The Mayor’s unsung hero has been announced.
Eddie Birchall, who runs the New Bury Youth Club and New Bury and Farnworth Boxing Club was the worthy winner of this honourable award.
Eddie proudly commented: “Receiving this award is an inspiration and an incentive to keep going. Some of the young people who have attended my youth clubs in the past now bring their children to the clubs. I love running the clubs and I’m going to keep doing it.”
Eddie dedicated his award to his boxing coach Bill Matthews, who inspired him to take up boxing.
Fifteen selfless charity and voluntary workers were shortlisted for the awards, which were held on Friday 16 October at the Reebok Stadium.
Pam Summers, who has spent 15 years giving her time and commitment to crime sufferers, as a Victim Support worker and Patricia Boydell, who has been an ambassador, for 10 years, for The Harbour Project, which provides support to families of drug abusers, were the runners up.
With the great calibre of candidates, the Mayor also decided to give out two special awards. One was the Young Unsung Hero of the Year, which was awarded to Rahmit Ahmed, aged 17, who has been volunteering at Bolton Hospice for over a year, and Vera Ashcroft, aged 76, who received an award for Dedication and Service to the Voluntary Sector. Vera has spent many years fundraising and volunteering at Bolton Hospice.
The Mayor said: “The Unsung Hero of the Year awards recognise those who work tirelessly for others, yet often receive no recognition.
“It was extremely difficult to choose a winner as all our finalists were deserving in different ways. We were delighted to award the unsung hero of the year to Eddie as he has spent 20 years helping young people to take the right direction in their lives.”
Former Radio Lancashire presenter, Norman Prince compered the event.
Other guests who attended the ceremony included the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Warren Smith, the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, Christian Wewer, Chief Superintendant of Greater Manchester Police, Steve Hartley and Deputy Borough Commander for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, Dave Kirkham.