Pride of Jersey awards takes place

THERE were tears, claps and cheers when the Island’s unsung heroes were recognised at the fourth annual JEP Pride of Jersey Awards.

Thirteen awards were handed out across a range of categories, from Inspirational Leader to Teacher of the Year, during the event at Government House.

About 250 people packed into a marquee for the ceremony, which was once again hosted by Islanders former England footballer Graeme Le Saux and singer-songwriter Nerina Pallot.

Despite the dismal weather the audience cheered and clapped as they heard the uplifting stories about the community-spiritedness of the finalists.

And there was a loud applause when a special award – the first time it has been presented – was given posthumously to Rocky, a therapy dog who has helped cheer up vulnerable Islanders and children. He had been shortlisted for Community Champion of the Year, but sadly died just two weeks before the ceremony.

The Lieutenant-Governor, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, who opened up the grounds of Government House for the event, said: ‘It is a great pleasure to be among some people who do fantastic things for the people in the Island.

‘We are very privileged to live in a community where the people are willing and able to do such fantastic things.’

A total of 150 individuals or groups were nominated in this year’s Pride of Jersey awards, which were sponsored by Dandara. Following a public vote – where a record-breaking 27,700 votes were cast – the three in each category were shortlisted and the winners selected by a panel of judges who included some of last year’s winners.

Andy Sibcy, editor of the JEP, said: ‘These awards have a very important and clear purpose – to celebrate the remarkable achievements of Islanders, community champions, who go that extra mile, and then another, and another, to help others and to bring people together.

‘The awards celebrate ordinary members of our great community who do extraordinarily positive things. I have had the privilege of reading the reasons why our finalists here today have been nominated – and they are as inspiring as they are humbling and moving.’