Citizen of the Year Award – Thank You!

What a night!!!

The 2011 Citizen of the Year Award night was a fabulous evening packed full of entertainment and wonderful heart-lifting stories from the award finalists.

The winner of the Citizen of the Year Award was Steph Devlin, who, along with her husband, runs three soup kitchens for the homeless in Leamington Spa. Many congratulations to Steph on winning this award – your work and achievements in the community are truly incredible. Steph said she was surprised and delighted by the award: “A great honour for me as it comes on behalf of the community.”

Steph Devlin receives her award from Paul Crane. (Photo: Morris Troughton)

Steph Devlin receives her award. (Photo: Morris Troughton)

All of the finalists in attendance were interviewed by our MC Paul Crane, and were all generously applauded by the Assembly hall. The other finalists were:
– Claire Hamm, for setting up the community village shop in Gaydon
– Graham Taylor, for extensive fundraising for Myton Hospice
– Jayne Canning, for her work with the MS Society and Painting for Pleasure
– Fran Godwin, for his work at the Community Arts Workshop
– Ron Everett, for his work with the Warwick Girls Marching Band

Jayne and John Canning. (Photo: Morris Troughton)

Jackie and Ron Everett.

Steph Devlin, Geoff Devlin, Graham Taylor, Claire Hamm and Martyn Hamm. (Photo: Morris Troughton)

Once again, thank you and congratulations to all of the finalists. The judges had a very hard task selecting the winner.

Paul Crane, host for the evening.

The evening featured four acts which all went down a storm. Opening the evening were Tribe-Ulations, a tribal fusion belly dance group from Rugby.

Tribe-Ulations. (Photo: Morris Troughton)

The next act were Sorority from JayKays Dance Company in Leamington. Sorority performed choreographed routines to two songs, including Lady Gaga. (Translation: I’m far too old to recognise the other track but it had a good beat!). Their performance was sharp and tight, and was much appreciated by the crowd.

Sorority. (Photo: Morris Troughton)

The third act were something very special indeed, and got the crowd whooping and cheering along with the music. The Bodies and Co Fashion Show, led by Jenni Fuller, really was a fashion show with a difference. In their first set, the models showcased a number of outfits whilst other models danced dressed as Lady Gaga. Then, to a second piece of music, models adorned famous face masks from Mask-arade – including Bruce Forsyth, Simon Cowell and Harry Hill. This brought the house down!

The clothes shown were from Fascino Style of High Street, Warwick, for the ladies and Thorburns of Royal Priors, Leamington Spa for the menswear.

Bodies and Co only had 15 minutes at the Awards evening, but anyone who enjoyed their performance can see the full show at the Spa Centre on the 3rd and 4th of November. For tickets contact Jenni on 01926-492183.

Bodies & Co. (Photo: Morris Troughton)

The headline act, what can I say: The Sambassadors of Groove. Emerging into the main hall of the Assembly like a ready-made carnival, the Sambassadors brought the whole night to a close with an amazing performance. Light, colour, rhythms, grooves, dancing. Fantastic!

Sambassadors of Grove. (Photo: Morris Troughton)

The Citizen of the Year Award was organised by the Brakes Trust, in conjunction with Mask-arade, The Courier Series, and The Assembly.

Chris O'Nyan and Dean Walton from event sponsors Mask-arade. (Photo: Morris Troughton)

The charity to benefit from the evening was Help for Heroes, and it had been planned for Major Elizabeth Murray to present the winner’s trophy on behalf of the charity. However Elizabeth was in hospital at the time recovering from knee surgery, so her parents Alec and Margaret Murray (also volunteers for Help for Heroes) kindly stepped-in. We thank Alec and Margaret for this, and also wish Elizabeth all the best with her recovery.

We are very pleased to say that the evening raised in excess of £800 for Help for Heroes. Well done and thank you everyone.


Peter Davis, Chairman of the Brakes Trust, writes:
“The inaugural Citizen of the Year event was a statement that so many wonderful people throughout the town give their time freely to help make a difference. From the acts who gave their time, to the outstanding nominations, organisations, sponsors and those who bought tickets, all contributed to a most excellent evening of celebration and entertainment”.

The organising team would like to thank absolutely everyone involved who gave their time and efforts for free to this event, making it the success it was. We are truly indebted to you all”.

Here’s to the Citizen of the Year 2012!

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