JEP Pride of Jersey awards: Winners revealed

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A TEENAGER whose response to the death of his sister has inspired young Islanders facing mental-health challenges won three trophies at the Pride of Jersey Awards ceremony.

Ben Mason who won three awards Picture: ROB CURRIE

Ben Mason (16) – who also raised a six-figure sum for charity – was announced as winner of the Mental Health Champion and Volunteer/Fundraiser categories.

He then went on to win the inaugural Gary Burgess Award for inspirational community leadership.

This year saw a record number of nominations – 212 submissions, which were whittled down to a shortlist of three by public voting in each of the 14 main categories. A total of 15 awards were presented at the seventh staging of the event, which took place at Le Manoir de Rooster on Trinity Hill – the home of potato exporter Albert Bartlett.

Mr Mason set up a campaign after his 14-year-old sister Kezia took her own life in March, seeking to raise awareness of the issues around mental health, as well as funds to assist charities working in this area.

Having raised more than £106,000 through his campaign, Mr Mason was nominated as Volunteer/ Fundraiser of the Year by his sister’s former teacher, Debra Harley, and chosen as the winner by a panel of judges.

The second award as Mental Health Champion followed a nomination from Mr Mason’s aunt, Deputy Lucy Stephenson, who praised his work in breaking down some of the barriers and myths surrounding teenage mental health.

The Gary Burgess Award was set up following the death of the journalist and broadcaster in January, with the winner selected by a panel of media colleagues aiming to acknowledge an outstanding and inspiring contribution to the Island community.

VIDEO: The Gary Burgess Award is announced.

Welcoming guests to the event, JEP editor Andy Sibcy lauded those shortlisted for awards.

He said: ‘You have helped shine a light on what a good citizen looks like – you have been the glue that has kept families and other building blocks of our community together, often ensuring that the flame of hope continues to shine.’

The event, which was attended by more than 250 guests, was hosted by soprano Georgi Mottram and comedian John Henry Falle.

Compere Georgi Mottram sings with youths from The Theatre Workshop Picture: ROB CURRIE

Former dance teacher Valerie Guy received posthumous recognition as Ambassador of the Year. Miss Guy died at the age of 101 earlier this year, and was nominated by St Mary Constable David Johnson, who described her as ‘an ambassador of culture’ for her work in running the Jersey Academy of Dance for more than seven decades.

The award winners flanked by compere John Henry Falle and compere Georgi Mottram Picture: ROB CURRIE
Ambassador of the Year award winner the late Valerie Guy, Laura Reynolds who collected the award on her behalf Picture: ROB CURRIE

The other winners were:

  • Angel of the Year: Sarah Vivian
  • Child of the Year: Tallulah Baudains
  • Community Champion: Emily Smith
  • Customer Service: Claudio Moreno
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Jersey Youth Service
  • Environmentalist: Tasha and Noah Cormack
  • Grandparent of the Year: Beryl Carre
  • Inspirational Leader: Mick and Christine Marett
  • Neighbour of the Year: Andy Le Marquand
  • Teacher of the Year: Emilio Chain-Lopez
  • Young Ambassador: Izzy Kelly
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