Finding Heroes

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This category honours those who care for others whether that is their own family, others in the community or provide assistance for the carers themselves. Meanwhile parents can share tips and advice on coping mechanisms. Taking it one step further Karen developed Carers United working with other parents in the area to provide services helpful for autistic children and their parents.

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Needing around the clock care David decided to give up his career to become her full time carer. It was a further blow when the day centre they relied on so much closed eight years ago. Not to be defeated David gathered a number of other volunteers and set up Future Choices which now runs ever Tuesday. The club offers pick up for carers and users alike, and offers both a little respite for the carers and an important social event in the week for those who attend. The charity group provides day care for people with dementia and support for their carers.

While they do have a small core team of paid staff they rely heavily on volunteers, including the voluntary management committee who all have first-hand experience of dementia. This category looks at some of the amazing achievements of fundraisers across the country, raising money for charities close to their hearts. Ten years ago Liz met a young boy receiving treatment for cancer.

He told them both about the Malcolm Sargent House in Erskine, a respite home for terminally ill children and their families. No matter whether it is rain or shine, and despite catching pneumonia four times for his efforts, Tom is there with his war medals and his charm. Linzi has a rare genetic disorder called Elhers Danlos Syndrome and intestinal failure, leaving her in pain most days.

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These are the hero mums and dads out there who are amazing parents to those around them who need them the most. Susan is mother to four children of her own, but has also been fostering for nearly twenty years. After working in a secure unit for teenagers Susan felt she could do more to bring the best out of the young people she worked with, in her own home.

Teenagers are the most difficult age group to place when looking for a foster home and placements are sometimes with only a few hours notice.

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Vicky is mum to two children, aged 12 and 5, both with autism. It is a daily struggle caring for their individual needs and living in the Highlands with no immediate family around them. Vicky set up the Nairn Play and Leisure Saturday Club for families who have children with additional needs to socialise and enjoy arts, crafts and games. Not content with stopping there she also set up Crafty Carers for parents to get together during school hours, enjoy some crafts themselves and talk about their experiences.

Now 20 Tom feels like one of the family and believes he owes everything to them. He is one example of the children Joe and Betty have fostered over the years, alongside raising three of their own children. These are our energetic heroes who give up their time and expertise to bring the community around them into the world of sport. In the heart of Glasgow there is a unique tennis club, one where anyone can take part, run by Carol Jones.

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A keen tennis player for over twenty years Carol wanted a club with no elitism. Every Tuesday Carol and her team of three volunteers run coaching and play sessions for those with mental health issues and learning disabilities. Painter and decorator Gregor Gardner combined two local judo clubs nineteen years ago to form the community club he still runs today. He dedicates three nights a week to working with players of different levels — competition players, juniors and the more recreational participants, including those with physical or learning disabilities. Following treatment for cancer Janice was left feeling over weight and despondent.

She turned to running to help her through it and having now run two marathons and raised thousands of pounds for cancer research Janice has decided to bring more people to the sport that helped her. She trains young people from the local high school, encourages the mums and dads to join in from the sideline and encourages locals from the community to come out and take part in a her Friday social runs. Honouring the people who live next door and who have shown remarkable dedication to their area, their communities and their neighbours.

John, aged 52, is works for the Glasgow Housing Association, but he has made the area he works in his own, becoming the neighbour that every one wishes they had! Over the years he has given up weekends to help residents with their gardens, paint fences and pick up groceries when they have been too ill or elderly to manage themselves.

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He has organised everything from cinema trips for children, Christmas presents for those who would go without and tea dances for the older tenants. He also spends most of his spare time raising funds for charities that are close to the hearts of those in the neighbourhood.

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Donna runs the local newsagent in her neighbourhood meaning she has an ear to what people need or want in their area. For the last twenty years she has also voluntarily run the local community centre to help keep underprivileged children in the area off the streets and provide a safe place with activities for the elderly, young mums and teenagers alike. Margaret Miller moved to Springboig when she got married — in This year she turns , making her a Hero Neighbour not just to this generation but to their parents, and in some cases their grandparents!

Every Monday Margaret is heads out the door to run the local Stroke Club, which was the first of its kind in Scotland when she set it up in These are the projects from around the country that making a huge difference to the communities around them and the people who use them. Based in Glasgow the charity runs music and dance workshops for adults and young people with a wide range of learning and physical disabilities. Aiming for inclusivity, no one is turned away and the workshops are open to anyone. Sessions range from one on one tuition to group workshops, dependent on need and of course it is not all just about music and dance.

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Paragon offers those who attend sessions a chance to put on a performance, as well as socialise and have fun. Social Bite is a sandwich shop chain with a difference. It is a not-for-profit business which aims to tackle social problems by donating all profits to charity. As part of their commitment to social equality at least a quarter of their staff are formerly homeless people.

Now, with the help of Social Bite, they work in either the central kitchen in Livingston or serve behind the counters in their outlets. The Coming Home Centre has grown from ad hoc meetings in church halls to a drop-in centre available Monday to Friday every week. Ex-service men, many of whom have suffered from conditions like PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder , depression or alcoholism, meet, relax and get involved in a range of activities.

Unclaimed or stolen bikes donated to the charity by Police Scotland are mended by the ex-service men and sold on. The profits are spent on woodwork materials and tools to allow them to also turn their hand to some woodcraft. Meet The Heroes. Ross Coniam.

Tragically, seconds after she was born we knew there was a problem. Jonathan McMahon.

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My sister Anna lost her daughter, Dora, not long after she was born on 14 January After her birth one of the midwives said Dora needed to go and see a paediatrician and let Anna hold her briefly before she took her away. Stuart Cripps Schnoor. On July 7th our little boy Otto was born sleeping.

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From that moment, our lives were changed forever. I remember thinking he would never get the chance to see the world, or meet his big brothers, Lucas and Victor. But we were lucky enough to cuddle him and spend some precious time with him. Jonathan Bird. When my partner found out she was pregnant, I knew our baby would impact my life, but I had no idea how big a mark our little boy would make in such a short space of time.

Wayne Dickens.