Town’s ‘special people’ recognised at Wisbech Unsung Heroes Awards night
A group of very special people were celebrated on Friday night at the first Wisbech Unsung Heroes Awards presentation evening.
Young and old alike who go that extra mile to help their community were celebrated at the ceremony held at the Oasis Centre in Wisbech hosted by the mayor Steve Tierney.
The awards launched last autumn were run by Wisbech Town Council with the support of the Fenland Citizen.
Eight awards were presented each with a winner and two runners-up and the event kicked off with the Ann Carlisle Memorial Award for an outstanding contribution to Wisbech.
The award was in memory of former town and district councillor and mayor of Wisbech Ann Carlisle, who died aged 81 in 2016. A silver salver was donated for the occasion by Ann’s family and her brother Hugh presented the award.
A packed audience of family, friends and supporters clapped and cheered as each nominee was announced, but the biggest cheer of the night came when 94-year-old Cyril Snushall was announced as winner of the Lifetime Recognition Award, presented for long service to Wisbech.
Cyril has been a life-long fundraiser raising £10,000s for charities with the concerts and events he has organised.
And even at his grand age he has not let up and has a full schedule of events booked up to the end of this year.
Cyril pipped Roy Mcmanus, who was nominated for all his kindness in entertaining residents in local care homes free of charge with his music. The Wisbech Lions were also runners up in this category.
Trevor Ketteringham also received huge applause when he was announced as winner of the Community Spirit Award he beat volunteers from the St Augustine’s Day Centre, and Chris Stevens the Oasis Centre manager to pick up the accolade.
The Roger Green Sports Award was divided into two sections - under 18s and over 18s. The award was again named after a former Wisbech mayor and district councillor. Roger a former newspaper editor died aged 77 in 2011.
His widow Margaret was also in attendance to help present the awards with Councillor David Oliver.
The under 18s was scooped by Jo Clifford a keen footballer and rounders player, who beat two talented in-line speed skaters: Arthur Buckler and James Garwell to the trophy.
Dominic Stannard was winner of the over 18s prize beating Roy Marshall and Paul Cousins to the award. Unfortunately none of the three were able to attend the evening.
There was a tinge of sorrow when the Good Neighbour Award was announced one of the three finalists, Michael Killingback, nominated for his dedication of more than 40 years to Wisbech Save the Children sadly died earlier in the week. His proud wife, Janet, and daughter Rachel attended the evening to represent him.
The award presented by Councillor Andrew Lynn was won by Rex Venni for all he does to help those living near him in Prinz Avenue. He is always willing to lend a hand whether it is with a plumbing problem or simply cutting a neighbour’s grass.
The third finalist was Steve Peggs who together with his wife gave up Christmas day to open their burger van and provide free food for the homeless and needy in the town.
Another popular winner was Matthew Ormiston, who picked up the Service with a Smile Award for his excellent customer service at the town’s Costa coffee shop. He beat the staff of both Wisbech International store in High Street and King Kebab in Norfolk Street.
Teenager Joseph Wood, 17, was crowned Wisbech Hero for his life-saving heroics when he gave his dad Graham CPR after he suffered a heartache at the family home.
Joseph, who was at the awards with his mum Julieanne, followed instructions over the phone from an emergency call handler to keep his dad alive until the ambulance arrived. Without Joseph’s quick thinking actions Graham would have died.
The teenager beat police officers Carl Stoppard and James Moore, who bravely intervened when a suicidal man threatened to set fire to himself, and builders Damon Lloyd and Marc Winsor who resecued a driver trapped in burning dustcart following a collision.
The evening included a free buffet for the hundreds of guests provided by Councillor Andy Maul and his family who run Bygones Cafe, and free drinks from AJ Bars run by Councillor Aigars Balsevics.
Mayor Steve Tierney said: “There are 30,000 plus people living in the town so it says a lot about all those who were nominated - you are all very special people and deserve the recognition for all that you do to help out town and community.”