Evening News Local Hero Award winners celebrated

Local Hero award winner Callum Skinner with Child of Achievement Cody McManus and Inspirational Young Adult winner Josh Manson. Picture: EEN
Local Hero award winner Callum Skinner with Child of Achievement Cody McManus and Inspirational Young Adult winner Josh Manson. Picture: EEN
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OLYMPIC champion Callum Skinner has been named this year’s Local Hero.

He was joined onstage at a glittering ceremony last night by winners from 12 other categories – who were all rewarded for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Around 300 people gathered in the city’s Assembly Rooms on George Street to celebrate the work of Edinburgh’s unsung heroes.

In his opening speech, deputy editor of the Evening News, Euan McGrory, said: “I always feel a little inadequate on these nights, seeing what so many of you do, day-in and day-out, often against incredible odds.

“Edinburgh is a beautiful city, but for me it is the people that make it such a fantastic place to live.

“Tonight is about celebrating the best of those people.”

Local Hero Award winners group 2017

Local Hero Award winners group 2017

He added: “Tonight is your night. It is all about you. I really hope you enjoy it.”

After receiving hundreds of entries, judges were faced with the difficult task of compiling a shortlist from which the winners were chosen.

Callum, from Bruntsfield, scooped the overall accolade for his outstanding sporting achievement at last year’s Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro.

The 24-year-old, who is a former pupil of James Gillespie’s High School, won gold in the track cycling team sprint and silver in the individual sprint.

Carer Award winner Iona Imrie with Dean Reilly

Carer Award winner Iona Imrie with Dean Reilly

He started his cycling career at Meadowbank Velodrome and has been dubbed the next Sir Chris Hoy.

After accepting his award from Sir Tom Farmer, one of the event sponsors, Callum said: “It feels incredible to have won.

“I think what made it even more special was the quality of the finalists we’ve had here tonight. They have done incredible selfless things for the entirety of their lives and to be awarded alongside them is just incredible. It’s great to be back in Edinburgh, it’s truly home for me. It was the catalyst that got me into cycling. It wasn’t just the facility, it was the people, the community we had here.

“The support is something I’m eternally grateful for.”

Local Hero awards 2017 bravery award winner Jodie Craig. award presented by Allison barr. Picture: EEN

Local Hero awards 2017 bravery award winner Jodie Craig. award presented by Allison barr. Picture: EEN

Among the other winners were Hibernian captain David Gray and inspirational carer Iona Imrie.

David Gray was voted winner of our sporting achievement category after scoring the winning goal in the 2016 Scottish Cup final, ending Hibs’ 114 year wait for the trophy.

Sadly, the Hibs star couldn’t make the awards ceremony but sent a video message expressing his gratitude.

He told the audience: “Sorry I can’t be with you tonight but I am very proud to accept this award.

“It has been a fantastic 12 months, not just for myself but for everyone involved, it’s been a real collective effort.

“Thank you very much and enjoy your evening.”

Iona Imrie, 20, was awarded Carer of the Year after her story moved the judges. From a young age, the student has helped to care for her elder brother who became quadriplegic after an E-coli infection in 1995 as well as her father who underwent a double lung transplant seven years ago.

But despite giving up hours of her time to care for her family, Iona still manages to study on an intense medical course at university.

Before breaking down in tears, Iona said: “It’s such a surprise to be here.

“I’m really happy, it’s just nice to see carers getting recognition.”

Other winners included eight-year-old Cody McManus, who was named this year’s Child of Achievement.

After discovering one of his friends wakes up to no toys on Christmas morning, Cody – a keen skill and style boxer – came up with the idea of a charity event of filling a boxing ring with toys to donate to other children.

He named it “Cody’s Christmas Toybox”, and he boxed eight full rounds and requested toy donations instead of sponsorship money.

This year’s leading charity was Team Jak, set up in memory of inspirational city teenager Jak Trueman following his own experience with cancer.

The charity aims to support children and young people with cancer and related illnesses, their families and friends and those bereaved.

The evening was hosted by Forth One star Arlene Stuart and guests were treated to entertainment, including performances from X-Factor star Caitlyn Vanbeck and the Edinburgh Dance Academy.

Caitlyn said: “I was so excited to perform.

“To be in a place filled with such inspirational people was a total honour.

“It was an incredible evening and well done to all the winners and nominees.”In his opening speech, deputy editor of the Evening News, Euan McGrory, said: “I always feel a little inadequate on these nights, seeing what so many of you do, day-in and day-out, often against incredible odds.

“Edinburgh is a beautiful city, but for me it is the people that make it such a fantastic place to live.

“Tonight is about celebrating the best of those people.”

He added: “Tonight is your night. It is all about you.

THE WINNERS

Local Hero Award

Callum Skinner - Double medallist at the Olympic Games

999 Hero

Donald McIntosh - A registered nurse who works with the ambulance service in his spare time responding to emergency calls

Bravery Award

Jodie Craig - Jodie’s gymnastic dreams were shattered when she was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome but she remained positive and now works for the ambulance service

Carer of the Year

Iona Imrie - Spends her free time caring for ill family members while juggling university work

Child of Achievement

Cody McManus - Came up with his own fundraising campaign for children in need on Christmas morning

Community Champion

Scott Glynn - Raised over £176,000 for 29 charities

Contribution to Local Sport

Alan Grant - Founder of the Fisherrow Bootcamp which has made a difference to dozens of people’s fitness

Fundraiser or Volunteer of the Year

Pamela Neilson - After losing her son Kai Laidlaw in January 2016 Pamela has raised £50,000 for charity

Health Champion

Julie Nisbet - Began the exercise sensation Clubbercise in Edinburgh

Inspirational Young Adult

Josh Manson - -Josh suffers from cerebral palsy and is a role model for young players of wheelchair basketball

Neighbour of the Year

Peter Walker - Assists his neighbours with any help they need from gardening to housework

School of the Year

Brunstane

Sporting Achievement

David Gray - Scored the winning goal for Hibs in the 2016 Scottish Cup Final

Teacher of the Year

Lorraine Hill - Puts in hours of extra work to help her pupils