Still time to nominate your Citizen of the Year

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The deadline is almost here for you to nominate someone inspirational as this year’s Citizen of the Year.

But you still have until Monday if you think there is someone out there who is worthy of the title.

The Courier/Weekly News, the Brakes Trust - the independent supporters’ body for fans of Leamington FC - and sponsors Alsters Kelley solicitors are looking to reward those local people who really make a difference to our communities.

Mandy Spraggett nominated Stuart Kettell for his fundraising efforts, including his recent stunt of pushing a sprout up Mount Snowdon with his nose.

Mandy said: “Stuart has been fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support for nine years now and has done many mad-cap challenges.

“Stuart worked hard to gain publicity for every event to promote Macmillan and cancer awareness. His challenges are paid for by him and never come out of the money raised.”

Ellie Burges nominated her friend Debbie Wall.

Ellie said: “Debbie is such a kind caring individual, who shows care and compassion to those all around her, both in work and in her personal life. She will always go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that everyone who is lucky to be in her life, are left with the feeling of being loved and important. Debbie’s skills, care and empathy with the residents at her place of work with Care UK, haven’t gone unrecognised, by not only her employers, but also by her work colleagues and residents.”

Debbie also helps her mother who was diagnosed with Huntingdon’s Disease and hosts fundraising events for the HD Association.

Ellie added: “She is a rock, a real gem, and if you are lucky enough to call her a friend then you are truly blessed.”

Jon Holmes was nominated by Amanda Evans. She said: “Jon has been involved with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust since 1991 where his principal role has been the voluntary warden for Crackley Woods, near Kenilworth.

“During this time Jon has built up a team of local volunteers to ensure this woodland is managed for wildlife, providing positive and safe opportunity for local people to be engaged with their green space. Working close by Jon in his voluntary and professional capacity, he never falters in trying to ensure the nature reserves, parks and green spaces around Warwick District are well managed and rich in wildlife.”

Steve Atherton was nominated by Rob Hotchkiss. Rob said: “Steve is an excellent volunteer for Kids Run Free.

“He has been with the charity since the start and is always keen to help out with Kids Run Free, he also acts as an ambassador, telling everyone he can about the charity.

“He helps to provide free-and-fun running opportunities for children. His enthusiasm and commitment shines through and is reflected by the enjoyment shown by the children.”

Daniel Browne has again been nominated for his work organising Warwickshire Pride and running Push Projects. He was put forward by Sarah Thornton, who said: “Simply because Daniel is an amazing person and an asset to the town! Daniel promotes peace, tolerance, and acceptance in his hometown and beyond. I don’t know of anyone else who has done more for peace in Leamington and not been hailed for it.”

Bethany and Esther Taylor were jointly nominated in the under-16 category by Pete Walley, Pastor of Southam Community Church, for their fundraising activities which have raised thousands of pounds. He said: “The girls have raised money for the following charities, WaterAid and East Africa Crisis Fund.

“They work very hard on the days of the sale and in the huge amounts of preparation leading up to the event.

“Their events have become well known with people often asking when the next event is. They have given up their time and efforts to help others.”

Mia Beresford Ruck, aged eight, was also nominated in the under-16 category by Helen Smith. Mia is a friend of Coten End Primary School pupil Evelyn Smith who tragically collapsed and died aged seven

She said: “Mia wanted to do something to remember Evelyn and she decided to make Loom band bracelets to sell at school. She has raised £200 already and has orders for more. The money will be split between the Air Ambulance and the Blue Cross (animal charity) in memory of Evelyn. This was all her own work and idea. It has given comfort to her and other children at the school.

“I think this is a remarkable achievement for such a young person and all her hard work has made our family feel that Evelyn is remembered.

Kenilworth teenager Milan Patel has also been nominated in the under-16 category. His nominator Rash Patel said: “Milan, aged 14 was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and has battled three times with it. Each time it has returned he has fought through it. He is so inspirational.”

You can find out more and make your nomination by visiting or you can send your nominations to COTY, Courier/Weekly News, 32 Hamilton Terrace, Leamington, CV32 4LY. Please explain in no more than 250 words why your nomination deserves the award and please include your name and a daytime contact number. Nominations close on September 1.

The winners will be revealed at a gala awards ceremony at the Bridge House Theatre, Warwick School, on Friday September 26, from 7.30pm.

The evening will be hosted by Dave Sharpe of BBC Coventry and Warwickshire and features live entertainment from Warwickshire Young Voices, Amy Thomas, pictured above, Warwick School Band and Tom Barnwell.

All profits will be split equally between the Brakes Trust and the chosen charities, Macmillan and the Side by Side Theatre Company.

To order tickets visit or call the box office on 01926 776438.