The Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards, sponsored by Littlewoods.com, is back and bigger than ever.
Hosted by Carol Vorderman, the annual glittering ceremony marks its 13th year with a star-studded gala at the Grosvenor House on London’s Park Lane, which will be televised on Wednesday 5th October, 8pm on ITV1 in a two-hour special.
The Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards is packed with breathtaking stories of heroism and courage, uplifting and moving moments and hilarious celebrity surprises.
More than 100 stars from HRH Prince Charles to Gary Barlow, Cheryl Cole, Ant and Dec, Lord Sugar, Dermot O’Leary, Tulisa Contostavlos, Elle Macpherson and Gemma Arterton unite to honour the most amazing unsung heroes.
In her first TV appearance since quitting The X Factor, Cheryl Cole flies to Afghanistan to meet our brave servicemen and women on the frontline to mark the tenth anniversary of British military operations in the war-torn country…
HRH Prince Charles surprises one winner who is so overwhelmed he has to comfort her. David Beckham makes a girl’s dream come true while Top Gear’s Richard Hammond swaps his supercar for a helicopter to drop and honour a young hero.
Many of the UK’s biggest household names will be there to celebrate the Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards including Paul O’Grady, Tess Daly, Michael McIntyre, Philip Schofield, Holly Willoughby, Piers Morgan, Holly Valance, Hugh Bonneville, Brendon Coyle, Joanne Froggatt, Michelle Dockery, Amy Nuttall, Christine Bleakley, Adrian Chiles, Kimberley Walsh, Nicola Roberts, Tom Felton, James and Oliver Phelps, Myleene Klass, Amir Khan, Sue Johnston, Andrew Flintoff, Helen Worth, Michelle Keegan, Jo Joyner, Jake Wood, Shona McGarty, Tony Discipline, Matt Lapinskas, Preeya Kalidas, Andrea Mclean, Denise Welch, Lisa Maxwell, Bear Grylls, The Saturdays, JLS, Jason Manford, Julia McKenzie, Ronnie Corbett, Jason Donovan, Alex Jones, Robbie Savage, James Corden, Deborah Meadon, Duncan Bannatyne, Hilary Devey, Peter Jones, Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean, Jimmy Carr, Mark Austin and Julie Etchingham.
Winners range from our Lifetime Achievement Award winner who has helped to raise £100million for one of Britain’s best known cancer charities for sick children to a six-year-old cancer survivor who raised £20,000 for other kids he met on the ward.
Also honoured are the heroes of this summer’s riots, a supergran who foiled an armed robbery by battering the raiders with her handbag and a young woman who put her life on the line to drag two people to safety from the path of a speeding train.
Nominated by the public, the winners truly deserve recognition. From all walks of life, of all ages, and from all over the country, their achievements are extraordinary, inspiring and a lesson to us all.
Since it started in 1999, Pride of Britain has become the biggest event of its kind in the UK. It is also one of the highest-rated awards shows on British TV. Among A-listers who have taken part are Sir Paul McCartney, President Clinton, Kylie Minogue, Dame Helen Mirren and Ewan McGregor.
Host Carol Vorderman says: “It’s always such a great pleasure hosting Pride of Britain. For me, it is the only awards show on TV that really matters because the winners are real people who could not be more deserving
“Over the past decade, there have been so many heart-warming, inspiring stories of people who have contributed so much to this country. It’s a chance for us to celebrate Britain at its best and I’m not surprised it has become the biggest national event of its kind.”
HRH Prince Charles, who takes part in Pride of Britain every year, says: “The Pride of Britain Awards are, I believe, a unique way to celebrate the achievements of some truly remarkable people, and hear something of their inspiring and humbling stories.
“These marvellous awards remind all of us that, despite what one might think, throughout this country there are extraordinary people living selfless lives, showing unbelievable courage and caring for their families, neighbours and communities.”
David Beckham says: “I’m always delighted to take part in the Pride of Britain Awards. The winners are always amazing, particularly the little children. I think the bravery and courage they show is an example to us all.”
Simon Cowell says: “These awards are far superior to the Brits and Baftas. I genuinely believe it’s the best award ceremony of the year. It makes you realise exactly what life is about and what people have to overcome.”
The winners are selected by a judging committee which this year includes the Olympian double gold medalist Rebecca Adlington, Victoria Cross winner Johnson Beharry, ITN newsman Mark Austin, Daybreak’s Christine Bleakley, Tess Daley and Chief Nurse Dame Christine Beasley.
FULL LIST OF 2011 PRIDE OF BRITAIN WINNERS:
CHILD OR TEENAGER OF COURAGE
McAyla Johnston, 14, Worcester
McAyla’s life changed in an instant when she was hit by a car at a busy crossroads, leaving her with critical injuries. But not only has McAyla Johnston defied medical experts to walk and talk again, she also campaigned successfully for two new pelican crossings where she was run over to save other children from going through the same trauma.
McAyla was rushed to Birmingham Children’s Hospital in September 2008, where doctors warned her parents that even if their daughter did survive she would need 24-hour care for the rest of her life. In the next few months, McAyla began a campaign with her parents and lobbied politicians to get a crossing built.
Incredibly, determined McAyla succeeded and a year after her own accident, two new £70,000 crossings were opened. McAyla has now returned to school and taken up athletics, winning a gold medal in javelin at the Disability Sports National Championships.
CHILD OR TEENAGER OF COURAGE
Danielle Bailey, 13, Yorkshire
Brave Danielle Bailey has battled killer disease meningitis but refuses to let the loss of all four of her limbs hold her back from becoming a gold-medal swimmer and future Paralympian. Determined not to let her disability hold her back, last year Danielle took up swimming.
The inspiring teen rapidly progressed and astounded her swimming coach by mastering all four recognised strokes and quickly reached competitive times to rival a 16-year-old able-bodied swimmer. Incredibly, just nine months after learning to swim, Danielle won a gold medal at the Disability Sports Events National Junior Championships.
Danielle, gave an equally impressive performance at the Amatuer Swimming Championships recording a personal best. Over the next month Danielle will find out if she has been accepted onto the British Disability World Class Talent Programme, which could set her on the path to Paralympic glory.
CHILD OR TEENAGER OF COURAGE
Tom Phillips, 11, Wales
At just ten years old, Tom found himself in a life or death situation when a raging bull attacked his dad, tossing him into the air like a rag doll and trampling his body. Tom made a split second decision that saved both their lives. Despite being told by his parents to never go near their tractor and without a thought for his own safety the 11-year-old jumped behind the wheel and managed to nudge the bull away.
The brave schoolboy, now 11, then escaped from the bull, driving the tractor up to the farmhouse to get help from mum Amanda, who had just returned from work and was unaware of the horrific incident. Tom ran to the family’s neighbours to raise the alarm while Amanda rushed to help her husband in the field.
An RAF rescue helicopter responded to their 999 call and found 46-year-old Andrew barely clinging to life with severe internal injuries and 10 broken ribs. Andrew spent two weeks in hospital before being allowed home.
FUNDRAISER OF THE YEAR
Tom Lackey, 91, West Midlands
He may be 91 but Tom Lackey isn’t prepared for life to slow him down just yet. The daredevil granddad has gone out on a wing to help raise over £1million for charity with a string of record-breaking wing-walking stunts. Tom, who is a father-of-three and the grandfather-of-two, took up wing-walking at the sprightly age of 80, after the death of his beloved wife Isabel in 2000, who served in the RAF.
Tom raised money for the British Heart Foundation in Isabel’s memory by entering the record books as the oldest person to loop the loop strapped to an aircraft’s wings aged 85. The retired builder – has since completed 26 wing-walks for a number of charities. In December 2009 adventurous Tom, became the oldest person to cross the English Channel strapped to the wings of a plane.
He gave all proceeds from that trip to Breakthrough Breast Cancer after his daughter Anne Joynson was diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells the year before. Tom’s latest stunt in June broke his own record in memory of his son Alex who died of cancer in May aged 66. Tom has achieved five world records and is planning more escapades in the sky.
Bob Woodward, 78, Bristol
Hearing your child has terminal cancer may be too much for many parents to bear. But Bob Woodward turned such unimaginable heartache into a life-long mission to help thousands of parents and their children going through the same ordeal.
Since founding the charity CLIC (Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood) more than three decades ago, 78-year-old fundraising genius Bob has helped raise in excess of £50million to pay for vital practical and emotional support for families with children suffering with cancer. Bob’s charity that has grown out of a clear necessity has become, in his words: “one big extended family”, and ultimately the largest childhood cancer care charity in the country.
LITTLEWOODS.COM YOUNG FUNDRAISER
George Major, 7, Berkshire
Inspirational George Major spent the last two years in and out of hospital for gruelling acute lymphoblastic leukaemia treatment. Yet through sheer determination, valiant seven-year-old George started a fundraising campaign called George’s Marvellous Medicine Fund, and has now raised over £20,000 in aid of charities close to his heart.
In June 2009 and after just a week in a basic children’s ward at the hospital in Reading, brave George asked mum Victoria and dad Tim, if he could raise money for a computer console. Despite the trauma of harrowing chemotherapy treatments the brave youngster, organised tea parties, auctions and coffee mornings at relatives’ houses to raise money for the fund.
The events were so successful George has now provided children’s rooms at the hospital with a selection of computer games, board games and DVDs. Money has also funded a sofa bed in one of the hospital’s isolation rooms, so families can stay with their children overnight.
Not content with raising money for the hospital alone, George has spearheaded two more fundraising campaigns, called George’s Extra Marvellous Medicine Fund and George’s Magic Medicine fund. Money raised has benefited charities including cancer charity CLIC Sargent and a charity for terminally and seriously ill children Starlight – both have been particularly supportive to George and his family.
Thankfully George is now in remission, his chemotherapy treatment will continue for at least another year to reduce the risk of the cancer returning.
Lucy Gale, 31, Yorkshire
When two cars collided at a level crossing, Lucy Gale risked her own life by dashing into the path of a freight train to save two stricken motorists and prevent a potentially catastrophic rail crash. Without a moment’s thought for her own safety, Lucy first ran to rescue the elderly female driver of one of the cars, which was lying across the tracks.
Dragging the dazed woman to safety. Lucy then spotted the train just 500 yards away and approaching at 80mph. Incredibly, Lucy then ran back into the path of danger to drive the car off the line with just seconds to spare. Lucy’s heroic actions avoided a collision which would have sent derailed carriages careering into a passenger train waiting at the station.
But if that wasn’t enough, Lucy then ran to the male driver’s aid, ripping open his door and dragging him out just as the train sped close by. At this stage, the train driver, had applied the brakes, but the train’s momentum was so great it could not stop until a kilometre past the level crossing. Lucy’s courage and quick-thinking helped avert a monumental disaster.
Ann Timson, 71, Northampton
When Ann Timson popped out to her local shops, she had no idea that she would be caught up in a violent robbery, let alone become a national hero.
The 71-year-old was chatting with a friend in the street when she heard a commotion and turned to see what she thought was a boy being attacked by three men. Without a thought for her own safety, the pensioner rushed to the teenager’s aid, sprinting the length of the High Street, only to realise that the ‘attack’ was actually an armed robbery.
A masked gang were smashing their way into a jewellery shop in front of crowds of stunned shoppers. Incredibly, Ann continued to run towards them with only her handbag for protection. As the grandmother-of-one charged at the gang, swinging the nylon sack, she landed a series of blows across their heads.
The feisty former market trader even knocked one of the thieves to the floor, giving passers-by the chance to restrain him until police arrived. Thanks to Ann’s fearless intervention, five gang members, who had all been involved in similar robberies, were caught and jailed for a total of 26 years.
Tariq Jahan, 45, Birmingham
When Britain burned in August’s riots, it was one man who suffered the greatest loss who showed the greatest compassion. Grieving father Tariq Jahan came to personify the indomitable spirit of the vast majority of the British people when he made a remarkable plea for calm after his son was killed in the violence.
Police said his intervention helped prevent a tinderbox situation igniting into yet more violence. Tariq’s son Haroon, 21, was one of three young men mown down by a hit-and-run driver while trying to protect their community from a mob of looters when the riots hit Birmingham.
Tariq, had rushed to help the victims – who had been sent flying high into the air by the car – without knowing that his son was among them. Tariq had already tried to revive brothers Shazad Ali, 30, and 30-year-old Abdul Musavir, when he turned over the third victim. Horrified, he saw it was his own son and he battled to save Haroon’s life as he lay dying on the pavement. Tariqu gave him CPR, but sadly it wasn’t enough to save him.
Just hours after his son’s death, van driver Tariq took a stand outside his home and made a heartfelt plea for peace as police feared revenge attacks would spark a tide of racial violence. Tariq urged: “Blacks, Asians, whites – we all live in the same community. Why are we doing this? Step forward if you want to lose your sons. Otherwise calm down and go home… please.”
Tariq, spoke again at meetings, rallies and to individuals, maintaining inspirational dignity and calm.
At a time when many despaired for Britain itself, Tariq proved why the killers, looters and thugs will never win.
Acting Sergeant Dipprasad Pun, 31, Kent
Gurkha hero Acting Sergeant Dipprasad Pun CGC risked his life to save three comrades by single-handedly fighting off up to 30 Taliban insurgents as they attacked his Afghanistan base. Dipprasad, 31, was on sentry duty at the checkpoint near Babaji, Helmand Province in September 2010 when he heard a clinking noise outside. He went to investigate and found two insurgents digging a trench to lay an improvised explosive device (IED) and realised he was completely surrounded by Taliban fighters.
The enemy opened fire from all sides, completely destroying the sentry position and forcing Dipprasad, of the 1st Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles, to defend the position from the roof. Dipprasad remained under continuous attack from rocket-propelled grenades and AK47 machine guns for more than a quarter of an hour. During the attack, he fired more than 400 rounds of ammunition, launched 17 grenades and detonated a mine to protect three comrades who had been resting inside the base.
While facing an onslaught from 50 feet away, Nepalese Dipprasad was attacked from behind by two Taliban fighters who climbed onto the roof. Still under fire, the brave soldier turned and fired his machine gun until one man fell off the roof. When his SA80 rifle jammed, he grabbed the metal tripod of his gun and threw it at the second man, knocking him off the roof. He even dropped a sand bag on one enemy fighter to stop him climbing up.
Completely out of ammunition and with two enemy soldiers still attacking, the heroic Gurkha detonated a Claymore mine, forcing the last of the insurgents to flee. Dipprasad has been awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal for his bravery.
Julie Coghill, 38, Edinburgh
Fostering a child is a huge responsibility, one that requires patience, dedication and commitment. Julie Coghill has those three qualities in abundance.
Not only has she now fostered around 45 children over the last 15 years, but many of them are babies of mothers with a history of drug abuse – meaning they display terrible signs of withdrawal for five to eight months. When Julie started fostering after responding to an advert in a local newspaper, her skills were minimal. Yet she agreed to care for two young girls who’d been badly physically emotionally neglected.
Although most of the children Julie fosters go on for adoption by other families and occasionally back to their own parents, one child called Connor – who’d been born premature at 24 weeks, and was in hospital for the first 18 months of his life – touched Julie so much, she and her husband Philip, 42 adopted him. Now Connor, 14, is an integral part of the family and often helps out with the children who arrive on the doorstep. Julie also works with her local council, mentoring other foster mums on caring with vulnerable children. She offers weekly tutorials offering tips and advice, and also provides help and guidance to other foster mums when they’re struggling to cope.
DAYBREAK EMERGENCY SERVICES
WPC Kelli Walker, 31, and WPC Katie Harvey, 30 from Dorset
Being alone and unarmed didn’t stop Kelli Walker and Katie Harvey bravely tackling and overpowering a gun-toting torture gang when they responded to a silent 999 call. Making a split second decision, the women forced their way into a house and were met with shocking scenes as they found a badly beaten young man covered in blood, who had been stripped and tied up with a cloth stuffed in his mouth. WPC Harvey shouted at the gunman then, incredibly, used her bare hands to grapple with the much bigger man, forcing him to drop the weapon.
As they wrestled, outnumbered WPC Walker bravely fought off the two accomplices with CS spray. The feisty females managed to trap the gang in the house until back up arrived and arrested the men. Because of the officers’ bravery, the three criminals were jailed for a total of 27 years.
TEACHER OF THE YEAR
Llew Davies, 29, Wales
Inspirational Llew Davies puts education in the fast lane, delivering outstanding teaching with a Formula 1 twist. Llew has transformed Bangor’s Ysgol Cae Top, helping the primary school to achieve it’s best ever inspection report while still finding time to steer his pupil’s to victory in a national science competition. Llew inspired the nine and ten-year-olds to victory in the F1 in Schools contest, where their battery-powered mini race car beat off competition from secondary school kids to race around a 24-metre track in just 0.7 seconds.
They broke the record for the high schools and came first in Wales and third in the UK. The Year Five pupils are certainly used to out-of the ordinary projects. Whether it’s a volcano experiment erupting red paint all over the classroom, or office chair races across the gym to teach velocity, Mr Davies’ lessons are always entertaining and informative. Llew is described by his adoring pupils as a teacher they “will never forget”.
But it’s not just the kids who love Llew. He has also helped boost standards across the whole school, which achieved its best ever ratings from school inspectors Estyn since he joined the staff team. The effect Llew has had across the whole school was reflected its 2009 Estyn inspection report, the Welsh equivalent of Ofsted. The school was awarded seven ‘outstanding’ grade ones, the highest level obtainable and the first time Ysgol Cae Top had achieved such an accolade.
The school is also at the forefront of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) thanks to Llew’s commitment to running after-school computer clubs.
PRINCE’S TRUST YOUNG ACHIEVER
Gina Moffatt, 34, London
Life hit rock bottom for Gina Moffatt when, at just 25, she was caught smuggling drugs into the country and sent to Holloway prison. Gina was sentenced to six years behind bars but prison was the wake up call Gina needed to see the error of her ways.
The torment of being separate from her twin toddler daughters Lucille and Michelle made Gina vow to turn her life around. Gina soon became an exemplary prisoner and it was a chat with Holloway governor Alan Brady that changed Gina’s future.
After mentioning her interest in flower arranging, she was amazed when he suggested she pursue a floristry NVQ. After completing the course, Gina spotted a business opportunity and persuaded Alan Brady to let her provide flowers for fellow inmates, visitors and staff. The venture took off and Gina began to recruit the help of other prisoners to help with the running of the business.
News of her success spread and, as her opportunity for parole approached, Gina was visited by The Prince’s Trust. Just days after her release in February 2008, with the help of Prince’s Trust, Gina had found a unit at Bernie Grants Art Centre in South London and secured a loan to start up her business.
The Trust even provided her with a mentor in the shape of Dragon’s Den tycoon James Caan, who helped her draw up a business plan and encouraged her to use her talents to expand into catering. Gina snapped up a small restaurant at the Centre and opened Blooming Scent Café. Four years on, Gina’s business has gone from strength to strength, becoming a hub for the community.
She also employs ex-convicts, giving them the second chance she was granted. Gina dedicates her spare time to giving talks in local schools, warning pupils of the dangers of drugs and gang crime. Gina also visits women’s prisons to advise inmates on how to set up businesses after being released from prison. Since mentoring prisoners, Gina has helped to set up 12 new businesses.
For further information, visit www.prideofbritain.com