COMMUNITY STARS: Award-winners 2010

MORE than 7,000 votes were cast in the Herald/Gazette series Community Stars Awards, 2010.

Every nominee is a worthy winner but only one can take home the trophy in each category.

Best carer: Zoe West.

Zoe cared for Trudy Short for a year, after she had a fall 18 months ago and and needed care at home after spending eight weeks in hospital.

Zoe was nominated by Trudy’s husband Donald, who described her as marvellous.

Zoe works for Lighthouse Care in Sompting.

Runner up, June Binstead, was just one vote behind Zoe.

Best neighbour: Val Wright.

Val was described as lovely, by Mrs E. Evans, who nominated her, as she does anything for anybody in the neighbourhood, from making scones to knitting.

Star of the Community: Mark Yates.

Mark runs Littlehampton-based LA/UK, which seeks to offer hope to children, young people and families and to encourage and motivate them to fulfil their potential.

He was nominated by Susan Smith from Littlehampton, who said: ““He works tirelessly to help others, even in his own time. Mark and his co-workers should be recognised for the amount of help they bring to this town.

“Mark is truly a worthy candidate as a quiet star of the community.”

Best coach/manager: Lianne Weston.

Lianne, from Littlehampton, generously gives up her free time every week to coach 120 children in cheerleading, which is on top of her full-time job as an accountant.

She has taken her successful squad, the Sussex Tornadoes, to competitions across the globe, including at Walt Disney World in Florida, and has seen them achieve lots of success.

Best volunteer: Pam Tunbridge.

Pam volunteers in the Cancer Research UK shop in East Street, Shoreham and she also works in the 4Sight office and for the West Sussex Association for the Disabled Shoreham and Southwick Branch.

She organised to take members on holidays and also, on alternate Wednesdays, she is involved in volunteer work.

As Sheila Clevett, who nominated her, said: “Not bad for a lady 86 years!”

Best student: Beth Standen.

Beth goes to Durrington High School.

She was born with the right-sided hemiplegia form of cerebral palsy, but the 14-year-old has never let it stand in her way.

She was nominated by her tutor, Simona Trignano, who said she is an “amazing” and “inspirational” young lady.

Beth was just six votes ahead of Ollie King. Beth goes to Durrington High School.

Best school: Orchards Middle School.

Orchards was the nominee to receive the most amount of votes in any category.

Sports team of the year: Southcoast Zodiacs.

The team was nominated by Andrew Wicks, who said: “Over the last year they have volunteered themselves to help raise money for breast cancer research, Chestnut Tree House hospice and have made an outstanding contribution to the local community.”

Heath Heroes: Barbara Willett, nurse endoscopist at Worthing Hospital.

She was nominated by Kim Walder, who said she “goes beyond her job every day of the week.”

This category had the most nominees this year at 22.

Best friend: Donna Brierley.

Donna was nominated by her friend, Tolyna Read, who said: “She has always been there for me and she has given up her lifestyle and career to take on my daughter and disabled son when I was so close to losing them forever.

“She is a true inspiration.”

Outstanding bravery: George Dowell.

George, from Worthing, has been in hospital since April, after he was paralysed in a car crash on the A27.

He was nominated by his friend, Harry Shiel, who said his friend had coped with the situation amazingly well.

Second place went to PC Steven Hargrave, who risked his own life not once, but twice, to rescue people from drowning off the coast of Worthing. Jenny Carrington came third, for the way in which she has coped in the last two years after she had to have her leg amputated at the knee, because of diabetes, and she lost her husband.

Best shopworker/shopkeeper: The staff at Tesco Holmbush, Shoreham.

In second place was popular David Reed, from Tarring Village News.

True inspiration: Betty Tudgay.

The foster mum, 81, has cared for dozens of children over the years, and said she would never have said no to taking in a child in need.

She was nominated by one of her foster children, Corinne Crowley, who said thanks to Betty, and her late husband Jim, she could not have wished for a happier childhood.

Courageous youngster: Tom May.

Tom, from Worthing, was born with a rare genetic condition called Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, which affects only one in 10,000 babies.

As a result he has many health problems, including poor eyesight, hearing and learning difficulties.

But despite all this, he has always remained cheerful, according to family friend Caroline Morley, who nominated him for the award.

Second place went to five-year-old Sophie Nugent, who was just five votes behind Tom.

She has appeared in the Littlehampton Gazette many times over the past few months, as she has cerebral palsy and her family started an appeal to raise £40,000 to send her to the USA for surgery to help her walk.

Sophie had the operation in July, and it was a success, but now she needs intensive physiotherapy which the NHS won’t pay for, so her family are fund-raising once again.

Charity of the year: St Barnabas House hospice.

St Barnabas is in the final stages of its Building a Dream Appeal to pay for its brand-new hospice.

A group of 50 fund-raisers, including Herald reporter Sarah Dale, recently returned from trekking the Great Wall of China to raise money for the appeal.

Best teacher: Jamie Parkinson, from Orchards Middle School.

Jamie was nominated by nine-year-old pupil Lily Mansfield, who said he is absolutely awesome and always has time for everybody in the classroom.

Mr Parkinson is head of year four at the school.

Second place in this category went to Carla Porter, of Premier Dance.

Spotsperson of the year: Lisa John.

Lisa is a world champion tenpin bowler from Worthing.

Claire Allaker nominated Lisa for the award, describing her as a fantastic role model.

Second place went to cheerleader, Kerry Bishop.

See the 12-page Community Stars 2010 winners’ picture special in the Thursday, November 18 editions of the Worthing, Lancing, Shoreham and Steyning Heralds and the Littlehampton Gazette.