THE community heroes who help make the Island special are to once again be honoured, as the JEP today launches its sixth annual Pride of Jersey awards. Following an extraordinary first half of 2020, during which the true community spirit of Jersey shone through as Islanders pulled together throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the search is now on to find those ordinary people who spend their lives doing extraordinary things.
Nominations open today across the 13 categories aimed at recognising everyone from inspirational children to neighbours, grandparents and teachers. Last year we received more than 230 nominations, and a record-breaking 27,397 votes were eventually cast. And following the remarkable and heart-warming community efforts seen as Jersey faced the coronavirus pandemic, 2020’s awards are likely to be the biggest and best yet. Nominations will close on 31 August, and all individuals or groups nominated will be featured in the JEP. Islanders will then be asked to vote for those they think deserve to win, with the top three from each category going on to be shortlisted and invited to appear at the awards ceremony on Thursday 3 December. The winners will be chosen by a different panel of judges for each award, including representatives of the sponsor for that section.
Once again Dandara will be the event’s partners. More details about the venue and the hosts will be revealed in the coming weeks. JEP editor Andy Sibcy said: ‘2020 has been an extraordinary year. Our lives have been turned upside down by the pandemic, but while we have faced, and continue to face, huge challenges, the past few months have also brought out the best in Jersey. ‘For the past five years, the Pride of Jersey awards have showcased the amazing community spirit that is such an important feature of Island life and this year that spirit has been stronger and more visible than ever. ‘There cannot be a person, of any age, in Jersey today who cannot point to a genuine community champion who has helped others, in several cases saving lives. ‘Last year we received 234 nominations across the 13 categories and I anticipate that the number will be significantly higher this year – it certainly ought to be given the many, many people who have stepped up to serve their Island and their fellow Islanders.’ He added: ‘Throughout lockdown, our readers supported each other through our morale-boosting Jersey Together noticeboard and, a few weeks ago, the JEP launched the Celebrate Local campaign to assist the economic recovery and to shout about so much that is great about our Island and its wonderful community. ‘Today, the launch of the Pride of Jersey awards is another chance to celebrate and say thank you. Please help us to recognise the extraordinary contributions of so many unsung heroes.’