Wednesday, 26 October 2016

My column in this weeks Visiter

Friday night was awards night at the Gild Hall in Formby. This is a new and most inspired initiative from Formby Parish Council and got off to a brilliant start. There were twelve awards including Good Neighbour, Carer, Fundraisers, for Courage, Teacher, Young Person, Community Hero and Lifetime Achievement. The businesses of Formby had rallied around to sponsor the awards and local residents John Parrot, David Fairclough, and Elite Super Heavyweight Champion Alex Dickenson joined me in handing out the awards. The evening was expertly compered by Sandgrounder Radio's Neil Newton. A special mention must go to mother and daughter Maria Bennett and Dawn Brodie who led the team that made this event possible.

It is, of course, invidious to pick out any single award winner, all were worthy winners but I will risk criticism by focusing on the two young people who won awards; Hannah Ashby and Daniel Hunter. Both in their separate ways were inspirational.

Hannah was on holiday on a Greek Island with her family this summer when she witnessed at first hand the plight of refugees as they arrived. She was moved to do something practical about the situation and when she returned to Formby she set about fundraising for Unicef’s ‘Stand up for Syria’ project. In addition to other activities Hannah organised
a sponsored mile walk across the fields to mimic the excruciatingly long and painful walk from Syria to Bodrum that so many Syrian children have endured in order to save their lives. She is to be wholeheartedly congratulated.
The other young person to win an award was Daniel Hunter who received a standing ovation in the Gild Hall when his story was told. Daniel’s Mum had been diagnosed with cancer and she nominated him because of all the support he had given her. The list of household chores he had willingly carried out was truly impressive.
I saw more young people rewarded for their achievements when I went to Deyes High School Awards Evening. We so often hear negative news about young people so it was a delight to see so many students whose endeavours deserve praise.

I attended many other events this week including the welcoming of Rev Amanda Burns to Great Crosby, the Judges service at the Cathedral and tonight I am off to the Pride of Maghull Awards. It has been a positive and encouraging and there is a lot more information and photographs on

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