The South Wiltshire Hero Awards take place on the Salisbury Journal Facebook page tonight (Tuesday June 8) at 7pm.

The event will see Simon Weston CBE take to a virtual stage and thanks to the magic of Chroma key technology he will be able to introduce a variety of celebrities who each in turn will announce the three main categories of the event – the Medical Heroes, Emergency Heroes and Everyday Heroes.

There is a total of ten awards to be won, including the Hero of the Year, who will be revealed at the end of the presentation by sponsors of the awards MIPermit.

Salisbury Journal: Simon WestonSimon Weston

Paul Moorby OBE, Managing Director of MIPermit, said he hoped the awards would be a celebration of all those who had played their part during the pandemic.

He said: “So many local people, from all walks of life, all ages and all abilities have worked quietly in the background, helping our region through this current emergency.”  

Falklands veteran and hero Simon said he was really honoured to be presenting the awards and added he was excited to find out more about those who had been nominated.

“The heroes in my life are people you will never have heard of.”

Judging of the awards took place at the end of April, following three months of gathering nominations.

Each category will be introduced by their sponsor.

Paddy Bradley, Chief Executive of the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership will introduce the Everyday Heroes.

He said it was “a great opportunity to highlight the inspirational stories of people from all sectors of our community.”

Birute Bond from Bond Dental Clinic, sponsor of the Emergency Heroes category, said she was overwhelmed with the sacrifices many of those nominated had made.

Stuart Earp from the Milford Hall Hotel and Spa said their experience in supporting the NHS and Military workers during the lockdown made it even more poignant to support the Medical and Care Heroes.

Star-studded event

Three stars of television will join Falklands veteran Simon Weston for the South Wiltshire Hero Awards.

Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood will be joined by ITV’s breakfast television Health Editor Dr Hilary Jones and Bargain Hunt antiques expert Kate Bliss.

Craig’s professional training as a dancer began in his hometown of Ballarat, Australia.

Salisbury Journal: Craig Revel HorwoodCraig Revel Horwood

He later moved to Melbourne and appeared in a host of top stage shows and where he also began making occasional television appearances.

On arriving in Europe Craig joined the famous company at the Lido Du Paris as a dancer in Panache and then as principal singer in Formidable at the Moulin Rouge, finding himself a year later in the UK tour of Cats in Edinburgh and Dublin.

Craig also appeared in the original concert version of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR.

Television credits include The Royal Variety Performance and the Laurence Olivier Awards.  

Since the end of 1994, Craig concentrated on his directorial and choreographic career, but in recent years, has made a return to the small screen, appearing as a judge on the hit Strictly Come Dancing series.

Dr Hilary Jones is still a practising GP, he qualified in 1976 and among his early experiences was being an emergency doctor for the oil industry operating off the Shetlands.

Salisbury Journal: Dr Hilary JonesDr Hilary Jones

He began presenting educational medical TV programmes for British Medical TV in 1986.

Sky TV then adopted these programmes for their news bulletins soon after.

In 1989 he joined TVAM and following this he and Lorraine Kelly were the first presenters to be signed up by GMTV when it won the breakfast franchise in 1993.  

Born in Herefordshire, Kate Bliss was a pupil at Hereford Cathedral School and read English Literature at Brasenose College, Oxford.

After studying Fine Art to become a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Kate spent several years as auctioneer and valuer in Herefordshire before starting her own valuation business. 

As a Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain and diamond specialist, Kate has a particular interest in silver and jewellery and is a consultant with various auction houses.

Salisbury Journal: Kate BlissKate Bliss

As a regular antiques expert on BBC’s Bargain Hunt and Flog It! for over twenty years, Kate is proud to be a supporter of Herefordshire charities including St Michael’s Hospice, SSAFA Hereford and The Little Princess Trust.

The finalists

Readers of the Salisbury Journal and visitors to its website will be able find out tonight just who among those they have nominated have been chosen as the finalists and winners in the South Wiltshire Hero Awards.

Hospital workers, medical professionals and carers who have stepped up during the pandemic are among the finalists.

It will be a night when others are recognised too. They include child carers, first responders and those unsung heroes who might otherwise be in danger of being forgotten.

Anyone who goes to the Journal Facebook page at 6.55pm will see the countdown begin for the awards event, which is set to go live at 7pm.

And thanks to it being screened on social media, visitors will be able to comment and cheer on their favourites.

Here’s the rundown of finalists for the night:

Medical Heroes Category – sponsored by Milford Hall Hotel and Spa

Healthcare Team Award: Order of St John Care Trust, Bemerton Lodge; Stroke Unit, Salisbury District Hospital; Pembroke Ward Staff, Salisbury District Hospital.

Individual Healthcare Professional Award: Megan Rayner, Princess Anne Hospital Southampton; Jon Begley, Mental Health Social Worker; Claire Levi, Salisbury and District Hospital.

Medical Support Award: Jennifer Bryant, Sentinel Healthcare; Bianca Gilkes, There4u (Salisbury) ltd; Lynn Rodell, Salisbury and District Hospital.

Emergency Heroes Category – sponsored by Bond Dental Clinic

999 Heroes Award: Jim Twomey, Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service; Adam Khan, Wiltshire Air Ambulance; Dr Phil Cowburn MBE, South Wilts Ambulance Service Foundation Trust.

In the Moment Award: Captain Karl Williams, Army Boscombe Down; Kieran Thomas, Westbury; Brendan Smith, Codford St Peter.

The Young Hero Award: Talah Owen, Salisbury; Alfie Pawlak-Walsh, Amesbury; Keara Redding, South Wilts Grammar School.

Everyday Hero Category – sponsored by SWLEP

Best Key Worker Award: Bianca Gilkes, There4u (Salisbury) Ltd; Jennifer Bryant – Sentinel; I.N. Newman, Funeral Directors.

Unsung Heroes: Sarah Bravery, Splitz Support Service; Laura Tween, Able Hands Together; Helen Pessell and Terri Seaton, St. Michaels Community Centre.

Best Fundraiser: Louise McConnell, Salisbury; Ray Jorden, BulliesOut; Rotary Club of Wilton.

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