Pride awards celebrate community spirit
GUERNSEY’S community spirit was celebrated at this year’s Guernsey Press Pride of Guernsey awards on Saturday evening.
The ceremony was returning for its seventh year, with more than 100 people filling the room at St Pierre Park.
More than 250 people were nominated for this year’s awards, across 15 categories.
These were whittled down to three shortlisted candidates for each award, all of whom were invited to attend Saturday’s event.
One of the most emotional moments on the night was Colby Bridgman winning the Emergency Hero category. He was just five when he managed to call the ambulance to help his mother, who had collapsed.
A recording of his emergency service call was played at the ceremony and had some of the audience in tears as he tried his best to share the information the emergency services dispatcher needed.
Now six, he thanked everyone for the award and said he felt very happy to win.
Host Andy Priaulx, who is used to stressful situations in his job as a racing driver, paid tribute to Colby.
‘Keeping calm in that situation – I take my hat off,’ he said.
One hotly contested class was Teacher of the Year, with more than 40 nominations.
But it was Herm School teacher Mary Carey who won the class.
She had taught at the school for nearly 20 years, coping with a small group of children of different ages. The school shut in the summer for a year’s trial, but the closure was overturned by the States after a public outcry, and preparations for the school to reopen are under way.
She was left nearly speechless at winning the award and said it was a privilege and an honour for teachers to teach children.
‘This is for all the small schools in the world.’
She said she had every intention of going back to teach in Herm when the school reopens.
Another tough class was Overcoming Adversity, which was won by former Guernsey footballer Jacques Isabelle.
Despite being diagnosed with leukaemia in 2022, he took on a charity cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for Leukaemia UK.
He was unable to attend on Saturday, as he lives in Dubai.
His mother, Mary Isabelle, picked up the award for him.
‘I know Jacques really wants to shine a light on blood cancer and he is determined to do even more after his LEJOG ride,’ she said.
She added that he could not have done it without the other riders and the support staff on the ride.
The Arts Contribution award went to Ross Le Brun, who was behind organising the first Guernsey Chalk Art Festival.
He said it was a ‘massive, out-of-the-blue surprise’.
Guernsey Press editor James Falla said the awards recognised the fantastic things people do in the community.
. A supplement with interviews with all the winners will be published on Tuesday 17 October.
Angel of the Year, sponsored by Ravenscroft: Reparative Care team
Arts Contribution of the Year, sponsored by Moonpig: Ross Le Brun
Customer Service of the Year, sponsored by DWA: Dennis Nalda
Bailiwick Community Hero, sponsored by The Fort Group: Jim Phillips
Carer of the Year, sponsored by Specsavers: Emilia Fernandes
Diversity and Inclusion, sponsored by Insurance Corporation: Emily Slann
Emergency Hero of the Year, sponsored by MSG: Colby Bridgman
Grandparent(s) of the Year, sponsored by Channel Islands Co-operative Society: Hayley Bull
Neighbour of the Year, sponsored by Guernsey Energy: Terina Norman
Sports Volunteer of Year, sponsored by Sure: Island Games Organising Committee
Teacher of the Year, sponsored by Core: Mary Carey
Sustainability of the Year, sponsored by AON: Clare Giles and St Martin’s Primary School
Young Achiever of the Year, sponsored St Pierre Park: Katie Knight
Parent(s) of the Year, sponsored by Ray & Scott: Luke Nicholls
Overcoming Adversity, sponsored by JT: Jacques Isabelle