Winners are announced for the 2018 Amplifon Awards for Brave Britons.
Please read below the amazing and truly inspirational finalists in the following six categories: - Service to their Country, Against all Odds, Hero Pet, Young Hero, Charity Champion and Active Agers.
Service to their Country
Awarded to current and former military personnel and emergency services for outstanding bravery in the service of their country.
Mohammed Nadeem - Winner of the Category!
To the community on his beat, PC Mohammed Nadeem is a hero. And for one man in a freezing river in February, he is a life saver. PC Nadeem had only been in his job for nine months when he answered a call on his radio about a man in distress at the bottom of the banking of the River Irwell in Bury, Greater Manchester. As he arrived at the scene, the man lost his footing and fell back into the river. Without a moment’s thought for his own safety, PC Nadeem plunged in after him and for the next 20 minutes fought to get the man back to the banking and safety. He said: “I was wearing my full uniform but I never thought about the risk.”
|George ‘Johnny’ Johnson |
George ‘Johnny’ Johnson MBE is the last surviving member of the Dambusters raids of 1943 which was a top secret mission codenamed Operation Chastise which involved the bombing of three of Germany’s dams. On the nights of May 16 and 17, 1943, Wing Commander Guy Gibson led the then Sergeant Johnson and his fellow crew on an audacious bombing raid to destroy dams in the Ruhr Valley, the industrial heartland of Germany.
|Derek Henderson |
From the drama of life in the SAS, to the gentle landscape of the Yorkshire Dales – Derek Henderson’s life reads like a best seller. The Yorkshireman who started his career as a farmer, ended up involved in the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege in London where he was with the SAS Special Medical Team when Arab separatists held 26 people hostage, killing one, before the SAS stormed the building. The siege was captured by live TV cameras and seen by millions around the world. He then went on to set up state-of-the-art hospitals and medical centres in the Middle East, before returning home to take up a new career – as a dry stone waller.
Against all OddsAwarded to a member of the public who has overcome adversity to take on an exceptional challenge.
|John Volanthen & Rick Stanton - Winner of the Category! |
The first voice 12 young Thai footballers and their coach heard after nine days trapped in caves and the eyes of the world focusing on their nightmare was that of Briton John Volanthen. “How many of you?” he asked. “Thirteen? Brilliant”. It meant that finally, they had been found. John and Richard ‘Rick’ Stanton were in the cave after being called in by Thai authorities along with another British caving expert Robert Harper, a story which captured headlines and hearts around the world.
|Peter James-Robinson |
Peter James-Robinson died twice in hospital 18 years ago and was miraculously brought back to life from a coma after hearing his wife say to him: “We’ve got four children at home, we need you” even though she didn’t know he could hear her. He even heard nurses talking about the ‘dying man’. But he had no idea what was wrong with him. Somehow Peter’s mind and body reacted and he started to come out of the coma. Since then, and despite being wheelchair-bound, Peter has become an active member of his community, collecting thousands of pounds for charity and has taken part in 15 wheelchair marathons.
|Jordan Beecher |
Jordan Beecher is an army veteran who lost his leg while serving in Afghanistan and has now broken the world record for rowing across the Atlantic. He accomplished the feat almost three days faster than anyone previously with his friend Captain Jon Armstrong braving 40ft waves, pressure sores, and hallucinations before completing the 3,000-mile journey. They reached Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua, after rowing for a gruelling 37 days, eight hours and eight minutes from La Gomera in the Canaries.
|Kiko Matthews |
Kiko Matthews is a former teacher who survived two tumours and a life-threatening illness to become the fastest woman to row solo across the Atlantic. Kiko, 36, rowed her 21ft-long Soma of Essex for up to 16 hours a day sleeping in two-hour shifts and shaved almost a week off the previous record. She set off from Gran Canaria and rowed 3,000 nautical miles to Barbados in 49 days. She said she wanted to “inspire women to challenge themselves.”
Awarded to a dog or other animal who has transformed the life of their owner.
|Snowflake & Ryan McCabe - Winner of the Category! |
Snowflake is a four-year-old Staffy rescue dog who was taken in by a family who have a five-year-old-boy with cerebral palsy and epilepsy – and last year, she saved his life. One evening, the alarm on Ryan’s oxygen tank failed to go off but Snowflake raised the alarm herself by scratching and ramming herself into Ryan’s bedroom door and barking. Snowflake ran into the room, jumped up onto the specially made 3ft high bed and pulled Ryan’s tubes from around his neck with her teeth. When the paramedics arrived, they praised Snowflake’s quick thinking and said that if it hadn’t been for her heroic actions, Ryan would have died that night.
|Digby & Salim Patel |
Most people with a degenerative eye condition would opt for an assistance dog. Not Salim Patel – he is set to be the first person in the UK to receive a miniature assistance guide horse, Digby, due to his fear of dogs. A year down the line, trainer Katy Smith has now trained Digby to climb and descend stairs, press the button at a pelican crossing, open a train door, find a post box and lie down in a social setting. Salim said: “Digby will enable me to have a level of independence that I haven’t ever had before - he will change my life and we’ll go wherever we like, whenever we like.”
|Clive & Michelle Sutherland |
Cocker spaniel, Clive, was brought into the Sutherland family as a loving pet but after a chance meeting with Medical Detection Dogs at Crufts, he turned their lives around. Michelle Sutherland suffers from Addison’s disease – a disorder of the adrenal gland and after a particularly bad episode in 2013, she lost her confidence and was scared to leave the house. Following intensive training, Clive is now Michelle’s medical detection dog and is able to alert her to any decreases in her cortisone levels – a skill which prevents her from slipping into shock and has kept her out of hospital instead of in and out on a weekly basis.
|Scooby & Sophie Pearman |
Medical assistance dog, Scooby, saves his teenage owner’s life on a daily basis by preventing her from slipping into a potentially fatal diabetic coma. Four years ago, Sophie’s parents brought Labrador Scooby into the family at 8 weeks old. He had an extraordinary natural ability to detect Sophie’s condition and after more scent training, became Sophie’s medical assistance dog. The devoted dog has twice woken the family at night when Sophie’s blood sugars had shot up to dangerous levels during her sleep and the youngster has been taken to intensive care at William Harvey Hospital for emergency treatment. Scooby’s introduction into the family has meant that Sophie’s parents are safe in the knowledge that their daughter is being cared for 24-7.
Awarded to a young person under 18 who has shown outstanding courage or taken on an exceptional challenge.
|Adam Nash |
An 11-year-old schoolboy has tested his endurance time and again in a bid to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support after learning his gran has terminal cancer. Adam Nash, of Bournemouth, has raised £8,500, has completed several testing challenges including a 25km outdoor obstacle race called Runstock in Northamptonshire. Runstock sees competitors run a 5km course as many times as possible in eight hours. Adam targeted and achieved five circuits.
|Daisy Hooper |
Five-year-old Daisy Hooper has completed conquering the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest three times in seven months. Daisy, climbed the 1,850ft steep face of Pendle Hill – famous for its witches – for the 52nd time since February in aid of Pendleside Hospice. And she finished her climb, like she has the other 51, by cartwheeling along the track at the foot of the hill. Daisy is already planning another fundraiser for the Hospice next June when she hopes to conquer the Three Peaks – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon – in 24 hours.
|Daisy-May Demetre |
Eight-year-old Birmingham schoolgirl Daisy Demetre has become a star of the catwalk despite having both legs amputated when she was just 18 months old. Daisy who has prosthetic legs, recently featured in national fashion store River Island’s new range of sport and dancewear for girls modelling joggers and T-shirts. Dad Alex said: “Daisy has such drive and determination. She has a bubbly character and never lets her disability affect her fun outlook on life. She’s fantastic in the gym and is prepared to take on any physical challenge.”
|Freya Lewis - Winner of the Category and Overall winner! |
Freya Lewis, who was 14 at the time, was just three metres away from the bomber when the blast ripped through the Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017. Her best friend Nell Jones, also 14, who was walking out next to Freya died at the scene. Somehow Freya survived and now more than a year on Freya – whose battle has been both physical and mental – has undergone more than 60 hours of surgery and has learned to walk again. And amazingly in May, just a year after the bombing, she took part in the children’s Great Manchester Run, raising £58,000 for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where she was treated last year.
Charity Champion (Sponsored by Action on Hearing Loss)
Awarded to a volunteer, charity worker or fundraiser who has made a real difference to a cause they care about.
|Rob Pope |
Marathon man Rob Pope is a man on a mission – to finally finish his epic trip across America in the footsteps of Forrest Gump. The 40-year-old veterinary surgeon has already made world headlines when he ran more than 15,607 miles, the equivalent of 590 marathons, coast to coast across the USA four times in 422 days, emulating the Tom Hanks character in the famous film, and his efforts so far have raised £50,000 for two charities close to his heart, World Wildlife Fund and Peace Direct.
|Fiona Oakes - Winner of the Category! |
Fiona Oakes’s passion for animals has seen her tackle some of the most hostile places on earth. The world class endurance runner has taken part in the world’s toughest races – all to raise awareness and money for her animal sanctuary in Essex. From the toughest race on earth, the Marathon des Sales across the Sahara Desert covering 154 miles, carrying her supplies on her back in temperatures of up to 130f, to the Antarctic Ice Marathon. She holds several records including in 2015, running six marathons in six days on six continents. All for her love and dedication to animals.
|Lizzie Rosewell |
The mum of two was a captain in the Royal Artillery, served on the frontline in Iraq and lost friends in Afghanistan. But she went in the footsteps of soldiers from a different war when she decided on her running challenge – across the Western Front to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. She said: “With my military connection it took on extra meaning.” Cambridge graduate Lizzie, aged 37, ran 360 miles across France and through England, covering a marathon a day for more than a week. And she did it alone, carrying her 12kg backpack and camping en-route.
|Jean Bishop |
Bee Lady Jean Bishop is one person who gives her home city a real buzz! “We all love Jean; we all want to adopt her!” says Hull’s Age UK centre. At the age of 96, Jean still dons her bee costume and rattles a bucket to raise cash for Age UK and to date she collected more than £120,000 and vows she doesn’t plan to stop until she reaches £200,000. Jean, began volunteering for the charity when she retired 33 years ago and last year she was only the second woman to be granted the Freedom of Hull.
Awarded to an individual aged 60 or over who’s attitude and approach to ageing is an inspiration to us all.
|David Raeburn |
Now aged 91, David Raeburn is still a prominent figure around the Oxford University campus – a lecturer in Classics, directing Greek tragedies, translating and writing books and taking students on educational trips abroad. David is already planning next summer’s performance – an adaptation of a Greek comedy for Brexit. David said: “Although there is a lot of intensive work involved in what I do day-to-day; I don’t feel tired. What I do is certainly more of a hobby than a chore and being retired just didn’t suit me!”
|Norma Howard |
Norma Howard is the oldest female wing walker in the UK after setting a new record earlier this year in a fundraising effort for Dementia UK. After reaching the ground safely, Norma said: “I feel very relieved but also invigorated.” She’s no stranger to daredevil challenges. At the age of 80, Norma twice swam the equivalent of the English Channel in a swimming pool and eight years ago, aged 83, she sat on the handlebars of a 1925 Indian motorbike riding the Wall of Death, in her words, “Just for the hell of it!”.
|Bill Mitchell - Winner of the Category! |
At 74, Bill Mitchell has broken records and clocked up an impressive number of 227 races – 157 of which have been marathons and ultra-marathons including the Marathon des Sables, the toughest race on earth, beating Sir Ranulph Fiennes record as the oldest runner of the race by 8 months. Bill didn’t start running until he was 63 and reached his fitness level by slowly walking and then eventually running the same loop around his local park every day. Bill said: “I don’t do anything by half! I’m not a person who would be happy sitting around doing nothing – I enjoy having a target to work towards each year.”
|Ede Smith |
‘Ninja Nan’ Ede Smith – who has recovered from cancer – is training for her black belt in karate and can already flip a man three times her weight! Practising at local classes three times a week, Ede has won several karate medals and is currently wearing a brown belt with a target of gaining her black belt over the next couple of years. Not content with just practising karate, Ede has also dared to go parachuting and abseiling and has ambitions of wing walking before she turns 80. Ede said: “You’ve got to get on and live your life to the full.”