May 10 2012 By Jane Harrison
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AFTER hours of weighing up the selfless acts of our unsung heroes the judges have chosen the finalists of this year’s Pride in our People Awards.
The judges were overwhelmed by the dedication and commitment of this year’s nominees, but believe the 18 people chosen truly represent the superb work being carried out in west London.
The awards, launched in February and now in their ninth year, are run jointly by the Gazette and the University of West London.
The judges, who deliberated at the university’s Walpole House, St Mary’s Road, Ealing, last Friday, were Mark Garratt, the university’s marketing, communications and UK recruitment director; Kay Larkin, Ealing Hospital’s child services manager; The Reverend Neil Richardson from Holy Cross Church; and Gazette journalist Jane Harrison.
Mr Garratt said: “We are delighted with the quality of entries this year. It’s heart-warming and humbling to see what the citizens of this borough have done for the community.”
Mr Richardson added: “Having never done this before I was amazed how difficult it was to choose between the very high quality of nominees and how wonderful people can be in their different ways.
“It was a very heart-warming experience. I found it very exciting to see all that happens in and around Ealing.”
Ms Larkin, who was also judging the awards for the first time this year, told the Gazette: “I was impressed by the calibre of entries. We are all the richer for the work these people are doing, with no thought of reward for themselves.”
Jane added: “Having run these awards since they started I can honestly say the variety and quality of these nominations is outstanding. I would like to thank all our readers for taking the trouble to nominate people.”
All the finalists, below, will attend a gala dinner and award ceremony at the university’s restaurant, Pillars, in Ealing on May 31.
The winners of each of the six categories and the overall winner, the Star of West London, will be revealed and a £500 cheque and stunning glass trophy will be presented to each winner by celebrity chef Brian Turner.