Join the party to celebrate unsung heroes

Paul Malone

Paul Malone

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Residents are invited to join the party as Corby toasts its unsung heroes.

From dozens of nominations put forward for the Spirit of Corby Awards, the borough council selected three nominees in each of the six categories and people have been voting for their favourites.

The winners will be announced at an awards night to be held at The Core theatre, at the Cube, on Tuesday, August 28, and for the first time residents are invited to attend.

Nominated for the Jimmy Kane Young Spirit Award are Callum Reilly, who masterminded several productions at Lodge Park Technology College, as well as promoting music and the arts at the school, James Kendall, who has volunteered since he was 14, developing his techincal skills with Corby Radio and at The Core theatre, and Paul Malone, who dedicates his time to Corby Diamonds under 11s and 16s football teams.

James, 18, of Belvoir Close, Corby, said: “I was lost for words when I heard I’d been nominated. I didn’t think anyone was taking any notice of the projects I’ve been involved with.”

Paul, 22, of Tyne Road, Corby, is captain of Corby Town Football Team. He said: “I’m really proud to be nominated and to receive recognition for what I’m trying to do. I was sick of hearing that young people in Corby just give up on opportunities when they reach a certain age and let chances slip through their fingers. I wanted to make a difference.”

Callum 17, of Studfall Avenue, said: “I was really shocked but honoured when I heard I had been nominated.”

In the Community Spirit Award the nominees are Doreen Hunter who, despite suffering from a debilitating illness, works to help women who are the victims of domestic violence, Mark and Fleur Bell, who started a group for people who walk their dogs in Corby woodland, picking up broken glass and making it safer for children, and Paul Balmer, a founder member of Oakley Vale Community Association, who launched a project for young musicians.

In the Creative Spirit Awards the nominees are Mark Brennan, who produce a CD of Corby people performing their own songs, Mark Pengelly, who has worked for the past 10 years keeping Corby Highland Gathering going, and the organisers of Weldon Fest, a one-day music event which has raised £60,000 for charity in the past six years.

In the Educational Spirit Awards the nominees are Carol Copeland, who has worked tirelessly for years training and supporting young people in Corby, Ellen Wallace, who was the first headteacher in the town to welcome blind and physically disabled people into a mainstream school, and Morgan Nicholson, who provides a safe and stimulating environment for youngsters before and after lessons.

In the Environmental Spirit Awards category people can cast their vote for Arthur Tester, who despite being in his 90s, remains active in the Lodge Park community, Patricia Graham, a committee member with Shire Lodge and Chestnuts Naighbourhood Association, and Sara Earl, who works tirelessly to make Gretton a greener and better place.

Selected for the Club Spirit Award are Cathy Cameron, who has worked for 40 years on a voluntary basis promoting the over 50s heart group in Corby, as well as leading new age kurling and indoor bowls clubs. Other nominees are Claire Marsh, who dedicates many hours to guiding in Corby, and Rosemary Saunders, who runs Corby Sports Dimensions, an activity day camp which runs during the summer holidays for five to 15-year-olds.

Once all the votes are in they will be counted and the winners will be announced at the awards night.

Tickets for the ceremony, which starts at 7pm, are £3 and they can be obtained by calling 01536 464022 or emailing kim.buzzard@corby.gov.uk. There will be a buffet provided on the night.