John Phillips of Ryde’s John’s Club was named Isle of Wight Radio and Wightfibre Overall Local Hero, at the annual Local Heroes award ceremony at Cowes Yacht Haven.
John was among the volunteers, sports people, selfless members of our community and those who have overcome huge challenges to change lives on the Isle of Wight, announced by Isle of Wight Radio’s Paul Topping and Georgie Carter.
Bullied at school and having spent time in children’s homes, John has gone on to foster more than 80 children and support hundreds of people through the Ryde charity John’s Club.
The Solent Youth Services-sponsored Inspirational Young Person award winner was the courageous and resilient Verity Baird.
Isle of Wight Radio’s Best Neighbour Award (sponsored by Pittis) was won by Sandown’s Pauline Evans. She does everything and anything to help her neighbours, from their DIY to gardening. Pauline, and the Medina Food Service Emergency Services Award was handed to Wight Search and Rescue (SAR) which receives no central funding and relies on grants and fundraising.
The Isle of Wight Tourism Ambassador award (sponsored by Beacon Magazine) celebrated Welcome To The Isle of Wight singer Derek Sandy. IW Radio’s Sporting Achievers (sponsored by 1Leisure) competed on the international stage at the Island Games in Gibraltar. They returned with 34 medals, including 11 golds.
The Customer Service Award (sponsored by WRS Systems) was won by Vera Mircescu, who ensures people at Mountbatten enjoy their final meals, having created a bespoke ordering service.
Kathryn Grimes took home the PC Consultants Fundraiser Award. In 2015, her husband Mark was diagnosed with a brain tumour. There was no support for someone in his situation, so she set up the Wight Brainy Bunch.
The IFPL sponsored Inspirational Leader was beach soccer’s Luke Kerr, and from knitting hats and scarves, to volunteering at homeless centres, Dot Perrett won the Making a Difference in the Community award (sponsored by Island Roads).
The Fidelity International Lifetime Achievement award was handed to Liz Bell, who set up the Isle of Wight Asthma Swim Group, transforming lives for 35 years.
Isle of Wight Radio could not choose between two amazing Islanders, so both were handed a Volunteer Award (sponsored by Mountbatten). Jackie Ramage, aged 86, volunteers at St Mary’s Hospital cafe, and Hugh Griffiths is involved in cricket and dedicates huge amounts of time to running and maintaining Newclose Cricket Ground.
The Carer award (sponsored by Charmes Care) was given to the team behind Care in the Garden, who used their own money to set up a community group in Wootton.