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Unsung heroes were rewarded for selfless acts of caring, generosity and bravery at an award ceremony run by Uxbridge College and the Uxbridge Gazette.

The annual competition, sponsored for the fifth year by the College and run through the paper, attracted a bumper crop of entries and a host of inspiring stories about people from in and around Hillingdon borough.

The gala night on 18 January was held at Uxbridge College's Hayes Community Campus, where the winners were announced in the theatre to an audience of about 150.

A celebration buffet, cooked and served by the College's NVQ Catering and Hospitality trainees, was held afterwards in Lifestyle restaurants, where hot lunches are on offer every day to the public.

Winners had been chosen by a panel including Uxbridge College's principal Rachel Davies, the Gazette's editor-in-chief Adrian Seal, and the Mayor and Mayoress of Hillingdon, Councillor David Routledge MBE and Mrs Janet Routledge.

The overall winner, named the Hero of Hillingdon, was foster carer Norma Hoppe, recognised for her decade of care and support for children and teenagers.

Other winners included Emma King (12), who was chosen as Citizen of Courage after saving her mother from a fire at their home.

Five-year-old Lily Wood was named Citizen of Courage for her bravery facing a rare condition called Phenylketaneuria, which means she cannot eat protein and must have a severely restricted diet.

Brian Robinson was chosen as Community Hero for all his hard work supporting South Ruislip Community Association, fundraising, setting up new groups and looking after the building.

Mick Dunckley, who set up a charity to provide treats and trips for sick and disabled children after losing his daughter to cot death, scooped Fundraiser Hero.

Fred and Patricia Micklewright, who have helped care for many friends and neighbours for many years, were named Carer Heroes.

The overall winner scooped £500, while the five category winners each won £250, with £50 for the ten runners up.

At the event, the previous year's Hero of Hillingdon, Perry Parsons MBE, brought members of his Vyners Swing Band to provide musical entertainment.

As each winner made their way to the stage to collect their certificates and trophies, friends and family cheered and whistled.

Ms Davies said: "We are delighted to be involved in this event yet again and to join the Gazette in supporting and celebrating the aims of our local community - which is exactly what we are here for.

"In particular, one of our aims as a College is to support voluntary organisations wherever we can - not just through training so that they can make their contribution more effective - but also by bringing their achievements to a wider audience. Thank you to everyone who has made this event a tremendous success yet again."


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