PERHAPS the most difficult category for the judging panel this year was the Local Hero award.
It is best illustrated by the fact that for the first time in awards history, the panel decided to shortlist four nominees instead of the usual three.
They were Rev Andy Boxall, of Hope Central; Colin Owston, a driver who helps the MS Society and Ryedale Special Families; Garry Cooper, of the Milton Rooms; and long-serving councillor Keith Mennell, of Norton.
But it was Colin who was announced the winner by sponsor Gavin Read, of TVC Electrical.
Admitting to being a “doer, not a talker,” Colin passed on his thanks to everyone before saying later: “I was surprised but very pleased because of the people who nominated me – the local MS Group and Ryedale Special Families mean a lot to me.”
Both charities had said Colin, who owns a private hire company, deserved the award for the work he does with their members. More than just a taxi service, they praised his caring attitude, personality and willingness to go the extra mile.
Colin said: “It’s really about being able to go into people’s houses because if someone is disabled and on their own at home they will need my help. I have to be prepared to be there put their shoes on, lock the doors and so on and when we return home, make sure they are comfortable.”