Video: Inspirational Ipswich heroine Dawn Garrett honoured at Stars of Suffolk awards ceremony

Dawn Garrett with her son Ashton, who went up on stage and bravely collected the award in his mum's

Dawn Garrett with her son Ashton, who went up on stage and bravely collected the award in his mum's honour - Credit: Archant

A “selfless, generous and inspiring” heroine from Ipswich has been honoured posthumously at this evening’s Stars of Suffolk award.

The glittering Stars of Suffolk awards night held at Suffolk New College

The glittering Stars of Suffolk awards night held at Suffolk New College - Credit: Archant

Dawn Garrett’s sad but uplifting story earned her a special recognition award at the this year’s competition held at by the Ipswich Star and EADT to celebrate ordinary people doing extraordinary deeds.

Dawn, who sadly died in September, after a lifelong battle with illness, had touched so many lives that she received no fewer than 60 separate nominations for the award.

“Dawn is an inspiration to us all, she is everybody’s hero,” one of her nominators wrote.

Despite her illness, Dawn threw herself into fund-raising for the Woolverstone Wish Appeal to help the oncology department at Ipswich Hospital.

She was also a devoted mother to her nine-year-old son Ashton, for whom she bought a card for every birthday until his 18th, knowing that her life would likely be cut short.

Dawn’s family had described her before tonight’s ceremony as a “selfless, generous and inspiring woman - one in a million”.

This evening, a tearful mum and dad, Janet and Ted, along with Ashton, brother Paul and sister-in-law Rachel took to the stage to receive the award on Dawn’s behalf.

Speaking after the presentation, Paul said: “It’s just a shame that she was not here to receive the award herself - we are very proud of her.”

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“It’s a very emotional moment,” added Ted.

They were among 200 guests including finalists, their friends and family, judges and sponsors at this evening’s heart-warming ceremony held at Suffolk New College in Ipswich.

Taking the crown as this year’s Star of Suffolk was Orford firefighter Jim Golder, who risked his life while on holiday earlier this year to save two children from drowning at sea.

“I feel very privileged and honoured to receive this award,” he said.

“I’m absolutely gobsmacked - I did not expect it at all.”

A a total of 13 winners in categories such as youth, carers and unsung heros were also awarded on the night, after judges whittled down a record-breaking 300 nominations to a final shortlist.

Guests were treated to a delicious meal courtesy of the students at Suffolk New College as well as a rousing performance from the Wattisham Wives Military Choir.