A memorable 30th anniversary Your Champions Awards ceremony was held on the 17th November at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Chester, with Colin Jackson CBE the special guest of the night and awards presented by Carl Wood, Trinity Mirror and Stephen Stewart representing ScottishPower Foundation.
The initiative launched in 1987 as the Community Awards has always been jointly organised by Trinity Mirror Newspapers and ScottishPower and recently ScottishPower Foundation. It gives recognition to those unsung heroes of the community who go above and beyond the call of duty to make a difference.
Alan Johnson from Neston was awarded the Champion of Champion Award on the night for his tireless work in setting up Northern Lights Charity – also 30 years ago. It was initially named the Christopher Johnson Fund in memory of Alan’s 5 year old son who died of a brain tumour. Since then the charity has helped more than 500 children with life limiting illnesses have a holiday of a lifetime to meet Father Christmas in Lapland. A short video was shown highlighting his work, and a congratulatory clip from TV Dr Hilary Jones patron of the charity.
Earlier in the evening, the first standing ovation took place to honour Shaun Stoker, Overall Sporting Champion of the Year. Shaun an inspirational soldier, whose father was a SPEN employee based in Rhostyllen was blown up in Afghanistan, losing his legs and leaving him partially blind. The 26 year old refused to let it destroy his life and started lifting weights as parts of his rehabilitation. His aim is to complete for Wales as a powerlifter in the Para-Sports programme for the next years Commonwealth games in Australia.
Young Person of the Year was awarded to courageous 9 year old Max Johnson from Winsford who desperately needed a heart transplant and who became the face of a National campaign by a national newspaper to change organ donations law – and save thousands of lives. This led to the Prime Minister announcing at the Tory Conference that organ donation would be changed, and wrote to the youngster that she will be naming it Max’s law.
Weeks after his plight was highlighted a donor was found and Max got a new heart.