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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-31-03

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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Awards looking for 'ordinary' people doing extraordinary things

A national awards programme is on the hunt for exceptional people across Merseyside who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on society.  The British Citizen Award (BCA) is urging people to honour 'ordinary' friends and neighbours who do extraordinary things by nominating them for an award. Successfully launched in January last 2015, over 150 people have been honoured so far at 4 prestigious ceremonies, at the Palace of Westminster.

Previous medallists from Merseyside have included Kwong Ngan, of Liverpool, who has dedicated almost 4 decades to his local community; Pat Caffrey, of Walton, who has collected tens of thousands of Pounds for Woodlands Hospice; Denise Fergus, of Kirkby, who found the courage and strength to set up a charity to help others in memory of her murdered son; and Steve Mee, man who has dedicated almost 38 years to HM Coastguard.

Nominations are currently being accepted for the next round of medal presentations, which will take place, in July 2017, again at the Palace of Westminster. All BCA recipients receive a Medal of Honour, inscribed with the words 'For the Good of the Country.' Medallists are also invited to use the initials BCA after their name.

The British Citizen Awards were launched to honour the incredible accomplishments of individuals in society who positively impact their communities. In a similar way to the Queen's Honours, BCAs are awarded twice annually. But unlike the traditional Honours, which are often given to celebrities and high profile figures, BCAs are given to 'everyday' people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked.

Those who have received medals span the generations, with the youngest BCA recipient, Ethan Evans, aged just 14 at the time, and the oldest BCA recipient, Max Morris, of Surrey aged 105. Ethan was honoured after overcoming his own health challenges to go on to raising over ₤20,000 for a number of charities. Mr Morris has spent over 18 years collecting golf balls, which he would clean, arrange by brand and condition before boxing them up for sale in local charity shops. Mr Morris' dedication, which has raised over ₤100,000 for a number of charities, saw him receive his award.

Mike Faulkner, co-founder of the awards, said:- "The BCA has really captured the imagination of the public, who are nominating people who are having a massive impact on their communities and we are delighted as the programme continues to grow. It's been incredible to award remarkable human beings across the country and we look forward to honouring more exceptional people within our communities during this next round of awards."

Nominations from all corners of the UK, all cultural backgrounds and from all sectors of the community are being welcomed until the closing deadline on 7 April 2017.  Mike added:- "There are thousands of people across the UK making life better for others, who formally receive no recognition. The programme has been created to enable individuals across the country to nominate someone who they feel deserves recognition. We have nothing but respect for the Honours system, but believed that a more accessible recognition programme was overdue."

The awards have attracted support from several high profile ambassadors, including Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, actress and former EastEnders star Brooke Kinsella, former high court judge, Dame Linda Dobbs DBE, and TV presenter Bradley Walsh.  Sarah, Duchess of York said:- "The greatest kindness you can afford to give someone is to listen and it is with great pleasure that I have found the British Citizen Awards. This organisation listens to the citizens of this great country and not only hears the stories but rewards monumental efforts that would have otherwise gone relatively unnoticed."

The awards are in partnership with customer experience management company, InMoment, and are supported by the world's largest optical retailer, Specsavers; one of the largest property and leisure management, development and regeneration companies in the UK, Places for People; leading ethical law firm Irwin Mitchell; the UK and Europe's leading palletised freight distribution company, Pall-Ex, owned by BCAs Patron Hilary Devey; and specialist marketing, PR and communications agency, Lime Marketing; who will each have representatives at the awards ceremony.

Nominations are free and people can be entered into 1 of 8 different categories. All nominations will be scrutinised by an independent committee, with their choices passed on to an assessment panel for final ratification. Up to 30 nominees will then be shortlisted to receive an award. To nominate, email to request a nomination form, or visit:- BritishCitizenAwards.Co.UK to find out more. Nominations close on 7 April 2017.


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