Published: 11:00, 18 February 2017
| Updated: 11:00, 18 February 2017
From those who have courageously battled serious illness to those who give up their time to help others, more than 70 people have been nominated for this year’s Pride in Medway awards.
Their inspirational stories were all heard at the certificate presentation evening at MidKent College, Gillingham on Friday night.
Among those collecting their certificates in the Courage category was Jessica Taylor, 25, who has set up her own charity despite coping with the debilitating condition, ME.
There were 11 nominees for Young Heroes including four-year-old Thomas Greenwell who called 999 when his mother had a severe asthma attack and Molly Tuffin, 11, who shaved her hair to raise money for her classmate.
A particularly poignant moment came with a posthumous award to Jessica Brooks, who died last month at the age of 18. She was nominated for a Pride in Medway by her family after undergoing a heart transplant last year.
The biggest category of the evening was Community Service with 17 nominees.
Liz and Darren Shaw from One Big Family - helping the homeless, were nominated in almost every category.
The certificates were presented by the Mayor of Medway, Cllr Stuart Tranter, and his wife, Sarah.
Cllr Tranter said that when he became mayor he had expected to meet lots of amazing people, but that after hearing all the nominations, that had gone up another level.
“Medway is about its communities and communities at so many different levels,” he said. “Something goes wrong in life and people come together and share what they know with other people.
“Some I know are quite humble about their achievements, there will be so many more people that are out there doing great things across the Medway. I’d like to say my personal thanks on behalf of all of Medway, for everything that you do.”
The judges will now choose the finalists to go forward to a gala night in April.
Pride in Medway is sponsored by mhs homes, Medway Council, the University of Kent, Uniper, Southeastern, MidKent College and the Medway Messenger.
For more pictures see Monday and Friday's Medway Messengers.