Every One a Winner!

Article excerpt

Byline: By Sam Webb

THE cream of Coventry and Warwickshire were honoured before a cheering 500-strong audience in a grand ceremony at the Ricoh Arena.

The winners of the fifth annual Telegraph Pride of Coventry and Warwickshire Community Awards, who were all nominated by our readers, were rewarded for their tireless work to enrich and improve the lives of others.

The glittering ceremony was presented by Mercia FM DJs Richard Kneale and Helen Knott.

Our judges struggled to choose the winners of each of the seven categories because the entries this year were so impressive.

But after careful deliberation they decided these were the most-deserving:

The Young Hero Award went to 10-year-old Emily Hollingsworth, a pupil at St Bartholomew School, Ernesford Grange, who raises cash for worthy causes, helps to each disabled kids to swim, and cared for her Auntie Heather as she was dying of cancer.

Emily, whose parents are both disabled, said: "I just got this big burst of excitement and felt really proud of myself when they said my name."

Winner of the Young Carer category, Jessica Jayne Smith, aged 13, of Dymond Road, Holbrooks, cares for her mum who suffers from a serious liver and kidney disorder.

She looks after her 11-year-old brother Joseph, pays the bills, cooks, cleans and ensures her mother takes her medication. The hip-hop fan said: "I'm very proud of my mum and I do my very best to help her."

A woman who gives everything for her community, Ann Melia, was top of the judges list for the Local Hero Award. Ann, of Bell Green, has been a foster mum since she was just 21-years-old. The 60-year-old has cared for hundreds of children over the past 40 years.

She said: "It was lovely when they read my name out. It's nice to get some recognition for what I do but it's the children I do it for. I enjoy them and want to give them a life."

She also volunteers at the Bell Green Community Centre and has given more than 60 pints of blood.

Despite being 73, Frank Millar still tours the UHCW at Walsgrave playing piano for the patients. He is also the chairman of the hospital's volunteers' committee and for these reasons he won the caring hero award.

The resident of Brookvale Avenue in Binley, Coventry, said: "A lot of performers sing better but they sing at the patients. We get the patients to sing with us. It's a wonderful feeling."

Our newest category, Teacher of the Year, went to Sheila Chennells, the head of sixth-form at Sidney Stringer School in Cox Street, Hillfields, Coventry. …