Photo gallery: Norfolk Legends
PUBLISHED: 11:16 11 February 2013 | UPDATED: 11:16 11 February 2013
Some of Norwich's unsung fundraising heroes were celebrated at a charity evening to find a true Norfolk Legend.
Nine individuals and an organisation were short-listed for the accolade, which was won by Fynn Cornish, whose wife Victoria died in January from a rare form of adrenal cancer, aged 29.
Despite her terminal condition, the couple set up an organisation called Imagine It to inspire people to make the most of their lives, and also to raise money for the only adrenal cancer research project in the world.
They were married last November, the day before her 29th birthday.
Mr Cornish, 28, from Billingford, near Swanton Morley, said: “It’s an absolute honour to win Norfolk Legends, especially with so many inspirational people nominated, so thank you so much. Vicky and I built Imagine It with the ethos of living for the moment and building memories.
“We tell our clients to live for today because life’s too short, and you never know what tomorrow holds. Look what we did Vic, this is only the beginning.”
Norfolk Legends runners-up included Sophie Day, whose husband Luke Day, a teacher at Costessey High School, was killed while they were on honeymoon in Egypt a couple of years ago.
She has since launched The Luke Day Adventure Fund in his memory, to support young people in Norfolk up to the age of 18 to access outdoor, cultural and music opportunities via their schools.
Other runners-up included Kath Habershon, who is a worker at Hebron House, Norwich. Hebron Trust looks after women who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, their addictions often precipitated by domestic violence. She recently worked, in partnership with other agencies, to establish a new house where women can live after leaving Hebron and be integrated into Norwich life.
Davina Tanner is the general manager of Chapelfield shopping centre in Norwich. In 2009 she set up a partnership between Chapelfield and Norwich Prison whereby serving prisoners could undertake an eight-week work experience programme at the shopping centre. By providing an opportunity for prisoners to get practical work experience and undergo training, she has helped hundreds of prisoners to see that there is a real alternative to crime on their release from prison.
Taverham Brass Band is an unsung Norfolk Legend because its passion and dedication are an inspiration in promoting music in the community; and it has raised £41,400 for charity since 1995.
The runners-up also included Theresa Cossey MBE, who has been the driving force behind the Big C charity for over 20 years. She has helped raise £17m to buy scanners and fund consultants and provide the Big C support centre at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital.
The Norfolk Legends event was held at Fusion at the Forum in Norwich on Friday to mark the first anniversary of county estate agents abbottFox, with proceeds going to the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind.
The company named ex-Norwich City star Jeremy Goss – who is now fundraising manager for the NNAB – as its Norfolk Legend, and then invited the public to nominate their own unsung legend to share the spotlight with him.
abbottFox partner Samuel Le Good said: “When we asked for nominations to join Jeremy Goss as our Norfolk Legend we had no idea we would get such an inspirational and touching response. Every one of them would be a worthy winner.”