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The unsung heroes of Hillingdon. L-R Martina Collis; Akhtar Jan; Shuz Azam, Gazette and Leader Multimedia Content Manager; Laraine Smith, Principal of Uxbridge College; Jamie Maguire; Mayor of Hillingdon Councillor Shirley Harper-O'Neill; Hamish McGregor and Daniel Simpson

A former army medic who raised more than £25,000 for the Help the Heroes charity was crowned overall winner of the Local Heroes Awards 2009 run by Uxbridge College and the Uxbridge Gazette and Leader.

Hamish McGregor, of Avondale Road, Hayes, was named Hero of Hillingdon after setting up a temporary shop in Windsor Street, Uxbridge, in aid of injured service people from the British Forces.

The competition recognises ordinary people who have overcome adversity or gone beyond the call of duty in the community.

Mr McGregor received a cheque for £750 and a trophy, plus an extra £250 for winning his category, Fabulous Fundraiser, at the gala awards night held at Uxbridge College Hayes Community Campus on 28 January.

Around 100 people attended the event, the eighth of its kind, including finalists, friends and family, and the Mayor of Hillingdon, Councillor Shirley Harper-O'Neill.

Music was provided by Perry Parsons and the Vyners Swing Band, with catering and hospitality students at the College preparing a buffet for guests.

Mr McGregor was selected from dozens of nominations by readers, who have been putting their heroes forward during the past three months. Other category winners also took home £250, with runners-up receiving £50.

The winners were chosen by a judging panel including Uxbridge College Principal Laraine Smith, Multimedia Editorial Director of Trinity Mirror Southern - the Gazette's parent company - Lee Hinchcliffe, and the Deputy Mayor of Hillingdon, Councillor David Yarrow.

Akhtar Jan (22), took the title of Courageous Citizen, after fleeing his home country of Afghanistan alone when he was just 16, and working hard to learn English. He is now mentoring young people from disadvantaged backgrounds while studying biomedical science at Queen Mary University with the ambition of becoming a doctor. He is also a Red Cross volunteer.

Martina Collis was named Star Carer after selflessly giving up her job as an art teacher to become a full-time carer to her mother, who has Alzheimers.

Jamie Maguire (8), scooped the Outstanding Young Person award. He was praised for his amazing, positive attitude after being born with a very serious heart condition and enduring a number of serious operations, causing him to miss long periods of school and having to work hard to catch up to his classmates. He never complains and is always smiling.

Daniel Simpson was named Community Champion for his devotion to West Drayton Boys Club/Youth FC. As well as being a football referee, he is also honorary treasurer, under 15s manager and coach, and under sevens manager and coach - all this despite being a young man in his 20s with an active social life and work commitments. He also secured funding for a newly refurbished sports hall, perimeter fencing and the under sevens football kit, and his efforts and vision have been praised for creating a better community sports service for the area.

Full list of winners:

Hero of Hillingdon
Hamish McGregor

Fabulous Fundraiser
Winner: Hamish McGregor
Runners-up: Gerry and Diane Collins; Mac McArtney; Debbie Power

Star Carer
Winner: Martina Collis.
Runner-up: Jackie Gibbons

Community Champion
Winner: Daniel Simpson
Runners-up: Janice Andrews; Stan Atkin; Dougie Bodman

Outstanding Young Person
Winner: Jamie Maguire
Runners-up: Jennie Major; Dhanesh Patel

Courageous Citizen
Winner: Akhtar Jan
Runner-Up: Cyril and Becky Haggar.