HEROES, showbiz stars, outstanding achievers, unsung community champions and bright young talents are among the shortlist of nominees for the inaugural Solar King Pride of St Helens Awards.

The Star and the Steve Prescott Foundation has been searching for the best the town can offer for the past three months.

And you have delivered – with dozens of amazing stories among nearly 200 nominations making it an immensely difficult challenge for the judging panel to settle on a shortlist.

Inside we reveal those who are in contention for the prizes. Some names you will be familiar with, others are achievements and tales of inspiration that we have not reported previously.

What we hope you will agree on is that they are people this great town should salute.

We believe the shortlist reflects the right blend of unheralded achievers, star quality, bravery and emerging talent.

But we also realise the list will also provoke debate. There are plenty of people of rich calibre who have missed out, such was the quality of names put forward. What the Steve Prescott Foundation and the Star hope is that people will buy into what the Pride of St Helens stands for.

It is all about showcasing the town’s wonderful success stories and the great people that make them happen.

It is about boosting civic pride and not being afraid to shout about the incredible achievements of St Helens, rather than running ourselves down, a negative trait the town can sometimes be guilty of.

The awards evening will be held on Friday, October 12 at Saints’ Langtree Park, hosted by Jon Wilkin, Steve Prescott and Mike Denning.

We want it to be a celebration of everything that is great about St Helens.

Tickets are still available for the evening, which includes a four-course meal and entertainment. Contact Martin Blondel on 07971792859.

The judging panel was Steve Prescott and Mike Denning (of the SPF), Andrew Kilmurray (Star), Andy Mikhail (of the sponsors Solar King), Eamonn McManus (St Helens RFC), Marie Rimmer and Paul Greenall (of St Helens Council).


Here is the shortlist of nominees per category:


Solar King Pride of St Helens award

  • Paul Wellens
  • Andy Reid
  • David Collins

St Helens Star Excellence in Business award

  • Vinyline
  • Eamonn McManus: St Helens RFC
  • Mark Swift: The Wellbeing project

Halo Legal Services Champion Fundraiser

  • Cliff Williams
  • Lynn Duffy
  • Mencap Newton Gateway

The Imperial Performing Arts Award

  • UC Crew
  • Johnny Vegas
  • Carley Stenson

St Helens College Outstanding Academic Achievement

  • Luke Hughes
  • Jessica Southward
  • Rebecca Dineley

Helena Partnerships Community Hero

  • Jane Dearden
  • Saints Community Development Foundation
  • Janet Coy

Boc boc Courageaward

  • Peter Donnelly
  • Andy Reid
  • Billy Jarvis

Typhoo Emergency Services Hero

  • Gillian Haydock
  • Constable Henry Hayes
  • Antony Rochester

Inspire Risk Management Mentor award

  • Jane Cox
  • Dominic Hodnett
  • Kerry Ward Smith

Hattons Gold Sportsperson award

  • Mark Eccleston
  • Martin Murray
  • Paul Wellens

St Helens Council Young Sportsperson

  • Lucy Renshaw
  • Joshua Neal
  • Matty Shirling

There are profiles on each nominee in a special feature starting on page 47 of this week's St Helens Star. The profiles can also be found in the news section of this website.