The town’s community heroes have been honoured at the Eastbourne Achievers Awards.
The event took place this afternoon (September 25) at the Devonshire Park Theatre.
All the nominees were invited to attend the community event with their friends, family and supporters. People of all ages were invited up on to the stage and recognised for their achievements.
The show was presented on stage by Keith Ridley and Melanie Adams. They told the many excited nominees, “We must stress that in our eyes everyone is a winner this afternoon regardless of the outcome.”
The Best Volunteer and Charity Group category was presented by Andrea Richardson from event sponsors Age Concern. The winners were RASCALS.
RASCALS is an Eastbourne-based support group for people with rheumatoid arthritis and related conditions.
They not only raise money for member activities but donate the proceeds of their fundraisers to other good causes.
Rachel Whitmore, daughter-in-law of the chairman Tina Whitmore, said, “Some of the member are very immobilised, with advanced rheumatoid arthritis, yet they still do their best to help others worse than themselves.”
The runner-up was Citizens Advice Eastbourne.
The Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Bravey, sponsored by St Andrew’s Prep school, was won by Eastbourne man David Pacey. The award was presented by headmaster Gareth Jones.
David Pacey is an ex-army commando Davis Pacey who witnessed a car cliff plunge climbed 400ft down the cliff edge to help save the man who was trapped inside.
Mr Pacey, who spent 14 years in the armed forces, was walking his dog with his wife Harriet on Beachy Head when the car came hurtling over the Downs and over the cliff.
David bravely climbed down on the cliff ledges to reach the car.
The runners -up were PC Vicky Bishop and PC Rachel Bourne both from Sussex Police, who fought a battle to save a badly injured man they found lying in a shop doorway in the early hours of the morning from bleeding to death.
The Sports Person or Team of the Year was sponsored by Mears and won by Causeway School Football Team, Year Eight.
The football team has received one of the highest accolades.
Louise Cook, headteacher’s PA, nominated the football club and said, “This school football team have combined outstanding teamwork with individual brilliance and hard work to bring a national football trophy to the town.
“This achievement has made the whole school and community proud and seen Causeway School go from a school with limited sporting success to the highest accolade possible.”
The runner-up was Michele Cavallin who won the TAGB World Championships in Tae Kwando in July for the second time.
Contribution to the Arts, sponsored by Nigel Greaves Gallery, was won by Eastbourne’s Underground Theatre. Nigel Greaves presented the award.
The Underground Theatre is run by a large team of hardworking volunteers and brings a very wide range of arts and entertainment to the community. Often events are free or at low cost.
The runner-up was Julian Sutherland-Beatson who organises Eastbourne Artists Open Houses each year in the town.
Best Community Person, sponsored by Fuscardis Ice Cream and presented by Marino Presce, was won by Peter Thorley.
He has dedicated his life to people who desperately need it. He spent two years working as a Beachy Head Chaplain before becoming involved with Oasis Christian Outreach, and when that closed down opening The Matthew 25 Mission.
The runner-up was Helen Burton who does community work in Pevensey.
The Best School, sponsored by Pomodoro E Mozzarella was presented by Luca Albertoli, and won by West Rise.
West Rise has a unique approach to teaching and is home to a million bees that are looked after by a dedicated team of pupils. And the bees are only the beginning. The children are also in charge of a herd of water buffalo, an assortment of farm animals, 120 acres of marshland, and the uncovering and rebuilding of the second-largest Bronze Age settlement in Europe.
The runner-up was Polegate School which has this year been awarded the Inclusion Quality Mark award, Centre of Excellence for the third time.
The School Star award, sponsored by Spice Garden and presented by Abdul Kadir from the Indian restaurant, was won by St Catherine’s College (formerly Bishop Bell) pupil Brandon Relph.
The teenager is making thousands with a business he set up based around popular computer game Minecraft.
The runner-up was Ratton’s care and welfare manager Jacky Pierce.
Super Senior was won by Jane Steen. The category was sponsored by Wellbeing was presented by Denise Greaves on behalf of a company representative who was unable to attend,
People Matter volunteer Jane Steen is in her 70s and has been a volunteers at the charity, which helps get people back in to work, for 13 years.
Over the past 25 years she has been heavily involved in with the Girl Guides movement in the Eastbourne area.
The runners-up were Age Concern bus drivers Hazel and Tim Jelly.
The Special Recognition award went to Sheikh Abid Gulzar.
The hotelier and owner of Eastbourne Pier has been nominated for his contribution to the town’s economy, maintenance of the town’s landmark and his work for charity. The award was sponsored by W Burfords was presented by Ashley Pugh.
The runner-up was eight-year-old Ellie Moran who had her hair cut off for charity.
Keith Ridley told the theatre audience, “I think you will agree it has been an amazing afternoon with some truly inspirational stories.
“On behalf of The Herald I would like to say we are all filled with pride at the stories of bravery, courage, determination and kindness that we have heard today.
“Everyone who has been nominated are true heroes of the community.”
Look out on this website www.eastbourneherald.co.uk tomorrow for all the pictures of the event. Reactions from the winners and photographs will all be in Friday’s Herald.