Finalists announced for the 2017 Amplifon Awards
Finalists announced for the 2017 Amplifon Awards
The Amplifon Awards for Brave Britons celebrate the achievements of exceptional people from all walks of life, of all ages and from all over the United Kingdom. To honour Charles Holland’s valiant actions during the Second World War, the awards celebrate acts of courage, bravery and incredible selflessness, showing them to be ‘The Best of British’.
The awards will be held at The Army & Navy Club, London on 17th October. You can read more about the finalists below.
Outstanding Military Bravery - Finalists
Awarded to former military personnel for outstanding bravery in the service of their country.
After losing the sight in his left eye when an Afghan soldier stepped on an IED, soldier Les rediscovered his love of climbing to help him adjust to normal life. In 2016 he abandoned an attempt to climb Everest just 500 metres from the summit to help another climber. Sunita Hazra was suffering from hypothermia and frost bite. Les gave her his spare oxygen bottle and helped her make the descent, saving her life in the process.
During World War II Johnnie piloted Wellington bombers with 150 Squadron. With the odds against surviving even one tour, he completed 30 operations and went on to do a second tour of 40 operations flying the Mosquito as part of the elite Pathfinder Force. He clocked up more than 2,000 flying hours and walked away from three crashes, a remarkable feat given that only 41% of Bomber Command aircrew survived being killed, seriously wounded or becoming a Prisoner of War. Still flying at the age of 96, Johnnie is the UK’s second oldest pilot.
Kim, a senior bomb disposal officer, was leading a route-clearing operation in Afghanistan when two devices tripped, leading to deaths of three people and injuring five others. Shunning safety equipment to save time, Kim carried out multiple manual neutralisations of the IEDs just metres from the injured soldiers. After clearing a path to safety, Kim and his team continued to search for IEDs. Locating 2 more, he set about clearing them as well. Kim became only the 74th living recipient to receive the George Cross for his bravery, which was recognised as “the single most outstanding act of explosive ordnance disposal ever recorded in Afghanistan”
World War II airman Tony was captured by German troops when his Wellington bomber was shot down and spent two years in prisoner of war camps in Germany, Russia and Poland. As part of the Long March in 1945, Tony and 30,000 Allied POWs marched across Poland and Germany for three months during a hard winter. Seizing his chance to escape, Tony walked for five days until he reached British troops on the front line.
Against all Odds - Finalists
Awarded to a member of the public who has overcome adversity to take on an exceptional challenge.
At just 21, Soldier Craig’s life changed when he was blinded in a grenade attack and thrown across the roof of a house after his unit came under heavy fire in Iraq. After being put in an induced coma and undergoing 12 hours of specialist maxillofacial surgery, Craig was inspired to rebuild his life by a veteran blinded at the Battle of El Alamein. Craig’s achievements include climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and McKinley, walking the Great Wall of China for charity, playing blind football in the Euro and World Cup championships and cycling 350 miles across France.
Paratrooper Al lost both legs after being blown up in an IRA booby trap when he was 21, and spent seven years undergoing treatment for his injuries. While taking part in an outdoor pursuits weekend someone suggested Al try a tandem skydive and following a training programme he became Britain’s first double amputee skydiver and the world’s first double amputee to learn to skydive post injury. He went on to skydive with the army’s freefall display team, the Red Devils, has won medals at national and international level and is one of the world’s best skydivers.
When teenage boxer Lee was diagnosed with cancer he treated it like any other fight, saying “I just need to knock it out.” His positive attitude gained him the support of his sporting heroes, and Lee auctioned their signed gifts to help raise money for charity. Three weeks after being given the all clear and still wearing a tube to deliver the drugs he needed, Lee completed a ‘Mini Mudder’ obstacle course – raising £4,000 to send a fellow patient to America for treatment.
Thea was one of the many police officers who helped victims in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena attack in May this year. At only 25 years old she had only recently completed her final training as a police officer when she was called to the explosion and was one of the first to the scene. Not knowing what she would be faced with and aware that part of the bomb may still be live she spent the night offering support and help to those severely injured in the bombing.
Police officer Wayne had just started his shift when he witnessed the terrorist knife attack at London Bridge. Charging one of the men with his baton, Wayne fought off three attackers so members of the public could escape. He sustained nine stab wounds to his head, leg and hand and temporarily lost the sight in one eye. Wayne says: “My partner asked why I didn’t run away but I couldn’t. I could see people on the floor dying and I couldn’t have lived with myself if I didn’t at least try. It was a good decision.”
Community Champion - Finalists
Awarded to a member of the public who has made a significant or inspirational contribution to their community.
Diane Scott is a fundraising force to be reckoned with. The 75 year old has helped to raise more than £3million for the North London Hospice in the past 19 years andhas been awarded an MBE for her efforts. She realised she was a natural at fundraising when she raised £128 in just two hours the first time she went out to shake her collection tin. She collected so much that she had to return to the hospice to empty the tin and was told it was the most anyone had raised in one go. From selling raffle tickets to organising large scale events, Diane is at the heart of fundraising for the hospice.
After she attended a call out in December 2012 to an elderly man who told her he had no one to share Christmas dinner with, paramedic Sara was inspired to organise a Christmas Day party for the elderly people in her community. Gathering donations of food and gifts from local businesses and roping in colleagues at the fire station where she’s based to help with organisation, Sara’s Christmas dinner has become an annual event with more than 40 guests – and a visit from Santa!
Tom and Jean Wood
Saddened by a news report about a young homeless veteran who had been attacked
When a hospital matron approached Grace saying “I’ve got a job for you” it was an offer she couldn’t refuse. Fifty years later, Grace, 94, is still volunteering with the Colchester League of Hospital and Community Friends, taking the hospital shop trolley round the wards of Colchester General Hospital every Tuesday and helping out at the tea bar at Essex County Hospital every Friday. Always ready with a cup of tea and a friendly chat, Grace says: “You don’t volunteer for what you get out of it – you do it for what you
Hero Pet - Finalists
Awarded to a dog or other animal who has transformed the life of their owner.
Hetty and Toni Brown-Griffin
Labrador Hetty is the world’s first dual seizure alert and guide dog. She’s made a phenomenal difference to the life of owner Toni, who has intractable epilepsy and went blind 10 years ago, meaning she needs constant assistance to live a normal life. Hetty’s help means Toni no longer needs her husband to act as a carer. Toni says: “I used to say I had epilepsy with a little bit of life, but thanks to Hetty I have life with a little bit of epilepsy.”
Patch and Bob Kennedy
Collie cross Patch is a friend and pet to more than 600 pupils at St Michael’s Primary School in Bournemouth. Working with his owner, headteacher Bob, Patch helps children with learning difficulties and emotional needs feel settled and secure, encouraging positive behaviour and building confidence. Patch loves to play and be taken for walks and as a reading dog also enjoys listening to the pupils read out loud!
Archie and Katie Purcell
Katie had broken almost every bone in her body due to blackouts caused by postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), but when she met Medical Detection dog Archie her life was transformed. Since the pair were matched in 2016 he’s alerted her that a black-out is on its way more than 1000 times. Katie’s been able to take up competitive swimming again and has represented Great Britain at the World Masters Swimming Championships. Katie says: “Archie’s shown me you don’t have to let your illness stop you doing everything you ever wanted.”