Gongs are up for grabs in 10 categories and unsung heroes who live or work in the city and surrounding villages within a 10-mile radius can be put forward. Dozens of people attended the launch event at Poets House last night (March 4) as businesses, sponsors, civic dignitaries and former winners were present. Organisers have hailed the event as being bigger and better than ever before, with 26 businesses pledging their support for the feel-good community celebration. Naomi Sherwood, who is behind the event, said: “The impact in the community has been nothing short than phenomenal and we have received such amazing feedback. Who knows what a hero looks like? There is no need to wonder anymore as tonight we have several with us in this room.”
It was revealed that this year’s chosen charity will be Fen House who offer a rehabilitation service for people with cognitive, physical or emotional symptoms following a brain injury. A moving first hand account of the work that takes place at the centre was given by former patient Terry Wilby. He spent 12 weeks at Fen House after acquiring a brain injury following a sudden heart attack.
He explained: “When I was in hospital I didn’t recognise any family members and I was very low. Then when I went to Fen House my life was transformed over 12 weeks. I was so very, very lucky, and I owe it all to them.”
Award categories are Smiliest Server, Colleague of the Year, Caring Companion, Most Amazing Professional, Neighbour of the Year, Community Champion, Best Teacher, Child of Achievement, Sporting Hero and The Ely Hero. The judging panel will shortlist three nominations that will be invited to a glitzy award ceremony at The Maltings on July 1.
Judges include Councillor and Ex-Mayor, Lis Every, Ely tourism manager Tracey Harding and former hero nominee Stuart Green. Mayor of Ely Councillor Mike Rouse said: “The Ely Hero Awards has a presence in the city throughout the year and the effect of it spreads throughout the community which is fantastic to see. This is a very strong city and this event makes Ely what it is and brings it all together. Everyday heroes are all around us so get nominating them.”
Organised by drain care specialists Metro Rod Cambridge and helped by Infiniti Graphics – in partnership with The Ely Standard and BBC Radio Cambridgeshire – it is the third year running the community event. Editor of the Ely Standard John Elworthy said: “There are a lot of people who do amazing things in this city and this event has exemplified everything I think is good about community spirit. We are thrilled to be part of this.”
Business category sponsors include Infiniti graphics, Habis, Platinum Properties, Thorlabs and The Ely Gin Company.