Not long to go now – the YorkMix Hero Awards 2023 are this week! Find out more about our finalists for In The Face of Adversity, Outstanding Talent and Charity Fundraiser awards.
The award ceremony will take place at York Racecourse on Thursday 26 October where the winners will be revealed.
The final category, The Ultimate Hero Award, will be open for voting on the night.
With thanks to our awards supporters. Keep reading to meet the next group of fabulous finalists…
The “In The Face of Adversity” Award
The “In The Face of Adversity” Award is sponsored by Matt Gray Hospitality.
The finalists for The “In The Face of Adversity” Award are Louise Prashad, John Venable and Harry Wright.
In 2016, Louise Prashad was diagnosed with a rare condition in pregnancy (AFLP) and after a traumatic hospital trip, very sadly lost her children. Louise also then defied the odds when her organ was failing and survived a procedure with a 10% survival chance and further organ transplant surgery. After a long recovery process she ran her first 10k in 2018, and has gone on to complete over 120 races in aid of charities like Tommy’s, The British Liver Trust and NHS Organ Donation and raised hundreds of thousands of pounds. Louise has represented her country at the World Transplant Games and this year became York’s Disability Sportsperson of the Year. “Running saved her life,” one person who nominated Louise said. “Louise has channelled her grief into giving families who lose a child a voice. She never lets anything stop her, she inspires, she motivates and she is a beacon of hope for others.”
After going through a car accident and then struggling with his mental health, John Venable set up the charity The Big Communitea to help others who struggle with mental health. Made up of local Mental Health First Responders, they have 24 hour call lines, a drop in centre and a shop. Someone who nominated him said, “this would recognise all of his hard work.”
In 2021 Harry’s sister, Millie, became ill and was taken to hospital with liver failure. After learning that Millie also had bone marrow failure and needed a stem cell transplant, Harry volunteered to be a donor but was sadly not a match. One person who nominated him said “we will always be in awe of his bravery.” After his sister passed away aged 13, Harry went back to school to prepare for his GCSEs but sadly became ill with hemiplegic migraines, and lost his speech and mobility and remained in hospital for his exams. His nominator said “Despite all this and managing the grief of his beloved Millie he went to begin his A Levels, fundraises for The Millie Wright Children’s Charity and mentors other students with Aspergers like him. We are incredibly proud and know Millie would be too.”
The Outstanding Talent Award
The Outstanding Talent Award is sponsored by Craybakes.
The finalists for The Outstanding Talent Award are Nichola Brown, Stephen Tearle and the She Was Walking Home Team (Next Door But One).
Nichola Brown, aka Nikki, is the current captain of the York City Ladies FC. Nikki captained the side during their League and Cup double winning season 2021/2022, the team entered Tier 4 for the first time in their history, and Nikki was voted as Player of the Season. She also has a ‘day job’ as a paramedic, formerly as an ambulance paramedic and now as an advanced clinical practitioner. When one person who nominated her was unwell and needed an ambulance (and also happened to be a big YCLFC fan) Nikki arrived as the paramedic to give first response care. “You can imagine how pleased I was to see a friendly face! It’s just an example of Nikki being a true local hero, both on York’s football pitches, and as an amazing health care worker.”
Stephen Tearle is chairman and creative director of NETheatre York. Someone who nominated him said, “Stephen works tirelessly to create community theatre with a families values foundation. He creates magical shows with casts of 60+, with entire families taking part in all aspects of getting a show from the script to the stage! A hero to many and a talent that ensures the survival of a theatre company of over 100 years old and securing large York audiences for the Joseph Rowntree Theatre.”
She Was Walking Home is a series of monologues created from the testimonies of women living, working and studying in York, and explores vital topics such as women’s safety, public spaces, harassment, abuse and reporting of crimes. “The team of women (Kate Veysey, El Stannage, Rachel Price, Anna Johnston, Fiona Baistow, Emma Liversidge-Smith and Mandy Newby) have created a performance that holds true testimony to the real life experiences of women in our community,” one person who nominated them said. “The team is now on its third tour of the show, this time engaging young people and young adults in schools, colleges and universities and it is because of this all-female team’s talent that the tour is having the impact it is having.”
The Charity Fundraiser of the Year Award
The Charity Fundraiser of the Year Award is sponsored by Middletons York.
The finalists of The Charity Fundraiser of the Year Award are Carol Henk, Kate Twiddle and Jess Richardson, and Jo Jackson.
Carol Henk is the deputy manager at the charity-run Bishopthorpe Playgroup. Someone who nominated her said, “she tirelessly spends every spare second of the day fundraising to raise much needed funds for the playgroup. Carol puts her heart and soul into fundraising – she is an absolute champion. Whether it be shaking buckets at the racecourse, selling donations on Vinted or figure-heading our biggest fundraiser of the year – the infamous Toy fair.”
Friends Kate Twiddle and Jess Richardson have completed challenges for charities like squatting for Teenage Cancer Trust, a daily mile run for a month in support of MIND, conquered the Yorkshire 10 miles for Crohn’s & Colitis UK, completed a 100-mile challenge in March to support dementia awareness, took on the Three Peaks Challenge, and even more, and have raised thousands and thousands of pounds. One person who nominated them said “Kate and Jess continue to inspire and uplift others. Their remarkable achievements in the domains of charity, fitness, and mental health advocacy make them truly exceptional.”
Jo Jackson has been volunteering and fundraising for Cancer Research UK for the last 20 years. Jo is the event chair for Relay For Life and started this 24 hour event 7 years ago. To date the Relay has raised over £350,000, and this year’s Relay event has raised over £70,000. One person who nominated her said, “To date Jo’s work has raised over 2.6 million with Jo’s support, enthusiastic approach and dedication.”