another hospital volunteer, Tom Walker, was named as Citizen of the Year while Shirley Dowler - who has completed 47 years' nursing patients at Burton hospitals - received the Carer of the Year Award.

Another Special Award went to Katherine Sinfield, who has thrown herself into raising awareness of the need for more bone marrow donors and vital funds for research and care. Katherine was diagnosed with leukaemia in April 2013 and has written an online blog charting her treatment and her eventual bone marrow transplant in October 2013. Her efforts have led to a 15% increase in potential bone marrow donors in Burton. She was also the driving force behind the first BONE-shaker MARROW-thon in March 2014 which saw more than 100 motorcyclists ride from Birmingham to Burton which, along with a family fun day, raised more than £2,000 for Cure Leukaemia, Anthony Nolan and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

Other awards on the night went to:


Congratulations to all the winners and finalists - and to Touch FM for organising a great night that shone the spotlight on such a diverse range of achievers from business and community.

Pictures courtesy of the TouchFM Facebook Page

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