ORDINARY PEOPLE DOING AMAZING THINGS
Who captured Yorkshire's heart?
2019 YORKSHIRE CHOICE AWARDS
RAISING MONEY FOR BETHANY'S SMILE
Raising £300,000 to build Smile Cottage where families can go and spend quality time together when they are faced with the news of a short life expectancy/terminal illness.
Smile Cottage is in addition to Bethany's Smile supporting families with other things such as laptops, wheelchairs, desks, and chairs for bedrooms so school work can continue at home, roof boxes to allow easier travel when lots of equipment is required on holidays and also special travel insurance. Bethany's Smile is one of the very few charities where every penny goes to the cause due to having no staff and no overheads. Find out more at www.bethanyssmile.org
Congratulations to everyone nominated in 2019, you should all be extremely proud of yourselves.
AND THE WINNERS ARE...
Independent Business of the Year 2019
LMB Mechanical Services Ltd was established in 2007, they were originally based in a small office in Batley, with 3 office staff and 8 mechanical engineers. Due to rapid expansion, they moved to larger premises and now have a team of 55 mechanical and electrical engineers working on various projects throughout the UK.
LMB Group has grown from strength to strength over an 11-year period to our current turnover of £11,000,000. They are one of the leading employers in the Cleckheaton area. Their main focus is ensuring they give clients dedication, satisfaction, and professionalism from start through to completion on all the projects they undertake.
CARDS OR DIE
New Starter Business of the Year
Loafers Vinyl & Coffee Shop
Loafers are a vinyl record shop, located on the Rustic Level of the unique Piece Hall in Halifax selling new and used vinyl records, iconic music art work and serve incredibly good tea, coffee and other refreshments. They want to create a haven for all music lovers to visit, browse the vinyl, find a hidden gem, talk about music from across the generations and relax to the sound of a vinyl record.
The owner Mark and his partner are both amicable and nice people and will give recommendations of what coffee to try or if you are looking for something new to add to your collection. Loafers have demonstrated a huge passion for music and the creative arts, the local economy and the ongoing cultural revival of Halifax.
LEAP INTO LANGUAGES
WOOL COUTURE COMPANY
Business Woman of the Year 2019
Nicky has demonstrated a massive commitment and passion for the Piece Hall, in Halifax and to Calderdale generally, through her role is namely as CEO of The Piece Hall. Nicky is immensely proud of what her team has achieved since re-opening the huge gates of this iconic building, aptly on Yorkshire Day, back in August 2017.
It’s been an incredible journey, one of the immense challenges but also with some great highlights. To restore a historic building of this scale and importance was a huge achievement for all involved including a Royal Visit from Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, and having the chance to meet them and show them what The Piece Hall Trust has achieved with this beautiful building.
Business Man of the Year 2019
Alan Suttle is 40-year-old Director of Suttle Transport Services. After starting his career as an Apprentice Mechanic in Wetherby, he took his HGV tests and worked for various transport companies but was sadly made redundant. This only spurred him on to set up his business as a one-man driver hiring himself out to various agencies.
The work continued to progress, and Alan was able to take on other drivers. He now has a fleet of 20 plus trucks and vans handling contracts with the UK and International businesses, such as Johnson’s of Whixly and Stage One, who design, and manufacture stage sets for the Voice and Dancing on Ice. Well known for jumping in a truck at a moment’s notice, heading off to where ever the load needs to go.
Charitable Business Award 2019
Minster FM is a fabulous friendly radio station based in York, who all work very hard and are brilliant at being part of the community. The radio station contributes to various charities throughout the year, from Christmas Toy appeals, supporting external charity events and sharing fantastic story-lines of fundraising activities.
A certain lady called Victoria Charles stands out! She bends over backward for people and helps them the best she can, she organises a lot of community events locally for people to get involved, she really is an incredible woman and deserves recognition for all her hard, skilled, and amazing work she produces.
EMILY CLARK (ST GEMMA'S HOSPICE)
SPECIAL STARS FOUNDATION
Customer Service Award 2019
Thorpe Park Hotel
The team at Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa in Leeds consistently provide excellent service which is reflected in their guest reviews and local reputation. Despite repeatedly achieving high standards they are constantly striving to improve their offering.
The team recently won Best Luxury Fitness Spa at the World Spa awards, and the restaurant team awarded an AA Rosette, reflecting their customer-led focus. The guest is always at the heart of everything they do, and they hope to further establish a place in the Leeds market as the 'go to' destination for Award-winning hospitality.
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN TICKET OFFICE TEAM
PRIDE & PROVENANCE
Yorkshire Media Personality of the Year 2019
Starting her career at age 12 at Radio Aire in Leeds as a helper making tea for DJs, Stephanie soon moved up the ranks and was on the overnight show at 16. She’s appeared nationally on many radio stations and tv shows and best known for hosting Hit40UK, the former national commercial chart show, and the weekday breakfast show on Capital Yorkshire called Hirsty's Daily Dose.
Stephanie’s story speaks for itself. After living most of her life feeling she was trapped in the wrong body, Stephanie took a huge leap a few years ago to through the process of gender transitioning. Since then she has shared her story and supported others on a similar journey. She is an inspiration and demonstrates values we can all aspire to, such as integrity and authenticity.
CAROLINE VERDON & ANT ARTHUR
CHRISTINE TALBOT & DUNCAN WOOD
LUCY PARGETER & DOMINIC BRUNT
Inspirational Individual of the Year 2019
Rachel's husband, Nick, died in December 2017 after a 102-day battle with Motor Neurone Disease. He was only 38 years old. A legend of amateur rugby league, Nick played with Siddal ARLFC from the age of 8 making 400 appearances for the team. He played professionally when younger with both Leeds Rhinos Academy and Sheffield Eagles before embarking on a career as an accountant.
As well as trying to cope with her grief, and look after her children, Rachel was determined to ensure Nick had a lasting legacy, so she formed a charity in his name – The Nick Smith Foundation. Supporting research into MND, support young children who have to face the death of a parent and support young people to take up rugby league.
NORRISTHORPE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION STAFF
Local Fundraiser of the Year 2019
Homeless Street Angels
For the last 5 years, Becky and Shelley Joyce have been feeding and clothing the homeless in Leeds City Centre and Headingley. They have managed to rehouse a number of people in that time and fundraised to furnish each property to provide them with a home. Recently they had a personal tragedy and lost their Sister, so they set up Homeless Street Angels with a view to opening a day centre for the homeless called Abi House, named after their Sister.
Homeless Street angels now have a loyal group of volunteers that support Becky and Shelley each week, some as young as 8 years old taking to the streets each week to make a small difference. They hold numerous charity events, for example, a rucksack appeal which involved the north Leeds community wrapping gifts and toiletries to hand out to the homeless on Christmas Eve. Their efforts have been recognised by Lord Alan Sugar and featured regionally on ITV & BBC news.
Sporting Achievement of the Year 2019
Lucas is a multitalented inspirational young sportsman from Huddersfield. He’s a 12-year-old boy with Cerebral Palsy and takes part in wheelchair tennis, disabled horse riding, wheelchair racing, and framed football.
He is excelling in wheelchair tennis and has already won 3 medals for the Nottingham Open, Leeds and Grantham competitions and entered the Wheelchair Nationals in November and December. Such a massive achievement at such a young age. What an exciting sporting future this young man has ahead of him!
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB
Volunteer of the Year 2019
In 2008, on a night out with friends, Lauren was distracted and crossed the road without looking. She was hit by a van and as a result is totally paralysed. After the horrific accident in which she broke her spine in two places, as well as her pelvis, Lauren went on to spent 16 months in different hospitals in Harrogate, Leeds and Sheffield.
Despite still being paralysed and in a wheelchair over the last 10 years she has rebuilt her life. Lauren has now volunteers to speak in person about her unfortunate accident. She has spoken to more than 2,000 school children of all ages in the Harrogate area about road safety in the light of her own experiences. She hopes that by sharing her story and the reality of what your life can be like, it will make children think carefully about crossing a road safely.
WETHERBY CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
Volunteer of the Year 2019
In 2008, on a night out with friends, Lauren was distracted and crossed the road without looking. She was hit by a van and as a result, is totally paralysed. After the horrific accident in which she broke her spine in two places, as well as her pelvis, Lauren went on to spent 16 months in different hospitals in Harrogate, Leeds, and Sheffield.
Despite still being paralysed and in a wheelchair over the last 10 years, she has rebuilt her life. Lauren has now volunteers to speak in person about her unfortunate accident. She has spoken to more than 2,000 school children of all ages in the Harrogate area about road safety in the light of her own experiences. She hopes that by sharing her story and the reality of what your life can be like, it will make children think carefully about crossing a road safely.
WETHERBY CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
Young Achiever of the Year 2019
Seb was originally diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the age 3, he underwent three and a half years of grueling chemotherapy treatment. At 11, he was in his last year of primary school, looking forward to high school, enjoying playing football for the Guiseley Greens and you would never guess he was a cancer survivor. Sadly, at Christmas 2017, the leukemia returned, and he failed to respond to treatment.
He’s spent over 160 nights in the hospital, much of that in isolation not even able to see his brother and sister. He has undergone high dose chemotherapy, immunotherapy, full body radiotherapy, and a bone marrow transplant. He has bravely suffered the horrendous side effects of the brutal treatment and if he is lucky enough to be cured, he will have to live with the long term after effects of the treatment for the rest of his life. He is on a roller-coaster which is continuing to give huge challenges but in the eyes of all who know him, he is a true inspirational hero.
The Kate Granger Award for Outstanding Contribution
To give you an idea of the level of personal trauma she has had to overcome, at 19, she was diagnosed with bone cancer, which resulted in prolonged treatment involving chemo and radiotherapy and several operations to remove parts of her right leg and eventually the bulk of it. At the time,Vicki, was an aspiring sports coach training at Leeds Carnegie College - her dreams had to be put on hold. In addition to the life-changing effects of the amputation, the treatment left her with hearing loss and damage to her kidneys but what was most galling of all was the bombshell revelation that her bone cancer had been initially misdiagnosed.
In short, the chemo, the amputation, the resulting health issues, which she bares to this day, had all been unnecessary.
In the autumn of 2016, while recovering from ligament reconstruction on her ankle, she decided to attempt the Aspire Channel Pool Swim (the equivalent distance of the English Channel) and on the back of it, she was invited to join a team to make a real attempt on the English Channel. But tragedy struck again after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2016. Horrifyingly, the specter of her misdiagnosis at 19 came back to haunt her, after doctors said the disease could have been caused by the initial radiotherapy.
Vicki says. “I take the view that I’m still here so I have to carry on, to make the most of it “ Training for the Channel swim was an uphill struggle but it’s one she embraced with vigor and enthusiasm and in August last year went on to swim in a relay across the channel to raise money for charities close to her heart. She’s a phenomenal individual who certainly earns the nickname “Wonder Woman”
The Yorkshire Choice Special Recognition Award 2019
Like many parents, Claire Throssell carries her sons’ sports gear in the back of her car. Paul’s running trainers and Jack’s PE kit sit in the boot – but they have been there for a long time. For four and a half years, in fact – ever since the two boys were murdered by their father.
On that day, Darren Sykes, to whom she was married for 16 years, committed the most atrocious of crimes. In a pre-planned act, he lured 12-year-old Jack and nine-year-old Paul up to the attic of the family home with the promise of a new train set.
The boys thought their dad was showing them affection and trying to make an effort. But Sykes, along with Jack and Paul, only came out of the house in the arms of firefighters – whom themselves were left severely traumatised by the scene they faced.
Claire says “I couldn’t allow their deaths to be in vain. I had to stop another mum suffering as I had, stop another child dying needlessly at the hands of a controlling father.”
Since then Claire has campaigned tirelessly to stop unsafe child contact with dangerous perpetrators of domestic abuse. Due to her commitment and resolve, family courts are safer – it’s now mandatory for the courts to determine whether children will be at risk of harm from a contact order, and perpetrators are no longer able to cross-examine their victims in court.
No parent should have to hold their children and comfort them as they die or be told that their child has been harmed in an act of revenge or rage. There are often many facets to one family’s breakdown, and all too often children’s voices are not heard or acted upon.