They are the pride of the city

2011 has been a year where the achieve­ments, gen­eros­ity, kind­ness, courage and brav­ery of peo­ple in the city has been truly amaz­ing. ANN MOLYNEUX-JACK­SON looks back at some of this year’s Pride In Peter­bor­ough front pages.

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News -

ALL the talk of eco­nomic doom and gloom and tales of bro­ken Bri­tain that have been around this year are enough to make even the most op­ti­mistic per­son feel a bit down­hearted. But here in Peter­bor­ough we have much to be proud of.

In fact, The Evening Tele­graph has pub­lished more than its fair share of heart-warm­ing and in­spi­ra­tional sto­ries in 2011.

There was four-year-old school­boy Char­lie Ben­nett, who in­spired his class­mates to raise money dur­ing their har­vest fes­ti­val for the chil­dren’s can­cer char­ity CLIC Sergeant as well as Oak­dale Tre­ble 20 Club, a group for the over 60s.

The young­ster, from Stan­ground, has faced dozens of trips to hos­pi­tal and in­ten­sive chemo­ther­apy since be­ing di­ag­nosed with leukaemia last Novem­ber.

For­tu­nately, Char­lie was well enough to start the re­cep­tion class at Oak­dale Pri­mary School in Stan­ground this Septem­ber where his new friends were so im­pressed with how he has coped with the dis­ease, they brought in fruit and veg­eta­bles to sell and raised more than £100.

Jas­mine Knight is an­other in­spi­ra­tional young­ster who hit the head­lines this year af­ter she pressed the but­ton to start the Race For Life in the city.

The four-year-old, who is cur­rently bat­tling leukaemia, hav­ing been di­ag­nosed last July, sent the more than 3,000 women who took part in the event, which raises money for Can­cer Re­search UK, on their way with a smile.

Jas­mine’s mum Sue Knight, from Wood­ston, Peter­bor­ough said: “Jas­mine loved stand­ing on the podium and was as ex­cited as she is for Christ­mas and birth­days. She had been ill and was be­ing treated in hos­pi­tal at Christ­mas and on her birth­day which makes it ex­tra spe­cial.”

All the half marathon run­ners, wheel­chair com­peti­tors and those who took part in the fun run at this year’s Perkins Great East­ern Run raised thou­sands of pounds for char­ity when they hit the streets in Oc­to­ber.

But they couldn’t have done it with­out the peo­ple who helped to or­gan­ise the event and those who mar­shalled and cheered the run­ners on around the course.

A to­tal of 3,261 peo­ple took part in the half marathon and 1,171 in the fun run, while even more cheered them on as they made their way along the route.

There were many wacky cos­tumes in­clud­ing Steph and Tony Robin­son who dressed as cock­roaches, Damian Atkin­son who wore a full bomb suit and a team of smurfs wear­ing Peter­bor­ough United kits.

Amongst the run­ners were many in­spi­ra­tional sto­ries of peo­ple tak­ing part to raise char­ity do­na­tions in­spired by per­sonal hard­ships. Friends and fam­ily of Rob Davys, the ex­pe­ri­enced Bush­field Jog­gers club mem­ber who died while run­ning last year’s half marathon, took part in his mem­ory. His widow Sue and son Glynn both com­pleted the course.

Wheel­chair com­peti­tor Nikki Emer­son (23), from Lon­don, also got to the fin­ish­ing line de­spite two punc­tures.

Mem­bers of Whit­tle­sey Ju­niors Un­der 8s foot­ball team took part in a char­ity match in mem­ory of team mem­ber Ja­cob Clifton’s mum Leanne, who died ear­lier this year af­ter a long bat­tle with can­cer.

The money was raised for the town’s Jen­ner Health Cen­tre, which of­fered sup­port for Leanne and her fam­ily and respite care.

A team in­clud­ing un­der 8s coach Ady Barkess and some of the play­ers’ dads took on a team made up of man­agers and as­sis­tants.

The boys took on a man­age­rial role for the event, pick­ing the teams, mak­ing the sub­sti­tu­tions and do­ing the half-time team talk. Then they took buck­ets round col­lect­ing spare change from vis­i­tors.

The gen­eros­ity of young­sters in the city has also ex­tended over­seas.

Chil­dren from Jack Hunt School in Nether­ton, Peter­bor­ough, helped to change the lives of or­phaned young­sters at The Bethany School in Watamu, Kenya

by do­nat­ing a ship­ment of toys, books and clothes.

The Year 9 pupils made toys, puz­zles and games as part of their prod­uct de­sign course to send to the African school, and then fol­low­ing an ap­peal made by the school in The Evening Tele­graph, gen­er­ous read­ers also do­nated un­wanted books and cloth­ing, while Peter­bor­ough United gave a num­ber of foot­ball kits. These were shipped to Kenya in boxes do­nated by Ar­madillo Self Stor­age.

Stu­dents Cather­ine Hurst and Char­lotte Gray put to­gether a thought-pro­vok­ing project which turned heads and moved shop­pers to tears in Queens­gate in the run up to Re­mem­brance Day.

Cather­ine (17) and Char­lotte (21), from Peter­bor­ough Re­gional Col­lege, were vol­un­teer­ing with char­ity Young Lives when they worked on the Poppy Ap­peal dis­play, which dom­i­nated the main court in the shop­ping cen­tre.

It fea­tured a ring of 10,000 red pa­per pop­pies, do­nated by the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion, and pages from the Evening Tele­graph. Passers-by were able to write mes­sages on card which was then added to the dis­play. Many also made do­na­tions to one of the three char­i­ties the stu­dents had nom­i­nated – Help for He­roes, the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion and Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil War Me­mo­rial, and Young Lives.

Buzz Lightyear, Bat­man and a big baby were among the char­ac­ters seen bright­en­ing up Peter­bor­ough city cen­tre as chil­dren’s dis­abil­ity char­ity Fam­ily Voice joined to­gether with the Peter­bor­ough and District Deaf Chil­dren’s So­ci­ety for a fund-rais­ing drive.

The char­i­ties proved a colour­ful bunch as they got plenty of at­ten­tion from shop­pers and passers-by and raised £522 which was split equally be­tween the two char­i­ties.

Mem­bers of the char­ity also raised £1,000 for the Ru­dolf Fund with a men’s wax­ing event and a spon­sored sky­dive in the sum­mer.

Amanda Keedy, whose hus­band Paul died of a sus­pected asthma

at­tack at the age of just 39, has spent the months since the tragedy rais­ing money for the char­ity Asthma UK.

With the help of fam­ily mem­bers, she held a trib­ute evening in his mem­ory at Peter­bor­ough Grey­hound Sta­dium and col­lected money at the Bret­ton Fes­ti­val.

The fact that 80-year-old Mal­colm Smith had lost sev­eral fam­ily mem­bers to can­cer in­spired him to do­nate the £1,200 pro­ceeds from his book about grow­ing up near the brick yards in Flet­ton, Peter­bor­ough, to a good cause.

Pro­ceeds from sales of his book, Once A Flet­ton Brick, Al­ways A Flet­ton Brick, have been split be­tween Sue Ry­der - Thorpe Hall Hospice and Can­cer Re­search UK.

He said: “I sadly lost my daugh­ter to cer­vi­cal can­cer, at 39 years old.

“Many of my fam­ily have died of can­cer so the do­na­tion to Can­cer Re­search is in their mem­ory. My step­brother Wal­ter John­son died in the Thorpe Hall Hospice.”

Mr Smith, of Mel­rose Drive, Peter­bor­ough, has sold more than 200 copies of the book and has had to pub­lish more to meet de­mand.

Sky­div­ing gran­dad Brian Jen­nings didn’t let his age or a fear of heights stand in the way of his char­i­ta­ble ef­forts for Age UK.

Brian, aged 82, from Yax­ley, near Peter­bor­ough de­lighted the or­gan­is­ers of a char­ity tan­dem sky­dive – safe­lo­cal­trade.com – by sign­ing up to their team.

Then, with­out show­ing any nerves, he jumped out of a light air­craft at 13,000 feet above Sib­son Air­field, near Peter­bor­ough.

Char­ity fund-raiser John Reynolds is show­ing no signs of putting his feet up and tak­ing it easy.

A the age of 82 John, from Stan­ground, Peter­bor­ough rode his trusty Trek hy­brid bike 170 miles coast-to-coast from More­cambe in Lan­cashire to Bridling­ton in East York­shire in three-and-a-half days.

It was the lat­est of a dozen long dis­tance bike rides that he had com­pleted and which have helped him raise hundreds of pounds for char­ity.

Ded­i­cated mum Karen Newton also got on her bike as part of an ap­peal to raise £40,000 to pay for a life-chang­ing op­er­a­tion in the USA to help her son Tyler Maxwell to walk for the first time.

With a team of vol­un­teers she cy­cled 60 miles from her home in Maxey, near Peter­bor­ough to the sea­side re­sort of Hun­stan­ton in Au­gust. Karen had al­ready col­lected £7,400 from a para­chute jump ear­lier in the year.

The three-year-old was di­ag­nosed with spas­tic diple­gia cere­bral palsy in May 2009 and was un­able to sit or roll, let alone walk or kick a foot­ball like young­sters at his age.

There have also been im­pres­sive sto­ries of brav­ery, like coura­geous Ali Hasan who, with­out a thought for his own safety, smashed his way in through the back door of his neigh­bour’s burn­ing house in Sear­jeant Street, Mill­field, Peter­bor­ough to res­cue four peo­ple trapped in­side.

Mr Ali, an as­sis­tant man­ager at fast food out­let KFC in Peter­bor­ough, said: “I had to keep run­ning in and out to breathe. I am not a hero but I couldn’t let an­other hu­man be­ing die.”

There have also been heart­warm­ing tales of com­mu­nity-minded in­di­vid­u­als giv­ing some­thing back to their lo­cal area.

Like the vol­un­teers from Peter­bor­ough-based am­phib­ian char­ity Froglife, helped by group of young men get­ting their lives back on track at the YMCA’S Timestop in the city, who gave The Green Back­yard in Oun­dle Road, Peter­bor­ough a makeover.

Kind-hearted em­ploy­ees from Perkins En­gines also gave their time to trans­form Peter­bor­ough’s Wildlife Haven at Rail­world af­ter it was badly dam­aged in an ar­son at­tack in June.

Perkins’ char­ity and spon­sor­ship team do­nated £500 to buy new tools, while em­ploy­ees do­nated sec­ond-hand tools to the cause.

In­spir­ing: Karen Newton launched an ap­peal to raise £40,000 to pay for a life-chang­ing op­er­a­tion that will help her son Tyler Maxwell to walk for the first

time.

Aim­ing high: Sky­div­ing gran­dad Brian Jen­nings raised money for Age UK when he jumped out of a light air­craft at 13,000 feet above Sib­son Air­field, near Peter­bor­ough with Eileen Le Voi, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Safe Lo­cal Trades, whose team he was part of.

streets ahead: Thou­sands of pounds was raised by those who took part in the Great East­ern Run in Oc­to­ber.

spe­cial start: Jas­mine Knight and her mum Sue wait for the start of the Race for Life, where the four-year-old was the of­fi­cial race starter.

lov­ing mem­ory: Amanda Keedy and her fam­ily rais­ing funds for Asthma UK at Bret­ton Fes­ti­val af­ter her hus­band died from the con­di­tion.

im­pres­sive: Char­lie Ben­nett in­spired his class­mates in the re­cep­tion class at Oak­dale Pri­mary School to raise money for char­ity.

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