On Saturday 12 January, stars of the local community were celebrated at the Middleton Shopping Centre when they were presented with Middleton Community Star 2018 awards by Assistant Centre Manager, Anna Ramsden in the Lighthouse Project.
When Coronation Street actors, Jack Shepherd and Julia Goulding – characters David Platt and Shona Ramsey – were unable to switch on the Middleton Christmas Lights, the decision was taken to look for genuine local stars of the community.
Via social media, the Middleton Shopping Centre invited shoppers to nominate their own Middleton Stars and within two days of posting on the Centre’s Facebook, it was quite clear that there were so many great people doing great work and the local community valued what was being achieved on their behalf.
Overall winners were the KAPOW Team - Jan Eaton-Dykes and Ros Liddle who at their own expense, spent weeks clearing and tidying grot spots as well as working with Middleton in Bloom. They also created the Remembrance Garden at old Providence where over 200 people turned up on Remembrance Sunday to pay their respects.
However, Jan and Ros were not the only ‘Stars’ to be nominated.
Martyn Lynch, Middleton Select Boxing, was applauded for the thousands he had raised for local individuals, voluntary groups and charities as well as being described at a Guardian Angel and role model for the young.
Kids Praise Theatre Workshop founders - Phil and Michelle Lee – along with two of their team members Indya Rose Hardwick and Kathryn Thomas - have been an inspiration to youngsters under the age of 18. Over the last 25 years, they have been putting on shows for the people of Middleton and the giving youngsters the confidence to use their talents and perform.
Many people nominated Lyn Rigby and her family – recognizing their sacrifice and fortitude – turning their grief following the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby into something positive for everyone.
“When we found out that our Coronation Street Stars were unable to join us for the Christmas Lights event, we knew we had to find other celebrities,” says Anna Ramsden. “We did not have to look any further than Middleton and it was a real pleasure to meet and chat to the inspirational people who the local community voted in their hundreds for.”