Glittering prizes for the people who helped make a difference

Leanne Owen.
Leanne Owen.

Inspirational people and businesses will be honoured for their achievements in the Yorkshire Choice Awards.

Nominees who will attend a glittering prize ceremony have been announced by the organisers of the contest, which was first held last year.

FUNDRAISERS: Emma McDonald with Louie and Freddie.

FUNDRAISERS: Emma McDonald with Louie and Freddie.

Among people shortlisted are Emma and Phil McDonald, from Ossett, have collected a total of £90,000 for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, Leeds Children’s Transplant Team and the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.

Their son Freddie was diagnosed with the rare Alagille Syndrome at four months old and in the last 14 months has undergone a liver transplant and open heart surgery.

Now four, he is due to undergo another heart operation.

The family has been nominated in the Local Fundraiser of the Year category.

Dr. Kate Granger.

Dr. Kate Granger.

Also nominated in the fundraiser category are John Haggerston and Sue Grayshon, who run Casey’s Fish and Chip Shop in Ossett.

They have served meals to homeless people on Christmas Day and raised money for Wakefield-based homeless project the Community Awareness Programme.

The pair are also nominated for Inspirational Individual.

Nominees in that category include Leanne Owen, from South Elmsall, who has Parkinson’s Disease and cycled 477 miles to raise cash to help people with the condition.

Sophie Carrigill competed for Great Britain in the Olympics.

Sophie Carrigill competed for Great Britain in the Olympics.

She raised more than £6,500 during Parkinson’s Awareness Week last April.

This year’s contest will include the Kate Granger Award for Outstanding Contribution, named after the late doctor who raised £250,000 for charity.

Julie Warren-Sykes and Eric Sykes, of the Samantha Sykes Foundation Trust, are nominated in that category.

The organisation, named after the late Samantha, aims to provide support to at-risk young people through education, mentoring, and pastoral care, and to inspire them to achieve their full potential.

John Haggerston and Suzanne Grayshon from Casey's Fish and Chip shop raised money for local Salvation Army, Major Keith Hockley and Major Alwyn Hockley. (w621a507)

John Haggerston and Suzanne Grayshon from Casey's Fish and Chip shop raised money for local Salvation Army, Major Keith Hockley and Major Alwyn Hockley. (w621a507)

Julie and Eric are also nominated in the Local Fundraiser Category.

Also nominated for the Kate Granger prize is former Wakefield Wildcats and Sharlston Rovers player Jimmy Gittins for his contribution to the State of Mind Charity.

Mr Gittins retired from Rugby League after breaking his neck in two places in 2002 and has since worked for the organisation, helping to improve the mental health of players.

Also in the running is Douglas Hird, of Wakefield, who took over as founder secretary of Shaw Cross Sharks ARLFC at 16-years-old and has held the position for 70 years.

Elsewhere, wheelchair basketball player Sophie Carrigill, of Wakefield, has been nominated in the Sporting Achievement category.

She was part of the part of the Great Britain women’s team at the last Olympics in Brazil and narrowly missed out on a medal.

RUGBY STAR: Jimmy Gittins is among those nominated.

RUGBY STAR: Jimmy Gittins is among those nominated.

Nominated in the Young Sporting Achievement category are Kippax Welfare under 14s Junior Rugby League club.

Horbury wedding dress shop Lace and Co has been nominated in the Independent Business Category.

Last year 88,000 votes were cast in the Yorkshire Choice Awards, which raised more than £8,000 for Martin House Children’s Hospice.

This year’s chosen charity is the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund, launched by Lizzie Jones in honour of her late husband.

An awards evening will be held on April 1 at the Centenary Pavillion, Elland Road, Leeds.

To vote in the awards, log on to www.yorkshirechoiceawards.co.uk

Samantha Sykes foundation trust banner.

Samantha Sykes foundation trust banner.