Pride in Medway 2013 winners are CLIC Sargent fundraisers Matt and Caroline Loughrey from Chatham
Matt and Caroline
Loughrey with daughter Jessica
Courageous couple Matt and Caroline
Loughrey have been crowned the winners of this year’s Pride in
Since their eldest daughter Emily died
in 2007, Matt and Caroline, together with the help of family and
friends, have raised an incredible £88,000 for CLIC Sargent.
A year ago the pair, of St Mary's
Island, Chatham, set off on an epic journey across America in aid
of the childhood cancer charity. Matt cycled 3,000 miles from coast
to coast in just 19 days, with only Caroline in a support vehicle
It followed bike rides from Land’s End
to John O’Groats and Chatham to Gibraltar, as well as countless
other fundraising challenges inspired by Matt and Caroline’s
efforts – from skydives to sponsored slims.
There was a standing ovation as the
pair made their way to the stage at the Pride in Medway gala night
on Saturday, exactly one year to the day since the start of their
Their youngest daughter Jessica was
there to see them collect their award, wiping away tears as they
were handed their trophy by six-time Paralympic champion Sascha
Sascha described Matt and Caroline as
Video: Pride in Medway
awards gala night
Speaking at the end of the night, Matt
said he felt overwhelmed.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I
think that among this company we could win. There are so many
amazing people here. All I have done is cycle.
Caroline added: “Emily would have been
Dozens of local heroes were honoured
at the ceremony, held at the Pilkington Building, Chatham Maritime.
ITV Meridian presenter Sangeeta Bhabra hosted the evening, telling
stories of community service, selfless acts, bravery and overcoming
The finalists were chosen from more
than 70 nominees. Among them was brave Milly Johnson, who had a
stroke when she was just two years old, a group of volunteers who
keep Hoo tidy, and young Scout Callum Shepheard.
There were also five special awards
handed out on the night, chosen by the sponsors.
The Medway Messenger winner was
seven-year-old Isla Firth, who has had to get to used to an
artificial eye after being diagnosed with cancer at the age of
The sponsor’s winner chosen by mhs
homes was David Howells, from the homeless charity Emmaus.
Medway Council’s award went to Tina
Murphy, who has helped make a difference to the health of African
communities in Medway.
The University of Kent chose Colin
Mitchell for its sponsor’s award. Colin has helped raise awareness
of mental health issues after suffering himself for more than 40
Southern Water’s award went to Youseff
Kamal, who at just 11 years old acted as a translator for the
Egyptian boxing team when they trained in Chatham ahead of the
The final sponsor’s award, chosen by
E.ON, went to Reece McGhee (pictured left with his dad Tony), who
helped save his dad’s life when he passed out at the wheel of his
Alec Martin, the overall winner of
Pride in Medway 2012, was delighted he knew the recipients of this
year’s award. Alec is a pupil at Brompton Academy, where Matt
Alec said: “Everyone is a winner
really but I think the most deserving people won.”
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