A Kettering 90-year-old who raised almost £2,000 for charity has won the overall prize at the Pride in Northamptonshire Awards this evening (Friday, September 26).
Maynard Follett, who walked 90 miles around Kettering in June, just ahead of his 90th birthday, was chosen as the winner of the Wicksteed Choice gong.
The ceremony, organised by the Northamptonshire Telegraph and the Northampton Chronicle and Echo, our sister paper, was held at Wicksteed Park.
It recognised high achievers, people who have battled against the odds, stalwarts of the community and those who have put in work for charity.
Mr Follett, who also won the Fundraiser of the Year prize, said: “What I feel is that this event can only serve to encourage other people to take part, not just to be a winner, but to do good in the community.”
He also played down his achievements, saying: “Just think of all of the hundreds and thousands in Northamptonshire who have done things but who haven’t been nominated.”
Among the other winners were the news team from Wren Spinney Special School in Kettering, who won the Young Achievers Award for their weekly news broadcasts which are shown to fellow pupils.
Acting head teacher Ian Hames said of the concept: “It’s about the equipping our young people for life as adults, letting them be a team together and everyone having a part to play.”
He also paid tribute to Amy Morton, who is in charge of the news team but who was unable to attend this evening’s awards.
Former headteacher Debbie Withers also picked up an award for inspiring a generation.
Mrs Withers, who left the school in the summer after 23 years, said: “I am completely taken aback, really thrilled on behalf of all the people who have made it possible.”
Meanwhile, Katrina Baker, from Corby, who founded Macy’s Memory in memory of her daughter to help other families affected by genetic of chromosome life-limiting illnesses, accepted the Care in the Community Award on behalf of the charity.
She said: “We don’t do it for a thank you but it helps make it worthwhile.”
Amy Miles, manager of Carewise in Northampton, which helps adults with learning difficulties, said she was delighted to be nominated by one of those they looked after. She said: “We’re pleased they can see the hard work they put in.”
Prize-winner Lorna Stockdale, from Helping Hands Homecare Service, said: “I’m delighted, to be honest. I do work hard and it’s nice to be recognised for the hard work I do.”
Glennis Hooper, the founder of the Crazy Hats Breast Cancer Appeal, picked up the Northamptonshire Community Award on behalf of the Wellingborough charity. She said: “It’s recognition for all the people who have supported Crazy Hats, to the public as well as everyone who has gone through breast cancer.”
The charity’s patron Dr Roy Matthew added: “Crazy Hats is a local charity, and the driving force behind it is Glennis.
“They are a dedicated group of people working hard for the better care and welfare of all cancer patients.”
Volunteer of the year Grace Beaney, who puts in time on behalf of four groups, including a new drop-in centre set up in Abington Park, Northampton, said: “It’s just a real honour. I am a bit shocked at the moment.”
David Meagher, who won the unsung hero prize for community work including leading the Friends of Rockingham Road Pleasure Park in Kettering, said: “It’s nice to be recognised but it’s a shame I can’t spread it round to all the people who help us. We are lucky to have a great team down there.”
Jordan Hutchison, from Corby, won the courage award. The 11-year-old, who suffers from cerebral palsy, defied the doctors to start mainstream secondary school earlier this month.
Mum Jacqueline said: “The award is such a boost for his confidence - going to big school is such a major change.”
And Mark Swindells, general manager of sponsor Croyland Car Megastore, added: “Jordan is a well deserved winner. His love of life, enthusiasm and determination shows us all what is possible with a little bit of courage.”
Full list of winners:
Young Achievers Award: Wren Spinney news team
Service with a Smile: Carewise
Care in the Community: Macy’s Memory
Inspire a Generation: Debbie Withers
Hard work and Determination: Lorna Stockdale
Fundraiser of the Year: Maynard Follett
Courage Award: Jordan Hutchison
Northamptonshire Community Award: Crazy Hats Breast Cancer Appeal
Volunteer of the Year: Grace Beaney
Unsung Hero: David Meagher
Wicksteed Park Choice: Maynard Follett