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Saluting all your 2024 local heroes

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There was hardly a dry eye in the house as a packed King’s Lynn Corn Exchange heard stories of kindness, courage and amazing personal achievements as praise was heaped on the winners of the third annual Your Local Paper Local Hero Awards.Winners took centre stage at Wednesday’s emotional ceremony where selfless acts from people of all ages across West Norfolk were celebrated.More than 600 people attended the ceremony hosted by television presenter JJ Chalmers whose own journey is one of inspiration.

Your Local Paper Local Hero Awards winners with host JJ Chalmers and West Norfolk Mayor Margaret Wilkinson.

He joined the Royal Marines aged 17 but his career was cut short after he suffered life-changing injuries in a bomb explosion in Afghanistan.JJ, who has forged a successful career in broadcasting, told the audience about his challenging journey and what had inspired him to turn his life around. He suffered catastrophic injuries on May 27, 2011 and the quick actions of his colleagues meant within an hour he had been taken by helicopter to safety.

Your Local Paper Local Hero Awards J J Chalmers.

He said the amazing community around him saved his life. He spent weeks in hospital in England and then at a rehabilitation centre.He spoke about how the Invictus Games had given him inspiration and how he went on to bag a bronze medal and then gold in cycling crossing the line hand-in hand with his team mates.During the evening, JJ read a message from West Norfolk Council leader Terry Parish praising the amazing efforts of people in the community, who make a difference.

Jay Harrison.

Mr Parish said they don’t shout about what they do and their efforts often go unrecognised and unrewarded.“We think they should be known. We are delighted to be the headline sponsor of these awards which help to recognise and celebrate the achievements of our unsung heroes,” he said. In closing the ceremony, West Norfolk Mayor Margaret Wilkinson, one of the award judges, said: “I have been moved by the nominations we have seen tonight – some truly inspiring stories and I feel very privileged to be here to see the presentations.”

Tony Foster, neighbour of the year, with sponsors Freebridge Community Housing and host JJ Chalmers.

She said the awards, firmly established on the calendar, go from strength to strength and show “we really do have a community full of heroes”.She thanked all those nominated for doing “great things” in the community and thanked Your Local Paper for its “fantastic support” and for the generous sponsorship from local businesses.

Pamela English, carer of the year, sponsored by Rounce and Evans.
Jamie Shortland, emergency and uniformed services, sponsored by Iliffe Media.
Oliver Kenny, sportsperson of the year (Adrian Flux Insurance Services).
Adam Leech, work colleague of the year (Alive West Norfolk).
Tincy Jose, health professional of the year (WWSA).
Bharti Patel, volunteer of the year (Your Local Paper).
Melody Allison, young person of the year (Russen & Turner).
Paula Hall, the Chris Bamfield lifetime achievement award (West Norfolk Council).
Nikki Scott, triumph over adversity (Greenyard Frozen UK).
Bridget Wells, fundraising of the year (Duke’s Head Hotel).
Alysha Moat, teacher of the year (Learning Resources).
Dignitaries and guests with host JJ Chalmers.
Some of the audience.
The audience applauding a winner.
Young person of the year finalist Cameron Peters (front left) in the audience.
Waves and cheers in the crowd.
The audience applauds.
Your Local Paper Local Hero Awards J J Chalmers.

“As mayor I get to visit many businesses and organisations and meet so many of the talented individuals who really are making a difference. Thank you all for making a difference and for making West Norfolk a great place to live,” she said.

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