The 2017 Spirit of Corby nominees and winners were celebrated at an awards ceremony last week.
Corby Council along with sponsors of the event (Northamptonshire Police, Quantum Print, Savoy Cinemas, Spirit Hyundai and the Core at Corby Cube) welcomed nominees, guests and a room full of cheering supporters as well as local dignitaries including the High Sherriff for Northamptonshire, the MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire, the Mayor of Corby and the Leader of Corby Council.
See pictures from the evening here.
During the awards the crowd was entertained by winner of the Rising Star of Northamptonshire Award 2017, Kara Hamer who sang her winning song Run by Leona Lewis.
Leader of Corby Council, Cllr Tom Beattie, said: “Again the Spirit of Corby Awards was a really special event in which we all had chance to listen to the real, every day examples of community spirit that our residents show.
“It is always a great pleasure to be part of such a fantastic night.
“Corby really does have a true spirit - it is built into the DNA of the place!
“We hope that this goes some way to acknowledging the amazing people that go above and beyond to make our borough so great.
“To all the nominees, whether they won an award or not, they should be proud of the work they do, the kindness they show and the talent they share – it has not gone unnoticed!
“We are also very lucky to have such great companies and organisations in Corby that notice the importance of celebrating our community.
“So a huge thanks must go to them for making the Spirit of Corby Awards possible.”
The winners of the 2017 Spirit of Corby Awards are:
Community Spirit Award (Sponsored by Northamptonshire Police)
Father Gerard Byrne - Gerard has cycled the length of Britain and Ireland on his time off from the day job (Lands End to John O’Groats the Coastline of Ireland) and last year he cycled from Canterbury to Rome over the Alps all to raise thousands of pounds for Corby’s Lakelands Hospice and the Air Ambulance.
As well as being a very well thought-of priest, Gerard has also given up his time to set up a cycling club so others can get involved, he is a fundraising inspiration and a good mentor to those who wish to take on various cycling challenges both locally and long distance.
Club Spirit Award (Sponsored by Quantum Print)
Nicola Pell - Nicola has worked tirelessly to promote Nightlight and given up her time to help the charity.
Nightlight was set up to prevent and/or relieve poverty among rough sleepers and other homeless adults in Corby and surrounding areas by providing a night shelter and other support services.
Nicola alongside other volunteers has helped Nightlight promote social inclusion, raise awareness of homelessness and worked with other agencies to reduce homelessness and rough sleeping, treat addiction and/or mental health issues and enable people to gain independent living skills and move on to stable accommodation.
Environmental Spirit Award
Cyril Sellars - Cyril chaired the Friends of Coronation Park for 10 years and since then has continued to spend virtually every day volunteering his time to keep the garden looking nice.
Not only does he do a huge amount of gardening, he has been instrumental in facilitating improvements to the park such as the performance stage, lighting along the main path and the sensory garden.
He has regular contact with the council and police to ensure any potential problems are dealt with and while working and giving up his time there he talks to those passing through to make them feel welcome.
Creative Spirit Award
James Hanson - James has self-funded and run a weekly jam night at the Ex Servicemen’s club for more than three years.
He engages with everybody who walks through the door and helps those quieter ones emerge from their shell to get creative.
Every week drums, guitars, bass and vocal PA are provided at the sessions and all levels of players turn up and are made to feel welcome.
The Jam night is free and there are often travelling musicians that do a spot on the evening which helps others learn and progress as musicians.
There have been a wide number of genres come through the Jam Night, all welcomed and all benefitting from what James has contributed to the arts in Corby.
Education Spirit Award (Sponsored by Spirit Hyundai)
Katie Read - Katie started a charity in Corby called ‘STAGES’ which helps support local people with mental health problems.
The group meets at least once a week for a much-needed chat and sometimes for ‘therapy nights’ where holistic therapies such as reiki, crystal healing and Indian head massage are also offered and Katie has also arranged for members to attend an eight-week mindfulness course on many occasions.
Despite battling sever chronic illnesses, Katie has managed to complete a degree with the open university in a bid to increase and build on her existing knowledge in order to help support people she meets.
Young Spirit Award (sponsored by Savoy Cinemas)
Harry Glass, Liam Meney, Adam O’Neill and Ryan McAuley - This group of friends dumped their McDonald’s meals to rescue an elderly man blown off his feet during Storm Doris.
The group of four college students had been enjoying a lunch break when one of the boys were shocked to see an elderly man being blown off his feet, leaving him lying flat on the floor.
All the lads rushed to his aid, leaving their belongings behind, they put him in recovery position, called for an ambulance, shielded him from the strong winds and stayed by his side until paramedics arrived and took him to hospital. They also informed a traffic warden so the man didn’t get a parking ticket.
Overall Winner – Cyril Sellars
Before the night closed Cllr Beattie announced a Special Recognition Award for this year’s youngest nominee Chloe Kelly South.
He said: “Every year the panel has the extremely difficult challenge of first of all shortlisting the amazing nominations that come in and then again to pick the overall spirit award out of the public’s winners.
“Every now and then there is one of these nominees that for whatever reason sticks in the panel’s minds.
“This year it was a girl who from the age of just seven has helped save her father from several diabetic hypos. We think that her bravery and clear maturity is commendable.”
Mayor of Corby Matt Keane presented Chloe Kelly South with a Special Recognition Certificate on behalf of the panel.