It was an evening of smiles, laughter – and more than a few tears.
Moving stories of bravery and dedication were shared last night as the winners of the EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards were revealed.
The magical ceremony saw finalists in 14 categories honoured, with local hero Michael Bowley crowned the Overall Star of the evening for his courage in the face of a raging care home fire.
During three surprise Special Recognition Awards, guests listened to emergency calls made by youngsters Sasha Nutley and Megan Stratton, who - in separate incidents - called 999 to save their mums’ lives.
Meanwhile, former Norfolk fire chief Nigel Williams’ reflected on 30 years in the service and 12 of Norfolk’s D-Day veterans were met by cheers and rapturous applause as they came on stage to be jointly honoured for the first time.
Nigel Pickover, EDP editor-in-chief, started the evening by saying “Tonight we are honouring the everyday heroes in Norfolk and Waveney whose work often goes unnoticed. You keep our communities ticking over – and you make our region such a wonderful place to live and work”.
Perhaps one of the most poignant moments of the night was during the Volunteer of the Year Award, which was won by Sid Everett.
Mr Everett raised more than £150,000 for various causes over four decides, but died just days after judges decided he should be honoured for his efforts. His family and friends said that his now posthumous award was a “fitting tribute”.
Meanwhile, the county’s Community First Responders were recognised for their commitment winning the Team of the Year Award.
Want to know more? The EDP will be running a special eight-page souvenir pull-out in Monday’s paper, and a full gallery of last night’s event, plus details of the winners can be found on the EDP website.
© Archant Ltd 2013