Meet this year’s shortlist
After months of nominations and hours of deliberation, the Echo Awards 2021 shortlist has been announced.
The Echo Awards 2021 are celebrating the people who are at the beating hearts of their communities across Merseyside, having shown outstanding selflessness and passion for the region, even throughout the difficulties of the past year.
On Friday, September 17, live at the Rum Warehouse, at Liverpool’s Titanic Hotel, these community champions will be rewarded in a grand awards ceremony.
The finalists for this year’s awards are:
Arts & Performance Award
- Dramatic Recovery uses drama as a tool to promote mental health awareness and provide support for those struggling. Socially prescribed by GPs in Liverpool and Knowsley, members are able to show audiences the true extent of these problems and shine a light on ways to make things better.
- Fresh Manna is an original album written and recorded by Kellyann Lea during the pandemic. To help others, all proceeds are going to the city’s food banks to create food parcels for those in need.
- The Livo Staff singers from Litherland High School’s performing arts department have put together fantastic performances over the past 18 months. An integral support, Mrs Walshe promotes self-confidence and encourages students to audition.
- Isabella Usher was born with cystic fibrosis and unfortunately lost her sister five years ago to the disease. However, Isabella never complains or lets anything get her down, regularly attending local classes to show off her amazing dancing skills.
- Patrick Moore was born with spinal issues, without a major bone in his right arm and clubbed hand, meaning he faced multiple operations as a young child. Despite this, he doesn’t let anything hold him back and regularly fundraises to thank Alder Hey Children’s Hospital for their dedication.
- Summer Tennant fought her battle with leukaemia in 2019 with a smile on her face and constant bravery. Inspiring the local community, she never complained and never gave up, even relearning how to walk.
- Tilly-Mae Hunking braves the cold every week to offer food and supplies to the city’s homeless community. Throughout the week, she collects essentials from others and bakes her own cakes to help those in need.
- Liverpool Six Community Association usually has a register of 730 older residents who attend its fun events, but immediately helped the elderly, vulnerable and young when the pandemic hit. Food, activity and essentials packs were delivered to more than 25,000 individual households by the small team of 30.
- Neo Community works directly with the local community, identifying the need, driving forward engagement and organising community-led change. During the pandemic, it has been able to distribute more than 130,000 hampers and activity packs and reach 25,000 households, in partnership with statutory, community and education-based organisations.
- Wirral Wings provides emotional, practical and compassionate support to families who have lost a child in their lives. Alongside counselling, they hand-craft outfits and accessories as an important gesture for those going through loss.
- Liverpool Six Community Association immediately helped the elderly, vulnerable and young when the pandemic hit. Food, activity and essentials packs were delivered to more than 25,000 individual households by the small team of 30.
- Sean’s Place is a group dedicated to supporting and raising awareness of male mental health. More than 100 men every week access the immediate free counselling and therapy, fun activities and life-changing support.
- St. Andrew’s Community Network run a host of crisis support services including debt advice, pantries and multiple food banks. It supports more than 17,000 people a year and had more than 500 volunteers helping throughout the pandemic.
- Claire Rigby, who runs Momo’s Cafe, rushed to the aid of the elderly man after discovering he had no cooking facilities at his home. Not only providing vital company and friendliness, she gathered all the necessary items to ensure he wouldn’t go hungry.
- Since the first lockdown, Liverpool Six Community Association provided 83,000 essential parcels to support older people across the city. It supported children with 5,400 fun packs, 3,400 uniforms and breakfast parcels for more than 9,000 students. Seven hundred and twelve pregnant and new mums have also received everything they need for becoming a new mums.
- Whiston Hospital’s family liaison team has been a vital support to families of those admitted to ICU with coronavirus, providing daily updates and emotional support. Emma Whitby even sacrificed her Christmas day to keep in touch and provides incomparable aftercare.
Fundraiser of the Year
- Anne Kelly has worked as a volunteer at the Alder Centre for more than 25 years. She holds weekly car boot sales and a yearly charity shop events to raise vital funds, allowing for special annual events to happen that bring in more support for bereaved families.
- Eddie Hincks has been part of Liverpool Children’s Cancer Support Group for 30 years, working tirelessly and devoting his time to raising funds. Starting off with supermarket collection days, he has continued to organise various social events for families needing relief and happiness.
- In memory of his wife June, Ray Evans has raised more than £68,000 for Marie Curie Hospice Liverpool. He has undertaken 17 fearless cycle challenges and co-coordinates collection boxes to raise funds, even raising £1,700 during the pandemic.
Outstanding Act of Bravery (Sponsored by InYourArea)
- Ellie Hughes and Khloe Woods, 14, created a human chain to rescue a 74 year-old man who had been kicked into the freezing river Mersey by two youths. They acted without thinking and in turn saved a life.
- Mother and daughter Emma Gleeson and Gina Gleeson bravely waived the right to anonymity after Trevor Gleeson was jailed for a catalogue of abuse towards them. Their courage inspires others to come forward and seek justice.
- Mandy Hodgson noticed that a group of five men in the sea at Crosby were in trouble. She used her paddle board to rescue them and alerted other beach-goers of the situation, ultimately saving lives with her bravery.
- Ellie-Louise Braithwaite dedicated her time in lockdown to helping others. She packed food hampers for the vulnerable, delivered hand-made cards to nursing homes, gave her old toys to less fortunate children and set up the ‘Explore Greasby Village’ page to help people get out of the house. One of her two sponsored walks involved walking 89 miles throughout the month, raising £900.
- Ryan and Alesha Davies have tirelessly campaigned with their parents to raise awareness of water fatalities after their older sister sadly passed away. They have appeared on national news, participated in a major campaign for the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s drowning prevention week and are currently in the process of organising a charity fundraising walk to pay for rescue equipment.
Echo Outstanding Achievement Award
- Brian Lightbody set up Lightbody Health CIC to help vulnerable people improve their mental and physical wellbeing, using walk-and-talk groups and a peer support programme. Its Carry that Weight challenge is a marathon walk carrying 39kg to represent lives lost to suicide, raising vital awareness. Brian is also a charity employee providing support to people in sheltered accommodation.
- Caring Connectionsis a registered charity that has been delivering care and support projects across Liverpool for 29 years, specialising in home care delivery to adults and older people with care needs. As well as delivering home care, throughout the pandemic it made more than 1,200 wellbeing calls, delivered more than 960 social isolation hampers and offered1,640 hours ofCovid-19 bereavement counselling.
- Lee Butler works tirelessly to help people become free from addiction, raising money for charities and encouraging awareness. A mentor and always willing to help, his Sunday mornings are dedicated to his walk-and-talk group which provides vital support and guidance.
The winners of the Community Event of the Year, sponsored by The Forshaw Group, Sporting Achievement Award and Special Recognition Award will all be announced on the night.