AWARDS have been handed out to Rugby’s best and brightest at the sixth annual Pride of Rugby Awards.
The winners were announced at Coombe Abbey Hotel on Friday (May 11) at a ceremony hosted by Rugby FM presenters Jason Moss and Liam Clarke and attended by over 300 people.
The awards celebrated the best businesses, individuals and community organisations across the district and their achievements.
Among them was Special Award winner April-Nicole Brown-Preece, a six-year-old girl who supports her older brother with additional needs, and has assisted in the care of her disabled grandmother while she lived in their family home. In May last year, she witnessed an armed robbery at her home, during which she remained calm and reassured a handful of her young friends as they hid in an upstairs room. And last Christmas, concern for a local homeless man inspired her to volunteer at her local soup kitchen.
A second Special Award was given to Thomas Wood, 17, who, since his father took his own life in 2016, has campaigned to help break the stigma of mental health, raising over £500 for Coventry & Warwickshire Mind in the process.
Another Special Award went to Charlotte Jolliffe, who has built a network of support for hundreds of bereaved parents through her charity Freddie’s Wish – raising over £80,000 in the process – following the heartbreaking death of her 13 month old son Freddie in a car crash in 2014.
Rachel Fordham won the Citizen of the Year award for her ‘inspirational energy and motivation’ in contributing her personal time to numerous charities in the Rugby area ‘without any expectation of gratitude or acknowledgement’.
The Long Service Volunteer of the Year award went to retired nurse Doris Froggatt, who was nominated for putting ‘tremendous energy’ into fundraising for the Friends of St Cross and Rugby’s Myton Hospice.
Ten-year-old Kieran Large won the Young Achiever of the Year Award. Rugby born and bred, Kieran is autistic and suffers from a rare metabolic disorder – but it does not deter him from raising money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, for which he has so far raised over £250.
The Rugby’s Pride Award went to The Bradby Club for young people, a voluntary youth club which works with local schools, colleges and outreach delivering classes in young persons substance misuse and consent, safer relationships, contraception, bullying, domestic violence and gender issues.
Steve Orchard, Chief Executive of award sponsors Rugby FM, said: “All sectors of our area – community, business and public – have supported us magnificently.
“These prestigious awards have grown to become the must attend highlights of the borough’s calendar. They are so successful because they provide a platform for what would otherwise remain untold stories. These stories are about achievement, citizenship, teamwork, excellence and community spirit.”
The Pride of Rugby Awards Winners 2018
Business of the Year with Rugby Fitted Kitchens
Winner: Opus VL
Small Business of the Year with Wasps
Winner: Solavia Fine Glassware
Business Person of the Year with The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce
Winners: Alison Quigley & Stuart Mackintosh
Hospitality Business of the Year with Rugby FM
Winner: The Tuning Fork
Town Centre Business of the Year with Think Design and Print
Winner: Mack Hair and Beauty
Team of the Year with Hafele
Winner: ConnectWELL Volunteer Team
Customer Care Award with Coombe Abbey
Winner: Dawn Hulley
Long Service Volunteer of the Year with GE Power Conversion
Winner: Doris Froggatt
Carer of the Year with The Rugby Advertiser
Winner: Andrea Coulson
Citizen of the Year with Handelsbanken
Winner: Rachel Fordham
Educator of the Year with Houlton
Winner: 29F Rugby Squadron Air Cadets
Young Achiever of the Year with Rugby School’s Macready Theatre
Winner: Kieran Large
Community Impact Award with JRP Electrical Services
Rugby’s Pride Award with Rugby Borough Council
Winner: The Bradby Club
Three Special Awards were presented to:
Charlotte Joliffe – Freddie’s Wish
April Nicole Brown-Preece
Photos by Jamie Gray.