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High Sheriffs Awards


The High Sheriff’s ‘Inspiring Others’ Awards
Annual Summer Garden Party, Edgbaston stadium, home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club - July 2016

The High Sheriff’s Inspiring Others awards is an opportunity to recognise some of those exceptional members of our community who have done extraordinary things to help and expire others, often coming from very difficult backgrounds themselves. 

This year’s garden party took place at Edgbaston Stadium, home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club. The afternoon started with a Kwik Cricket tournament where emerging young cricketing stars showed off their talent whilst guests enjoyed music from Birmingham Conservatoire students, and drinks on the sacred turf. The event continued withafternoon tea and the ‘Inspiring Others’ award ceremony in the stadium’s Warwickshire suite. 

The High Sheriff commented:“Many of our award nominees today have overcome difficult life circumstances and all of them give their time and energy freely to help and inspire others, and make a real difference to other people’s lives. It’s my great honour to present these special people with their ‘Inspiring Others’ awards.” 

The winners: 

Ramnik Uppal, who won the Wolverhampton Young Citizen of the Year Award in 2015, was nominated for her community work by the Rotary Club of Tettenhall. Ramnik was recognised for the positive impact she makes on the local community; she volunteers at a Barnado’s store, runs weekly sessions with dementia patients at a residential care home and is also an ambassador for ‘The Challenge’ with the National Citizen Service. 

Laura Bradley, who was nominated by the Mayor of Dudley, has volunteered with the charity CHAOS! since the scheme started over four years ago. During this time Laura has taken on a full-time teaching position, but she still gives up her summer holidays to give children and young people with disabilities across Dudley a summer to remember. 

Michael Hough was nominated for an award by the West Midlands Fire Cadets, where he volunteers his time as a Fire Cadet Instructor. As part of his volunteering work Michael works with young cadets from deprived areas of Wolverhampton, offering them support and educating them, he also helps with fundraising for the cadets. 

Charlie Fogarty was nominated by the Mayor of Solihull for the inspiring and motivating speeches he delivers across the West Midlands and throughout the UK. Charlie was a talented young footballer who had the potential of a professional career, however in 2012, aged 15 all of this was shattered when he walked in front of a passing car. Charlie suffered severe brain damage and was left in a coma for six months. Now, he devotes his life to inspiring and motivating other young people by delivering entertaining yet motivating speeches about his journey and life now. 

Daniel Gardner, who was nominated by the Mayor of Sandwell, went to the Sandwell Youth Employment Team as a young man with learning difficulties and no academic qualifications. Through the team he managed to secure an apprentice position as a grounds person in the Bereavement Services Team and has since gone on to become a full-time Cemetery Technician. 

Ahmed Nisarwas nominated in the community nominations for his work with Attock Cricket Club. Ahmed co-manages and coaches the under 11’s and last year led them to a 100% league win record. Ahmed plays an active role in charitable events and encourages youngsters to participate in the community. Last year, when the club was faced with the prospect of fewer nets due to the high cost of the hall. Ahmed sought to find sponsorship ensuring the club could provide high quality sessions without excluding anyone financially, he is keen to devote his time to give everyone a chance to succeed. 

Daniel Caddick is a Young Ambassador at The Prince’s Trust, he represents the charity at a range of events and inspires many young people to improve their lives by embarking on one of The Trust’s programmes. Daniel is passionate about the programme as it helped him improve is own life when he enrolled on an engagement programme after three years of unemployment. Daniel was placed on a four-week employment programme which then progressed into a 12-month contact and eventually into a full-time position with London Midland. 

Mohammed Ashfaq, better known as Ash, founded the specialist drugs and alcohol support project KIKIT. Having overcome his own challenges with addiction, Ash works tirelessly in the community through KIKIT to support individuals. This service now not only supports those with addiction challenges but also other important issues such as domestic violence, forced marriage and tackling extremism through the prevent programme and gang mentoring. 

Sanjay Omari Walters received an award after being nominated by the Mayor of Wolverhamptonfor his volunteering work with his local youth club. Here, he inspires other young people to take an interest in their own health and well-being and shares his expertise in areas such as basketball and personal training. Sanjay also takes part in interviewing potential candidates for roles in the Looked After Children’s Team such as Social Workers, Young Person Advisers and Managers. 

The High Sheriff's Awards will be presented as part of the annual Garden Party at the Library of Birmingham on the 23rd of July. This will also be the first opportunity to see and view the work by young people participating in the High Sheriff's Arts and Creative Programme, launched at the declaration ceremony.

Medals of Excellence – Inspiring Others
Summer Garden Party, Hagley Hall, July 2014

The High Sheriff of the West Midlands ‘Medal of Excellence - Inspiring Others’ recognises young individuals whose actions in their local communities have inspired and helped others.

Nominations were put forward by the Lord Mayors and Mayors from five of the seven mayoral regions within the West Midlands. Dr Tim Watts DL, the High Sheriff of the West Midlands was proud and humbled to present the following deserving individuals with High Sheriff Medals of Excellence and Inspiring Others Certificate:

Richard Fuller – nominated by her Worshipful, the Lord Mayor of Coventry: Cllr Hazel Noonan 
Emily Simmons – nominated by her Worshipful, the Mayor of Dudley: Cllr Margaret Aston 
Amy Bryan –nominated by his Worshipful, the Mayor of Sandwell: Cllr Derek Rowley 
John English – nominated by her Worshipful, the Mayor of Solihull: Cllr Mrs Kate Wild 
Daniel Eden – nominated by his Worshipful, the Mayor of Walsall: Cllr Peter Smith 
Leslie Lambert – nominated by the High Sheriff of the West Midlands: Dr Tim Watts DL 
Blind Dave – nominated by the High Sheriff of the West Midlands: Dr Tim Watts DL 
Stephen Sutton – posthumous award nominated by the High Sheriff of the West Midlands: 
Dr Tim Watts DL

Richard Fuller:

The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Hazel Noonan is proud to be nominating Richard Fuller for the High Sheriff’s Medal of Excellence - Inspiring Others Certificate

Richard has taken a year out to be an intern at a local church to work on youth and community projects. He runs the Duke of Edinburgh Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards, the Boys and Girls Brigades and two youth groups. He has a place on the Baptist Missionary Society’s visit to Thailand where he will work with disadvantaged people. He has to raise funds for this and is organising a sponsored bike ride from London to Paris.

Emily Simmons:

The Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Margaret Aston is proud to be nominating Emily Simmons for the High Sheriff’s Medal of Excellence – Inspiring Others Certificate

Emily started ‘We Socialise Too’ in 2012 for students at Dudley College with learning disabilities. Emily herself has moderate learning disabilities as well as co-ordination problems, so it was a really big achievement for Emily to accomplish. She does all the fundraising by herself so people at the group can go on trips and days out.

The group has been very successful and is now in its second year. Emily spends more of her free time working to raise funds for the group. Emily is also a buddy at ME&U, a group for young adults with autism and she is an Ambassador for Mencap.

Amy Bryan:

The Mayor of Sandwell, Councillor Derek Rowley is proud to be nominating Amy Bryan for the High Sheriff’s Medal of Excellence – Inspiring Others Certificate

Amy Bryan was one of the first apprentices at Sandwell Women’s Aid (SWA) when joining in September 2013. The Health and Wellbeing apprentice, who had volunteering experience with the Prince’s Trust, stood out as someone with enthusiasm, a willingness to learn and a great personality. Amy quickly started to shine as she got to know the women and children in the refuge and became a vital part of the activities.

Most importantly, she listened to women and demonstrated a tremendous amount of empathy and understood their trauma. Throughout the next six months, working within the family support team, she bought normality into the lives of children who had experienced domestic abuse, organising activities and ensuring they had something and someone to play with.

Amy has been a real asset; growing in terms of knowledge and skills and keeping her mind open to the learning experience - what she has achieved in the last eight months has been amazing. She has been a credit to young people. Her success has been so great that she recently secured a permanent position within Sandwell Women’s Aid as a Health and Well-being outreach worker.

John English:

The Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Kate Wild is proud to nominate John English for the High Sheriff’s Medal of Excellence - Inspiring Others Certificate

John has worked tirelessly and in a voluntary capacity for the benefit of young people in Solihull. Initially as an active member on the Youth Council and thereafter a prominent lead in the Young Persons’ group. 

He has freely given up his time to SUSTAiN, which offers a range of services for free to voluntary & community sector organisations, developing the “MyPlace” project and more recently volunteered for “This Way Up” (supporting young people experiencing significant change e.g. family separation or bereavement). He is now working as an Ambassador for the Greater Birmingham and Solihull “Talent Match” programme which seeks to help young people between 18-24 years old that are not in education, employment or training and have entrenched needs. John is definitely a role model for his peers, is a real inspiration to the community and has a great empathy and understanding of the needs of young people.

Daniel Eden:

The Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Peter Smith is proud to nominate Daniel Eden for the High Sheriff’s Medal of Excellence - Inspiring Others Certificate

Daniel has been completing a Level 1 course in Sport and Active Leisure at Walsall College and is quite simply an inspiration to others. He has been confronted with significant challenges due to physical impairments in conjunction with an illness as a child which has affected his physical and cognitive ability. Despite this, Daniel always arrives at college on time with a beaming smile on his face and ready to learn. 

He initially used a laptop and struggled to write due to paralysation in one side of his body. But he has overcome this disability and now regularly writes to avoid reliance on the computer.

During practical lessons Daniel has cultivated himself to address adversity head on completing fitness tests and fully immersing himself in team games. This demonstrates to other students that self-defeat is not an option and that anything can be overcome through perseverance and determination.

Daniel is a credit to Walsall College, and the wider Black Country community the is proof that struggles and perceived weaknesses can actually be transformed into strengths. The character of this student represents courage, and his desire to overcome adversity means he is unstoppable in reaching his goals.

The High Sheriff of the West Midlands, Dr Tim Watts DL is proud to nominate the following individuals for the High Sheriff’s Medal of Excellence - Inspiring Others Certificate

Leslie Lambert:

Charity stalwart Leslie heads up the charity committee at ESOS, a part of the Pertemps Network Group, and works tirelessly organising events and activities that benefit a multitude of deserving causes. Since 2009, the committee has raised almost £40,000 for charities on a local and national scale and was recently recognised by her colleagues at the annual Pertemps Awards, collecting the coveted ‘Community Award,’ as nominated by peers. Charities that have benefited from the fantastic work carried out by Leslie have included Fenn End Group Riding for Disabled Children, the Connie Watts Foundation, Make-a-Wish, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Midlands Air Ambulance, Children in Need and Comic Relief.

Stephen Sutton:

West Midlands born Stephen Sutton was diagnosed with colorectal cancer at the age of 15 in 2010. When the cancer spread to his liver and lungs in December 2012, it was determined incurable.
Stephen set it upon himself to use his time wisely and endeavoured to raise as much money as he could for Teenage Cancer Trust. The modest target of £10,000 in January 2013 was blown out of the water as his campaign grew with popularity every day, and his inspirational approach to his illness became the focus of national attention. By the following year, the target had been raised to £1 million.

In his remaining months, Stephen’s legacy became clear, with support from various high profile individuals, including David Cameron. At the time of his death in May 2014, he had raised over £3 million for Teenage Cancer Trust, and the figure still rises. Just before his death he was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire for ‘Services to the Teenage Cancer Trust Charity’. Stephen was an amazing young man, whose positive approach to life despite all touched the hearts of many.

Dave Heeley:

Inspirational father-of-three Dave Heeley hails from West Bromwich and has become a nationally recognised charity stalwart. Having been diagnosed with Retinitas Pigmentosa at the age of just ten, Dave became the first blind man to run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents in 2008. He has also completed ten marathons in ten days for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Further to his incredible sporting achievements, Dave also uses his spare time wisely inspiring others through his motivational speaking. The challenges Dave has encountered in his life have given him an extraordinary strength. His enthusiasm for life sparks emotion in any audience, and leaves them with the feeling that nothing is impossible.

Whether it is competing in a marathon, cycling hundreds of miles, a week-long trek or even flying a plane, Dave is up for any challenge and his achievements have been recognised far and wide. He was invited to carry the torch ahead of the London Olympics, took part in the opening ceremony of the Paralympics and was even presented with Freedom of the Borough of Sandwell. His surplus of achievements are remarkable for any person, but for Dave Heeley, he has shattered the challenges in front of him and completed some truly incredible tasks.


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