2016 Awards Winners

Achievement Against the Odds
Nigel Parsons
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    My dad, Nigel has always had an underlying congenital heart problem. However, this didn’t get in the way of him building his life, working, getting married & having two children. It wasn’t until his 30s that his health declined and he needed major heart surgery and implementation of a defi brillator. After which he returned to work albeit to a less manual career. Then in his 40s heart failure began & he was diagnosed as terminally ill in need of a heart transplant. He was listed in the UK transplant list in 2008 and due to his poor health gave up working & regularly visited St Peters Hospice daytime respite. He built a strong link with the hospice & made many friends most of which have sadly now passed. Fortunately in 2009 a heart match was found and he underwent a life changing heart transplant. Since this operation although not a cure for all his underlying health conditions, caused by a lifetime of heart problems, he has obtained a relatively stable period of health.
    In 2010 after recovery from surgery he decided he wanted to give back so volunteered at the St Peters Hospice. Towards the end of 2015 he obtained his 5 year service award and continues to be a hospice volunteer caring for the sick in their final days. I believe he deserves recognition for his determination to get better, not giving up & helping the very charity that gave to him in his time of need. He does everything to the best of his ability although not yet feeling able to return to employment due to his remaining disabilities.
    I am proud to call him my Dad and thankful to the donor and their family who are always in our thoughts. I also hope the donor would be proud of what he continually achieves in their absence.
Pre-School Carer of the Year
Tracy Graham
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    She has done an amazing job as a pre-school carer and room manager at Play Pitch Pre-school and as a child minder to nurture and help the children in her care to develop. She is dedicated to outdoor learning and children learning through taking risks and play. My son adores her and always gets excited on a Tracy day.
Champion Carer
Adam Jones
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    Adam has put his life on hold to care for his wife, who is very sadly bedridden. He goes above and beyond in doing everything he can for her, whilst still helping others out whenever he can. Adam & Sharon have two children, Kayleigh & Michael, who have also been amazing. Their lives have changed so much in the last few years, going from having a ‘normal’ family life to having to care for their mum. I’d love to see Adam receive an award because I know it would mean a lot to the family. Adam is awesome!
Star Teacher
Katharine Hatton
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    As a TA Katharine has a heart of gold, she is always there to off er advice and support when needed to both children and parents. She is an enormous help to everyone, she’™s considerate to the needs of the children and all of the children love here. She will go the extra mile to alleviate worries of children and their parents. She is ambitious and has a caring attitude and desire to make a difference in a young child’s life, she’s great!
Coach of the Year
Sheila & Alan Wilcox
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    Both Alan and Sheila set up the north Bristol running group purely to encourage as many new runners as possible in a fun friendly non judgemental group. I joined last April in the second of the successful beginners groups and now confidently compete in 10k runs. All ages and abilities are welcome. It’s an amazing inclusive group that has inspired so many to become more active. Sheila and Alan arrange and support the group every day all in their spare time whilst also having busy full time jobs. Money is raised to support our members individual charity races. They really are two of the most selfless people I have ever met.
Unsung Hero
Mary Abrahams
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    Since losing her son Ryan (aged 14) to SMA (spinal muscular atrophy) in February 2010, Mary has worked tirelessly to raise vital funds for Children’s Hospice SW and the Jessie May Trust – 2 charities that helped her and Ryan. She has raised £45,000 in the last 6 years and is determined to hit £50k by the end of this year. Despite her own personal heartbreak, Mary is passionate about supporting the children’™s hospice as they support other local families on very difficult and heart-wrenching journeys. Mary turns 50 on 3rd July this year and recognition of her efforts and achievements would be the best birthday present ever.
Parent / Guardian in a million
Nichola Palmer
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    Nichola is one of the most considerate, kind, thoughtful and caring ladies I’m lucky enough to know. I have known Nichola for over 10 years now, in the early days of our friendship, I learned that Nichola’s sister, who is a mum of two children has a long term condition. This meant she needed a lot of support with the care of the children, Nichola was always babysitting for them, taking them places, supporting them with school, bringing them to holiday activities, she was and still is an extremely proactive Aunty!
    Little did I know that the need for the children’s care would soon become full time and Nichola took the amazing decision to be that person to care! The one who would be a consistent role model for them, to love, nurture and guide them. To give them safe and important boundaries, to build their confidence and self-esteem, to empower them to become the beautiful people that they both are today, all whilst ensuring that they continued to have an extremely important relationship with their mum.
    Nichola is happily married to her equally amazing husband James, together they made the decision that they would take on the full time care of the children. They always knew that this would be life changing, they didn’t have children of their own at the time but were soon to become parents of three lovely boys over the coming years. Her niece and nephew however, were always made to feel a part of their family unit. It amazes me the level in which she went to ensure this. It takes a truly incredible person to do what Nichola has done over the years. I find it hard to do her story justice as I really am in awe of her. Something that I always admired is that she has continued to be a consistent support network not only to her niece and nephew but also to the rest of her family members, including her unwell sister. She has juggled family life to ensure she attended meetings about the care of her sister as well as health and medical appointments.
Young Hero
Claire Sirett
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    Claire is 16 years old and was diagnosed as Type 1 Insulin Dependant Diabetic when she was 8 – from day one of being diagnosed she has given her own injections. Last year Claire raised by herself £4,000 through car boots, selling gift wrap paper, cleaning, baby sitting, cat sitting, dog walking to go on a World Challenge trip to Malaysia and Borneo for a month with 11 other students. Whilst on the trip she experienced a community challenge of helping to make a ramp for a disabled lady, night watched turtles in a conservation project and trekked through the jungle all in immense heat and humidity which challenged her diabetic condition which she managed tremendously well.
    Claire now goes to SGS College and has just applied to join a charity visit for 2 weeks to a dump site in the Philippines, she applied and was shortlisted for interview and provided a presentation and has just been advised she has been successful and will be undertaking the trip in June 2016.
    Claire was selected by Boccia England to be a young official at the National Talent Camp at Loughborough University for 4 days in 2014 and invited back to the same event in 2015 but as a young Mentor.
    Claire achieved excellent GCSE results at school and is now undertaking a BTEC course in Health and Social Care for 2 years. She is currently undertaking a placement once a week at a elderly persons home specialising in dementia. Claire’s career ambition is to be a children’s nurse. Whilst undertaking all of these activities she also is a member of the SGS Sports Academy Netball Team as well as a team player for the Bradley Stoke Netball Team and works three evenings a week at Rowe’s veterinary hospital in Bradley Stoke to support the reception team. As a family we are incredibly proud of Claire, who shows that even with a chronic illness such as Type I insulin dependant diabetes, it doesn’t stop you living life and having a positive impact on those around you.