Last night with a glass of wine and some snacks, I settled into watch the Pride of Britain Awards in association with TSB on ITV. It was the first time I’d watched the show with the rest of the country, and I really enjoyed live-tweeting with the rest of the Twitter community and it was great to see so much support for the brave, inspirational winners of 2017.
As you know, I’m a full supporter of looking after ourselves and our mental health, and shows like the Pride of Britain Awards remind us that no matter how hard life can be, we have the power to live our lives to the fullest. Happiness comes from inside, and our strength can overcome whatever life throws at us.
All of the winners this year were truly inspirational figures, but here are some of the people that really stood out for me. The very first award winner was a young four year old girl, Suzie McCash, whose incredible presence of mind helped to save her mother’s life when she suddenly stopped breathing and collapsed in their home. This FOUR YEAR OLD CHILD decided to call 999 , got an ambulance to come round and while waiting for the ambulance, went to the neighbour’s house for extra help. I couldn’t believe how mature and level-headed this child was and it just goes to show what children are capable of. A very proud mum, I’m sure.
Another youngster who blew me away was Moin Younis, who won the Teenager of Courage Award. Moin suffers from a rare genetic skin disorder and goes through hours of agonising treatment every single day, yet has one of the most charismatic and hilarious personalities I’ve ever come across. Though doctors informed his parents he would not live past his first birthday, the now 17 year old Moin is an ambassador for Acorns Children’s Hospice, offering advice and support to other desperately ill children. He is an incredibly funny, charming and strong boy; and proves that a positive attitude can truly change your life.
This year’s winner of the TSB Community Partner Award was Fraser Johnston, whose pioneering scheme, which gives isolated elderly people a new lease of life by taking them for invigorating countryside rides, has inspired millions. One of the community issues I feel needs more acknowledgement is loneliness in old age; many of us don’t realise how isolated some older people are and how important it is to take care of the elderly. After discovering that more than half a million older people only go outside once a week or less, Fraser spends every day out on his trishaw bike, taking residents of Scotland out for trips through the countryside. He helped set up the Cycling Without Age scheme in March 2016, and now Fraser and a team of 30 volunteers have taken out over 150 care home residents, all aged over 85, many of whom are immobile. I think this is truly amazing, selfless and inspirational, a truly deserved award, well done Fraser!
With so many terrible, scary and evil things going on in the world, the reason the Pride of Britain Awards is so important is that it reminds us of the good in our communities. The people that find strength in the darkest of times, and those who dedicate their lives to helping others. These people deserve recognition in a media-ruled world where only the bad is reported on, and are an inspiration to us all. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!