Norfolk and Waveney Stars Awards: Celebrating the people that make our region so special
Our annual bid to recognise the people who do wonderful things in our wonderful region has begun.
For the past five years, the EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney has recognised dozens of people, young and old, male and female, who go above and beyond for others.
And this years event, being held in December in the historic surroundings of Norwich’s Blackfriars’ Hall at St Andrew’s promises to be bigger and better than ever.
Yesterday, sponsors of the event gathered at our headquarters in Prospect House to launch the call to arms for the public to begin submitting their entries, which are open to people of any age living within Norfolk and Waveney.
EDP editor-in-chief David Powles said: “These awards are a fantastic way for us to recognise some of the brilliant efforts, some of the bravery, some of the great work and some of the brilliant volunteers we have in the region.
“We know that in this part of the world community spirit still thrives and I hope that is why people will galvanise behind the event. The night itself is fantastic, moving, emotional, funny and fun.”
There are 14 categories celebrating all walks of life - from those who do brave acts, the good work of the emergency services and those who dedicate countless hours to voluntary work. Meanwhile, two special Star of Norfolk and Waveney Awards are given to individuals that our judges decide need special recognition.
Speaking at the launch, event organiser Mick Parker, of Parker Communications, said: “We decided we wanted to run awards for some of the real heroes, the police members, the fire members, community people, the volunteers in our fantastic region, hence Stars was born.
“To judge, it is impossible. How do you possibly segregate all the amazing people down to 16 nominations for one award? It’s going to be another amazing year.”
There were more than 300 nominations in last year’s competition, which had to be whittled down to the shortlisted finalists who all attend the presentation night.
The awards would not be able to run without the support of businesses, charities and councils that sponsor them. But there is still time for further sponsors to apply.
The top award from the EDP Norfolk and Waveney Stars last year went to Sarah Barrett, from Southwold, who was also recognised as Young Person of the Year. She won the award after creating a campaign website to deal with stigma surrounding mental health issues and self harming.
Her Mother Cath Pickles says family life has changed since the award. She said: ”Sarah wanted to do something with the award, she didn’t want to just let it sit on the shelf so she has been able to organise the Warrior Walk.”
The Warrior Walk is a sponsored walk along the coast of Lowestoft with the aim to encourage people to talk more openly about self-harm.
“The work that she has been doing and the growth of it all has been boosted by the award.” Ms Pickles added.
“It’s been tiring having a Norfolk and Waveney star as a daughter as she’s always busy, continuing to help people and keeping herself busy.
“I think that’s why she won the award as she is always busy and wants to help people.”
Norman Drew won the Norfolk and Waveney Award for Police Person of the Year for his commitment to the Lowestoft Emergency Cadets.
The 62-year-old said: “I was in total shock when I was nominated because I’m just doing the job I love. If you do a job you love and people appreciate it, that’s what it’s all about. I work with school children and when they say ‘thanks Norman’ that’s enough for me.”
The award now sits in pride of place on his bookshelf in his living room.
Carer of the Year
Young Person of the Year
Outstanding Sporting Achievement of the year
Community Group or Champion of the Year
Hospital/Ambulance Hero/Heroine of the Year
Team of the Year
Search and Rescue Person of the Year
Fire Service Person of the Year
Volunteer of the Year
Armed Services Person of the Year
Police Person of the Year
Unsung Hero/Heroine of the Year
This years sponsors
Norfolk Community Foundation
North Norfolk District Council
Norfolk County Council
Great Yarmouth Borough Council
Broadland District Council
Breckland District Council
Norwich City Council
Theatre Royal, Norwich
East of England Co-operative Society
There are still some sponsorship opportunities available. To find out more contact Mick Parker on 01473 636983 or 07922 280380 or via firstname.lastname@example.org