Meet the winners of our Amazing People Awards
Our readers are truly amazing people! And every year we like to honour that by holding the Practical Parenting & Pregnancy Big Thank You Awards.
We had a fabulous range of entries in all four categories: Mum of the Year, Dad of the Year, Unsung Hero of the Year and Child of the Year.
Then you all voted in your thousands to crown them the winners – and we met them all at a special champagne ceremony…
Mum of the Year
Winner: Liz Chapman
Nominated by: Her husband Colin
Colin wanted everyone to know how proud he is of wife Liz (pictured here in red) for coming through tough times as a new mum. “I battled postnatal depression when my first daughter, Olivia, now 5, was born, and again when I had Emily, now 19 months. Everyday life just overwhelmed me, and when Emily was about 6 months, I had trouble getting the energy and enthusiasm to even get out of bed in the morning and face the day with the girls. I felt incredibly low, but with fantastic support from Colin, his mum who came down to help care for me, and antidepressants, I began to see a way forward, gradually gaining the emotional and physical strength to face each day as a mum. We’re a very close family, and Olivia will always come to us for a chat if she’s worried or scared about something. Now I’m on the mend I’m determined to stay positive and do everything I can for my two beautiful girls.
And Colin shares her hopes for the future. “We’ve been through a lot as a family and it’s been tough for Liz and I,” he says. “Nevertheless, she’s always thinking of the girls and what she can do them and has a fantastic, loving relationship with them both. I love being a dad to Olivia and Emily and I’m so proud of Liz for getting through a tough few years.”
Mum of the Year Award proudly sponsored by Mothercare.
Want to know more about overcoming PND? Click here
Child of the Year
Winner: Annie O’Dwyer
Nominated by: Her aunt Janet Palmer
Annie O’Dwyer, 6, pictured here with PPP Editor Daniella Delaney, suffers from cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia – but that doesn’t stop her leading a full and inspiring life, as her Aunt Janet explains:
“We knew something was wrong with Annie when, as a baby, she couldn’t turn herself onto her tummy. As she grew and was diagnosed with her conditions, doctors said she’d struggle to walk, and that her muscles weren’t growing as fast as her bones. But that didn’t stop Annie. In fact, as she mastered crawling and then walking a few steps with splints, we began to realise that this little girl was fairly determined. And she’s been that way ever since. Annie’s 6 now, and so matured, focused and determined. When Annie decides she wants to do something, that’s it, she’s on to it. Like when she did the Sport Relief mile. She used her walking frame and managed it all by herself, amazing us all. Now when she wants to do something, we try and tell her it could be tough but she just replies: ‘But I’ve done everything else I wanted to do!’ Who can argue with such a fighter?”
“We call her amazing Annie,” adds Annie’s mum Lesley. “Getting this award shows her we’re not the only ones who believe in her.”
Child of the Year Award proudly sponsored by Philips Avent
Unsung Hero of the Year
Winner: Janet Parkin
Nominated by: Joanne Frith
When Joanne Frith’s daughter Tianna, 5, started school, her teacher Janet was instrumental in helping her fit in.
“Tianna is autistic and nobody was sure if she would be able to cope with mainstream school. Before the start of term, Janet spent the full six-week holiday studying autism, buying magazines, books, reading articles, you name it, she gathered as much understanding as was possible to help my daughter have the best chance of fitting into her class. One of the things she’d read was that to help an autistic child sit on the carpet area with the other children, you could give each child his or her own little mat to sit on. On the first day of term I noticed Mrs Parkin walking into school with a huge pile of mats, which was almost bigger than she was. ‘I wanted one for Tianna, but I didn’t want her to feel left out, so I got one for each child,’ she told me. It’s just one of many examples of how she’s gone beyond the call of duty for Tianna.”
For Janet, snapped at our ceremony with PPP Editor Daniella Delaney, it was the beginning of a big transformation. “At nursery Tianna was always playing on her own at playtime,” she explains. “But once she’d started school she gradually started to play with the other children. They started to invite her to parties and when Tianna had her party she invited the class and even me.”
Unsung Hero of the Year award proudly sponsored by Dentinox
Dad of the Year
Winner: Joseph Farrow
Nominated by: His wife Emma Farrow
Seeing her husband cope with the pain of miscarriage and then embracing the challenge of being a new dad inspired Emma to write in to PPP…
“I suffer from Crohn’s disease, which Joseph has always helped me through, but he went into overdrive when I fell pregnant. I barely had to lift a finger as he did all the shopping and housework so I could get as much rest as possible. Sadly the day before our three-month scan I began to bleed heavily. Joseph rushed me to hospital where it was confirmed I’d had a miscarriage. It must have been so horrible for him to witness, but he supported me through it trying to keep positive even though he was hurting too. We were both nervous about trying for another baby and we weren’t even sure we’d be successful as I only have one fallopian tube, plus there’s the Crohn’s to cope with, too. But I did fall pregnant again and Joseph resumed his role as doting dad-to-be, doing everything from the cooking to foot massages. At the birth he kept me calm through the emergency c-section which gave us our son Jeff, and once we were all home, he did every night feed for two months. Joseph always says how lucky he is to have us both, but I honestly couldn’t manage without him and think Jeff and I are the luckier ones.”
Dad Joseph feels honored to win the award: “It’s the only and best award I’ve ever won,” he says. “Although everyone says I deserve it I’m only doing what any other dad would do plus I really want to do it, as anything to help my wonderful wife and son is worth it.”
Dad of the Year Award proudly sponsored by www.madeformums.com
Find out more about dealing with miscarriage here