I was privileged to attend the Daily Record’s “Our Heroes” Awards at Glasgow’s Hilton Hotel last night. The evening, hosted by Jackie Bird and Tam Cowan, celebrated the contributions that many people from throughout Scotland had made in a range of different areas.
We were all very proud that the Bringing Martin Home campaign had been shortlisted as one of three finalists in the Fundraising Hero category. Especially since we were told that there were up to 200 nominees in every category!
The evening started with a Champaign reception, and then it was into the magnificent ballroom at the Hilton. There must have been at least 500 people present, with all walks of life represented. After playing spot the celebrity for a while we found our seats and the ceremony began.
Our award was up first and after looking at the other finalists we knew that there was a clear favourite. Eileen Granger from Ayrshire started raising money for Malcolm Sargent House in Prestwick after her son was diagnosed with tumours in his kidneys. And she has so far raised over £200,000 for this great cause.
Eileen was indeed the worthy winner of the award, which she richly deserved.
We were humbled to listen to the stories of the finalists in the other categories Children who had overcome terrible illnesses. Community activists who had worked tirelessly to help others. Folk who went out of their way to assist those less fortunate than themselves. Some truly inspiring stories.
Other award winners included Kevin Simpson who was told he would never walk again, but is now a world class Paralympic athlete, Flora McDermid who runs a credit union saving hundreds from loan sharks and James Henderson who rescued a man from in front of an onrushing train.
The overall winner was Alistair Urquhart, a 90 year old war veteran who has just written a book about his experiences as a prisoner of war in Japan after being torpedoed and drifting at sea for six days. What a story.
It was an incredible honour for us all to be nominated for an award alongside some true heroes.
We also had a good meal and loads of free drink courtesy of the Daily Record! I have a feeling there were a few sore heads from amongst our party this morning.
There were many well kent faces present at the event. Awards were presented by stars such as Kenny Dalglish. A host of television stars were there too, and the likes of Tony Roper and David Haymen came over to talk to us.
Sandy Thom did a couple of songs. Jedward also did a short set; the less said about that the better.
And we also had a good chat with Scott Brown and Neil Lennon after having our pictures taken with them. Lenny told us of the pride he felt as he sat in the dug out watching Celtic supporters celebrate, knowing he had just beaten Rangers. And he also told us that Robbie Keane was overwhelmed with the atmosphere. Was that a hint?
It was a wonderful night out among some truly inspiring people and a very well organised event. We may not have got an award but that wasn’t really the point. Our reward came the day that Kano returned home to his family.