The shortlist for our ninth Sunshine Awards has been revealed.
We received some great nominations this year from our readers so thank you to everybody who took the time to nominate.
Such was the quality of nominations it was a challenging task for our editorial panel to whittle them down to a shortlist.
The Sunshine Awards are sponsored by Wright and Lord, and the winners will be announced at our Gala Dinner on Friday May 4 at the Midland Hotel.
The shortlist in each category is as follows, along with a comment from one of our readers who nominated them:
UNSUNG HERO – sponsored by Specsavers
“Pauline is a lollipop lady for Sandylands School in Morecambe. She is the most wonderful person and makes a difference to so many lives. My son started in reception in September and she has helped him so much, he wants to go to school every day and is adjusting to big school.”
“Paul who has been deaf from birth keeps our streets clean in Heysham with his trusty barrow and brushes. He can often be seen on Heysham Road in all weathers and in the village. Paul is always cheery and talks to people who stop him to thank him for his efforts. Paul deserves recognition for his work for the council and residents, now in his 70th year, still cheery and helpful to all he meets.”
“Hero builder Brian Turner pulled mum-of-two Julie Nicklin from a burning car at Asda supermarket on Ovangle Road. Brian, who works at Plas-Tech, reacted quickly to save Julie from her Smart car, which set alight as she turned the ignition at the petrol station. Brian, a dad-of-four, suffered burns to his hands, arms and leg but was back at work the same day.”
COMMUNITY GROUP – sponsored by Seatruck Ferries
* Morecambe Heritage Centre
“The group has worked incredibly hard over the past four years to put on excellent exhibitions. Countless visitors to the town, and locals alike, have benefited greatly from their efforts in creating fascinating displays, evidenced by the hundreds of positive comments encouraging them to keep up the great work.”
*Stanley’s Youth and Community Centre
“They support kids and adults, offer play schemes and youth groups, benefits and housing advice and the amazing food club helps individuals and families who have a low income.”
“More Music are a music and education charity and have helped thousands of youngsters. They have been delivering workshops, performances, training and festivals all around the local region for more than 20 years. Some of their events include the Kite Festival, West End Festival and more. Their founder, Pete Moser, is retiring this year after 25 years. More Music, based in the West End of Morecambe, has developed significantly since it was founded in 1993.”
SPORT – sponsored by X Force 3-1-5 Health Club
“Sarah is a fitness instructor in the area. Sarah really does make the sun shine on a rainy day, she is truly the most inspirational woman I’ve ever met. She has so much energy and motivation. I’ve never wanted to go to the gym so much in my life.”
“Sophie set up Morecambe Ladies FC 15 years ago and since then more than 100 young girls and women have played for the club. Sophie’s achievement has been amazing and she regularly receives emails and letters saying how the team has changed the lives of their daughters.”
ENTERTAINMENT – sponsored by The Greyhound Inn
*DJ Steve Middlesbrough
“Steve has been a DJ for thousands upon thousands of gigs in Morecambe and beyond. Last year alone he put on nearly 100 events in the town. He is so well known and has been responsible for some major events, he deserves recognition.”
*Morecambe Carnival Committee
“Organisers of the annual Morecambe Carnival which has been a roaring success since its comeback in 2014. Last year the carnival welcomed around 50,000 people to the resort as big-name acts Martine McCutcheon, Toploader and Union J took to the stage.”
*A Splendid Day Out
“The steam punk festival has grown and grown over the years and has become very popular thanks to the organisers. It’s a unique event which attracts thousands to our beautiful town!”
BUSINESS – sponsored by the Arndale Centre
“Since its opening in summer last year, Miogelato has been a popular choice for ice cream lovers. David Waddington runs the business with Jon Mole, offering homemade gelato in a variety of flavours. The Queen Street business also recently scooped the national best newcomer award at the National Ice Cream Competition.”
“Althams Butchers is one of the oldest and largest independent family owned and run butchers in the country and Morecambe. James and Richard Altham the great, great, grandsons of the founder run the business and like all good family businesses they are determined that the fifth generation make their mark! Planning consent has recently been approved to grant a state-of-the-art facility for Altham’s new premises at Hillside Farm.”
HEALTH HERO – sponsored by Holywell Care Group
“The charity was founded in 2009 by Denise Armer and Jane Halpin, two mums of children with disabilities. They are the only OFSTED registered childcare service for disabled children and their families in the area. They cater to helping with children’s health and well-being by offering children to spend their leisure time in a fun, friendly, stimulating and accepting environment.”
“Catherine is the head of fundraising at St John’s Hospice in Lancaster. Catherine represented the hospice on the Peru trek and goes above and beyond her role to support the charity which provide palliative care for a wide range of life shortening conditions in North Lancashire.”
*Maggie Thorne and Anne Craig
“Sisters Maggie Thorne and Anne Craig are both Rheumatology nurses at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT). They joined a team who trekked the Great Wall of China to help raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s.”
YOUNG ACHIEVER – sponsored by Lancaster & Morecambe College
“Rory, 12, is trying to help children with cerebral palsy who need Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery after he himself had the operation last summer to give him more control over his legs. Earlier last year, Rory’s Rhizotomy Riff Challenge saw musicians record their favourite music riff and post it to social media. The campaign raised more than £16,000 for Rory to have his op.”
“Cameron has Cerebral palsy and has campaigned tirelessly for the disabled in the area. The 16-year-old’s campaign has received national recognition and support from Lancaster MP Cat Smith and Morecambe actress, Cherylee Houston, who plays Izzy Armstrong in Coronation Street. Cameron’s successful campaign has seen dropped kerbs implemented in the area and stands at Lancaster Bus Station being adapted for the disabled.”
BAR/RESTAURANT – sponsored by Cross Bay Brewing Company
*Little Bare Micropub
“Little Bare has brought the community back together and really is the heart of the village!”
“It’s one of Morecambe’s oldest pubs and underwent a £1m transformation in 2015 – they are still doing a great service for the town. Not only does it do high quality food and drink but it also has a great outdoor area were the children are safe on the play area and the adults can relax.”
*The Palatine Morecambe
“Bru Wood took over the Palatine more than a year ago and he has turned it into a vibrant and live music haven with five nights of entertainment a week which is incredible for a landlord who has been in command just over a year. The Palatine also has a good selection of food and drinks and also recently held a themed Peaky Blinders night.”
CHARITY FUNDRAISER OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Hodgsons Chippy
*Robert Mee – Out In The Bay
“Robert has been working endlessly to organise Lancaster Pride with the help of his volunteers. This year has been a tough challenge to raise funds and he deserves recognition for his hard work. Out In The Bay is based in Morecambe and has been running for the past ten years to provide services to those that are often stigmatised due to their gender and sexuality.”
*The Peru Trek Team
“A team of more than 40 men and women have raised more than £200,000 for St John’s Hospice in Lancaster. The team completed a gruelling Peru trek which encompassed the Lares trail, reaching heights of up to 4,617m, three-and-a-half times the height of Ben Nevis, and half the height of Everest. They finished the journey at Machu Picchu, a 15th-century Inca citadel situated on a mountain ridge. Some braved altitude sickness and broken bones all in the name of the hospice.”
“Stuart is a popular Morecambe singer and doesn’t get credit for his charity work. Stuart is often seen performing in pubs and clubs around the town but what people don’t always see is his commitment to help charities.”
STUDENT OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Lancaster Royal Grammar School
“Megan Williams is a pupil at Morecambe Community High School and has progressed incredibly well. She was highly commended at the Lancaster and Morecambe Newspaper Education Awards.”
“Callum Bell gives back so much to the school not just inside but also outside the classroom. An example of this is during games where he will take the martial arts class as he has a black belt in karate. This remarkable young man is all the more remarkable when one realises that he does all this and yet only has one eye.”
This year we are supporting charity, Team Reece at our Sunshine Awards.
Team Reece aims to help children with cancer and their families.
All nominees have been invited to our Sunshine Awards and Gala Dinner.
Also on the night we reveal our Sunshine Ambassador Award.
The award is dedicated to someone who has brought glory to the town, and has not been open for nominations – it has been chosen by the Sunshine Awards committee.