Isle of Wight Radio Local Heroes 2017 | Isle of Wight Radio

Isle of Wight Radio Local Heroes 2017 with Wightfibre.

The Isle of Wight’s Local Heroes for 2017 have been unveiled at a ceremony at Cowes Yacht Haven.

Scroll down to listen to the winners…

Congratulations to our overall winner (sponsored by WightFibre) Emma Cotter.

Overall Local Hero Emma Cotter from Layla’s Trust
Emma’s a mum who has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others whilst coming to terms with the loss of her own child. Emma and her husband Colman lost their baby girl, Layla Mae, in February 2011. She was just 70 days old and had been born with a very rare genetic disorder called Gaucher’s disease.

Overall Local Hero Emma Cotter from Layla’s Trust with WightFibre’s John Irvine
Emma set up Layla’s Trust in her memory. It aims to support Island families in need. In 2015, the couple welcomed their second daughter, Orla. Emma continues to fundraise and her work has led to the Trust donating £12,000 to the Rainbow Trust, to help secure a dedicated family support worker for the Isle of Wight.

Fundraiser of the Year Anne Taylor
Sponsored by Westridge Skips, the Fundraiser of the Year award has been handed to a “kind, caring, and compassionate person who tries to help others whenever and however she can”.

Ann Taylor is an active fundraiser who has donated thousands of pounds. She cooks meals for neighbours who can’t leave their homes and raised more than £30,000 in just 18 months, enabling the purchase a portable ultrasound machine for St Mary’s Hospital.

Our Emergency Service Person of the Year (sponsored by Long Lane Flooring) is the “professional and dedicated” Olivier Ghesquire who is described as “an outstanding vet, who will come out to any animal in need as quickly as he can.”

Emergency Service Person of the Year, vet Olivier Ghesquire
In one case, he was at an owner’s home within fifteen minutes of a terrier being injured in a fight with a number of other dogs. He carried out an operation on the kitchen table and the dog made a full recovery.

Netty Parsons is the Best Neighbour
Isle of Wight Radio’s Best Neighbour (sponsored by Medina Food Service) is Netty Parsons who runs the Links Trust and gives her time and effort to run a bus that picks up isolated people, transporting them to a variety of activities, including a door-to-door shopping service.

Ben Holbrook
The Inspirational Leader (sponsored by Inflight Peripherals) award was handed to Ben Holbrook, who has successfully led the Sandown Carnival team, bringing together people of all ages both during the carnival season and throughout the year. He is a volunteer in the Green Towns initiative and runs Sandown’s bonfire night event.

Island Roads’ Make A Difference In The Community award was for the group of inspired people who made Isle of Wight Pride a reality. Team Pride were honoured for their achievements in 2017.

Team Pride
The Isle of Wight’s Sporting Achiever (sponsored by the Island Riding Centre) is Ian Gregory, who has completed huge cycling feats in the name of charity fundraising.

Ian Gregory (centre)
In one challenge he cycled 16 hours per day for three weeks, including hill climbs the equivalent of twice the height of Everest.

Barry Hindson
The Ascensos-sponsored Customer Service award went to Barry Hindson, who is always ready with a smile and trolley at Sainsbury’s in Newport. Described as a “ray of sunshine” with a “cheery smile and a big hello”, he was rewarded for the difference he makes to what could otherwise be a chore.

Jo Richardson (right)
Red Funnel’s Tourism Ambassador is Jo Richardson, who has published a book to celebrate Isle of Wight food. She has sold copies in Australia and China.

Gayle Jackson
The Isle of Wight’s Inspirational Young Person (sponsored by The Needles Landmark Attraction) is Gayle Jackson who, aged just 16, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. In 2014, she moved to Sydney, Australia to study. Just a few months later she suffered a brain bleed and needed hospital treatment. It meant that she was forced to return to the UK. Just a couple of years later, Gayle has been awarded a first-class honours degree in Finance and Accounting from the University of Surrey and has already found herself a job.

Gayle Jackson (right)
Our Carer of the year (sponsored by Charmes Care) is John Clark. He was nominated by an Island mum whose son had an accident in 2014, aged just 8 years old, that left him with a brain injury. Ty’s finished primary school now, but John still takes him out on fun activities and continues to support the family.

John Clark
The event was hosted by Isle of Wight Radio’s Paul Topping and Emily Wells.

Paul Topping and Emily Wells
Isle of Wight Radio’s Charlotte Morgan caught up with all the winners and our MP, Bob Seely.

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