Inspiring individuals took centre stage at this year’s Standard Champions Awards. Standard readers voted for winners from a list of nominees they had put forward who had all achieved above and beyond in their respective fields.
Winners and runners-up were presented with trophies and certificates to commemorate their outstanding achievements during the Standard Awards ceremony at Butlins.
After the votes were cast and counted a panel of judges from headline sponsors Centrica chose Suzanne Porter as overall winner on the night.
The Skegness and Spilsby Standards presented a special recognition award to Mark Smith for his work on behalf of the Ryan Smith Foundation.
Suzanne, who was nominated for the Senior Achiever Award, raised thousands of pounds for ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity with a pop-up shop at Hildreds Shopping Centre. The charity helped her daughter’s family after her granddaughter Rebecca Bignell tragically died in a road accident in November 2013.
The ‘super-gran’ fundraised for 11 days selling ABF Soldiers’ charity merchandise, craft items and bric-a-brac. She is now planning another pop-up shop in September.
Suzanne said: “When Becky died it was a pretty horrendous time as you can imagine. Within two days they had a funeral fund and the ABF gave £2,000 towards the cost.
“I wanted to give something in return and hoped to get the £2,000 back at least, but we doubled it. With Gift Aid they got £4,640, so it was brilliant, People were fantastic who gave and came in and bought the things. I had a lot of friends helping me in the shop so this award is for everybody really.
“On September 20 we are having another fundraising event in Hildreds and shall be having a tombola, selling books, and a field kitchen outside selling curry.
“I shall continue to fundraise for the ABF now – it is a brilliant charity. I am absolutely amazed to win especially the overall award, everybody here has done such wonderful things and this wasn’t just down to me,”
Special Recognition Award winner Mark Smith has fundraised and promoted cycle safety after his son Ryan suffered a serious brain injury after a collision with a van, while not wearing a cycle helmet. The Ryan Smith Foundation has been spreading the safe cycling message in Lincolnshire schools and raising money for brain injury sufferers.
Mark said: “The public support for the foundation has exceeded my expectations – it has been amazing. The award is predominantly for them, not me, they work tirelessly to raise the awareness of importance of cycling safer.
“What they have done is immense, to have 21,300 supporters now it is quite humbling. We have a long way to go, just like Ryan has. He is our inspiration. We hope to get legislation in Parliament for cycle helmets to be a legal requirement.
“However, for now, we are doing a great job in Lincolnshire, there are more and more schools advocating the wearing of them so we are making inroads within the local community.
“Ryan knows all about ‘Team Smith’ and doesn’t want any of his friends to go through what he went through. Ryan has taken over my life and any spare time is Ryan Smith Foundation time – we are making a difference so it is time well spent.
“After the accident I thought I could try to do something good out of something so tragic. This goes to show that the support is incredible, it is another fantastic award, what tells me people are listening. I just head the campaign everybody else is doing the work, this is for them.”