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Video/gallery: Community heroes and brave youngsters celebrated at Stars of Suffolk Awards 2014 at Suffolk New College

PUBLISHED: 23:21 27 November 2014 | UPDATED: 11:14 02 December 2014

All of the winners at the Stars of Suffolk Awards held at Suffolk New College. Photograph Simon Parker

All of the winners at the Stars of Suffolk Awards held at Suffolk New College. Photograph Simon Parker


Selfless volunteers and community champions were honoured at the sixth annual Stars of Suffolk Awards at Suffolk New College in Ipswich on Thursday night.

Andrew Beal, an experienced hill walker and climber of Trimley St Mary, took home the overall Star of Suffolk award after risking his life to rescue a fellow climber who had fallen 300 metres on to a glacier in Ben Nevis.

Fearing the climber had suffered a fatal accident, the 45-year-old scaled across a snow and ice stretch in the Scottish mountain range to reach the casualty, a mountaineer in his 60s named Dave.

Mr Beal had medical supplies in his first aid kit but had to cross the snow and ice twice more to erect a makeshift flag and obtain more support before any medical assistance could reach them.

Using a newly-purchased ice axe, he secured Dave to the hillside and administered first aid, before risking his own life by returning to the pathway to obtain medical supplies and clothing from Dave’s friends.¶

He then returned and they waited for the mountain rescue team to arrive. Mr Beal lied on top of Dave to protect him from falling boulders caused by the rescue helicopter.

Mr Beal suffered some injuries from the falling debris before they were flown to hospital for treatment. Both made full recoveries.

Mr Beal, who was also a joint winner of the Outstanding Bravery award, said: “It is astounding – I was not expecting to win the awards.

“I just wanted to help him and I hope someone would do the same thing for me if I was in that situation.”

Joint winner of the bravery category was Lee Lovering, who saved the life of Kesgrave High School teacher Jenny Acheson after her car plunged into a swollen river close to his home. He toor isked his won life to save the young teacher, who had just embarked on her career and there was an emotional reunion as Jenny thanked him publicly for saving her life.

Sixteen awards were given out at the glittering awards ceremony, which is supported by the Ipswich Star and East Anglian Daily Times.

They included two Special Recognition awards. One was given to Will Pooley, the volunteer nurse from Eyke who contracted the deadly ebola virus in August while treating patients in Sierra Leone.

The 29-year-old was flown back to the UK by the RAF and made a full recovery after being treated in a special isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

The second recipient of the Special Recognition award was the town of Hadleigh for showing compassion and support following the tragic death of three-year-old Rosa Simon, who died in a collision involving a van just outside her home in Canterbury Gardens in June.

Rosa had been playing on her scooter moments before the collision.

The community came together to offer meals, support and kindness to help the Simon family, and allowed them to grieve.

In an emotional speech, Paul Simon, the father of Rosa, thanked the town for turning their home into a “river of love”, adding: “We are eternally grateful.”

An eight-page supplement of the ceremony will be printed in Monday’s newspaper.

Below are all the winners (and nominees) of the Stars of Suffolk Awards 2014:

Carer of the Year

Sophie Goodswin

Ric Margerson

Neil Bowles (Winner)

Young Person of the Year

Chloe Reid

Lauren Boyt (Winner)

Bayley Pryke

Outstanding Sporting Achievement

Rory Marriott

Nino Severino (Winner)

Ipswich Basketball Club

Community Team or Champion of the Year

Canon Sally Fogden

Nathan Nobbs

Fiona Ellis (Winner)

Outstanding Bravery of the Year

Mason Fountain

Andrew Beal (Joint Winner)

Lee Lovering (Joint Winner)

Hospital/Ambulance Hero of the Year

Jamie Cocksedge

The radiotherapy team at Ipswich Hospital (Winner)

The specialist oncology breast team at Ipswich Hospital

Team of the Year

Voices for Gainsborough Library (Winner)

The head and neck cancer team at Ipswich Hospital

Felixstowe coastguard rescue team, HM Coastguard

Search and Rescue Person of the Year

Felixstowe coastguard rescue team, HM Coastguard (Winner)

Suffolk Accident Rescue Service

Suffolk lifeboat crews

Fire Service Person of the Year

Mark Webster and Ian Brown (Winners)

Chris Jackson

Volunteer of the Year

Anna Hayes (Winner)

Lorraine Galvin

Matthew Applegate

Armed Services Award

The Suffolk Coastal Active Communities Team and Army Welfare Team

654 Squadron

Suffolk Regiment (Winner)

Police Person of the Year

PCs Martin Didwell and Neil Wisken and their dogs Rhino and Kaiser

PCs Ian Watson and member of the public Darren Jenkins

PCs Rebecca Gardiner and Paul Osmond (Winners)

Unsung Hero of the Year

Sophie Hendin

Dr Andrew Mason (Winner)

Joshua Nelli

Overall Star of Suffolk

Andrew Beal

Special Recognition

Will Pooley

The community of Hadleigh

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