We called on our readers to nominate their community champions – and you duly delivered, with dozens of entries flooding the Tele’s inbox in the past week.
A total of 35 nominations have been sent from across Tayside in a range of categories, with the competition capturing the imaginations of the Tele’s loyal readers as they look to champion the brightest sparks in the region.
Today, we have featured the first of our nominees, with Alan Duncan of Grey Lodge Settlement and eight-year-old Holly McIntosh nominated in the community champion and young person champion categories respectively.
Tele editor Dave Lord, who is also on the judging panel for the awards, said: “The nominations are already pouring in for our Dundee champion’s awards which is extremely gratifying.
“There is no doubt people want to pay tribute to some of the people who have done so much to help during this awful pandemic – from helping to save lives on the front line, to entertaining people during the long weeks of lockdown.
“If there is one thing we were confident of, it was that local people would rise to the challenges of this unprecedented time. We haven’t been left disappointed and these awards give everybody a chance to publicly recognise some true local heroes.
“If you haven’t nominated yet, please do take the opportunity.
“It is a privilege to be head judge and I can’t wait to go through all the applications with those joining me on the panel, deputy editor Ross Logan, local councillor Lynne Short and pensioners’ forum spokeswoman Dorothy McHugh.
“Some difficult decisions will need to be made but it is going to be a really rewarding experience.”
Fairways Recruitment, based on Exchange Street, has also committed to sponsoring this year’s community champion category.
A spokesman said: “As a local business within Tayside, we are proud to be sponsoring the Evening Telegraph Dundee’s Champion Awards, recognising those who have gone above and beyond in our community during these difficult times.”
Making a nomination is easy – all you have to do is visit www.dundeeschampionawards.co.uk and click ENTER NOW.
- Closing date for entries is Monday August 3
The first nominees
A man whose dedication ensured Dundee’s Grey Lodge Settlement went from “strength to strength” has been nominated for Community Champion.
Thanks to Alan Duncan, the charity has forged links with many groups throughout the city to ensure vulnerable people of all ages and backgrounds have help at hand.
From fundraising, delivering food parcels, running errands for people’s medication, even dropping off books on doorsteps, no task is too small for Alan.
Alan, 66, said: “I’ve worked at the Grey Lodge for 28 years and to be honest, I’ve loved every single minute of it.
“As my dad used to say, you should go out each day to do your best and just a little bit more. That’s my philosophy.
“If someone asks me for help, I just do it, if I can.”
Alan was nominated by Rose Cleary, a member of Dundee’s Chuckle Club.
She said: “He’s a genuine person, who would do anything to help anybody.
“Everyone holds Alan in high regard.”
Holly has been keeping busy during lockdown by raising cash for charity. The youngster cycled eight miles every day for eight days to raise more than £1,500 for the charity Dundee Bairns.
Mum Jane McIntosh, who nominated Holly for the award, said: “She was inspired to do something to help when she realised foodbanks were even more needed than normal. It was all her idea.”
Holly had seen the RockSolid foodbank at her local church and wanted to do something to help. She decided to donate to Dundee Bairns who help children across the city and provide lunches to community groups like RockSolid.
Jane added: “For her age she has been quite determined to help other people and I think that is quite a thoughtful thing to do.”
Holly, who goes to Craigiebarns Primary, said: “I’m really happy to be nominated. I have ideas for more fundraising activities including a possible bake sale in the future.”
Stephanie Gibson has been nominated for the entertainment award by Grant Stanley.
Stephanie, a singer from Douglas, has been performing online weekly during lockdown as well as visiting local care homes to perform. She has also helped to raise funds for Marie Curie and Alzheimer Scotland by doing online performances.
Grant said: “Stephanie has been a much needed ray of sunshine during this lockdown.”
Stephanie, 28, said performing had given her something to focus on. She said: “Every single week I have had something to look forward to. The care home residents are so grateful when we turn up and sing.”
Speaking about being nominated she added: “It is quite humbling to just be respected.”
Community award: Through a lifetime of thoughtfulness or by an act of courage or kindness, this individual or group exemplifies the essence of community spirit. From a neighbour to a whole street, the winner of the Community award will be selfless in their actions and care for others around them. The winner will be someone who has gone out of their way to make a difference and help those who live within their community/Dundee.
Entertainment award: In difficult times this individual or group have embraced their creative sides and provided a form of light-hearted entertainment to lift the spirits of others. This award will be presented to anyone who has done anything from dancing in the street to hosting virtual events such as pub quizzes or musical shows.
Business award: Despite it being a testing time for businesses especially, this firm will be one which has gone above and beyond to help vulnerable people or communities. Undeterred by the current climate, the winning business has put itself out there to maintain contact with its customers – new and regular – and continue to tirelessly serve them or provide a service.
Young person award: This award is open to individuals under the age of 20 who have shown wisdom beyond their years, selflessly taking it upon themselves to spread positivity and help others within their community. Undeterred by their young years, they have bravely tried to make a difference in a troubling time.
Sport award: Recognising that both mental and physical health is important, especially when times are tough, the winner of this category could be an individual or well-known business. Despite people being confined to their homes, the winning candidate will have continued to provide a service – from virtual fitness classes to online exercise guides. The judges also want to hear from sporting firms or individuals who may have launched their own campaigns or started a new initiative, keeping Dundee engaged with its activities.
Keyworker award (individual): The judges will present this award to an individual key worker who has tirelessly worked to help others, going beyond what is expected of them within their role. The key worker could be a passionate teacher who has used innovative ideas to deliver youngsters an education, a caring health worker who always puts others before themselves and always maintains a positive outlook, or a hard-working police officer on the beat who is determined to keep our communities safe. an extraordinary person, the winner of this award will inspire others.
Keyworker award (team): Being able to work together in times of need is essential. This group of key workers know all too well that working together side-byside, day-to-day is key to achieving the best results. From a ward of passionate nurses to a team of dedicated doctors, considerate care home colleagues, to a police duo who work hard to keep us safe – the judges want to hear from the ultimate Dundee dream teams.
Charity award: This category will honour those incredible and selfless individuals who have dedicated themselves to helping Dundee charities. The judges are looking for those who have worked well as a team to raise funds or someone who has taken on a lone challenge – the award will not be based on total funds raised but on the creativity and effort that has gone into the fundraising campaign.
The host and the judges
Martel is the Tele’s Wednesday columnist and presenter of BBC1’s Homes Under The Hammer.
After training as a lawyer, she became a journalist and has worked across newspapers, radio and TV for two decades – covering everything from showbiz to politics and football.
Martel is a proud Dundonian, redhead and mum of three.
Dave has been editor of the Evening Telegraph since the start of 2019.
A single dad of five who lives in Broughty Ferry, he is also on the board of the Dundee-based Help for Kids charity.
He enjoys competitive running, regularly taking part in half-marathon and marathon events, and manages the Dryburgh Athletic U15 girls team.
Lynne was elected councillor in 2016, and has served in a variety of roles including convener of the city development committee.
She is depute convener of the community safety and public protection committee, older people’s champion and spokesperson on equalities issues.
A proud Dundonian, she has worn many hats in a wide and varied career, notably as a tour guide throughout Europe, property manager, surveyor and mum.
Passionate about low carbon transport, connectivity and social justice, Lynne is a tireless supporter of the city and its people.
Dorothy is secretary for Dundee Pensioners’ Forum and has spent years campaigning for a better deal for the city’s elderly.
She was formerly employed in Child Health Strategy for NHS Tayside, and in human resources.
She is also involved in the Friends of Clatto group and is trustee of Funeral Link Dundee (helping to alleviate funeral poverty).
Born in London, Ross moved to Dundee in 2017, joining the Evening Telegraph as deputy news editor.
He was appointed head of news in 2018 before taking over as deputy editor last year.
He has spent most of his journalism career in local newspapers, but has also worked for the Mirror, The Times, The Daily Express, the Metro and the Independent.
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