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Newmarket honours its heroes at its inaugural community awards




Newmarket rolled out the red carpet for its community heroes at a special celebration held at the Jockey Club Rooms on Saturday.

The inaugural Newmarket Community Awards were the brainchild of Alan Shand, a member of Newmarket Rotary Club, which backed the event together with the Jockey Club, Newmarket Town Council, the Newmarket Journal, Tesco, and Golding. They recognised the efforts of residents in three specific categories, caring, volunteering, and fundraising, and nominations were made through the Journal and the organisers.

And it turned out to be a very special night for Georgina Sampson, who took not only the over 21 volunteer award, but was also named the evening’s overall winner recognising her outstanding service to the community.

Georgina Sampson, who took the overall award as well as winning the over 21 volunteer category
Georgina Sampson, who took the overall award as well as winning the over 21 volunteer category

Georgina was said to have worked tirelessly to help her neighbours, and the wider community, during the worst days of the pandemic, from organising daily dancing in the street during the first lockdown to helping out daily assigning tasks coming in through the town’s coronavirus helpline. “She has helped countless people during the last year,” according to her nomination.

Joshua McCallister was named winner of the under 21 carers’ award recognising his years supporting his family, including two younger brothers, while still managing to achieve good exam results and secure a place on a plumbing apprenticeship course.

The over 21 carers’ award went to Pam Morter, nominated by Gillian Clarkson of Exning, who praised her for the help she had given not just to her but to others. Leia Schultz, won the under 13 fundraiser award recognising her effort walking 100 miles in 30 days to raise over £3,000 for Newmarket’s Kings Theatre, home to the Young Nomads group of which she is a member. Runner-up in the over 21 fundraiser was retired midwife Ann Fone who raised more than £2,500 for the MyWiSH charity by making masks in return for donations.

Ben Blowes who ran 31 marathons in 31 days, and was named over 21 fundraiser of the year
Ben Blowes who ran 31 marathons in 31 days, and was named over 21 fundraiser of the year

Category winner was Ben Blowes, the Gazeley endurance athlete and fitness expert, who raised more than £250,000 by running 31 marathons in 31 days for Tom’s Trust, the children’s brain tumour charity.

Volunteer award winners in the under 13 category were sister and brother, Ella and Cameron Fisher, who put together more than 350 goodie bags as a thank you to NHS staff while the under 21 award went to the Newmarket Academy Skate Park team of Cole Sebastian, Oscar Brown, Edward Carter, Leon Treharne, Ethan Eagling, Megan Conti Lamont and Daniel Beynon, for their efforts over three years to secure funding for the town’s new skatepark.

Runners up were Maryum Jadoon for her work over two years with community projects involving young people across the district and Alicia Moody, who put together over 100 goody bags for NHS staff as well as running 50 miles in 30 days to raise funds for the organisation.

The winners in the inaugural Newmarket Community Awards
The winners in the inaugural Newmarket Community Awards

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