Your Family

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Grandparent of the Year Awards – the winners!

Video Transcription

 

Janet Ellis: This is a fantastic event that celebrates the really lovely members of our family. Of course, speaking as a Grandmother that includes me too. But these people are great and it’s their time, absolutely their time today.

Peter Corfield, RIAS Insurance & Judge: Rias are incredibly proud to be sponsoring this event. At the end of the day the Grandparent of the Year, it’s our second year and if you hear some of the stories it’s an incredible opportunity for us to support and sponsor something that is obviously touching a number of the heart strings of the readers of Yours magazine.

Valery McConnell, Editor, Yours Magazine & Judge: As economic circumstances worsen, it’s actually the Grandparents there providing the stability, providing the emotional support and we really want to recognise that role and to celebrate it because it’s what so many of our readers are doing, selflessly, year in year out.

Janet Ellis: Our first category is Hero Gran. Where is Patsy Thomas?

Patsy Thomas: I’m so proud of my Granddaughter, you know. I mean, I didn’t really expect to win when I heard these lovely stories, but you know… and I’ve never won anything in my life! I’m so thrilled.

Janet Ellis: Next up, let’s congratulate our Glam Gran. Where’s Eileen? Eileen Silver.

Eileen Silver: I was overwhelmed, because my little Granddaughter nominated me. She’s seven, and I mean I had no idea until I got the phone call. So to win it was really tremendous.

Janet Ellis: Well, we’ve got a new category this year, and quite right too, because last year a lot of people said what about the Great Grandparents, and this year our winner is Mary Sullivan, known as Small Nanny. Mary, come up here and get your prize.

Mary Sullivan: I’m awfully excited about it, I can’t believe it, I thought it would never happen to me. I never dreamt anything like this would happen to me. Never.

Janet Ellis: Now for the sparkly man in the room. Our Grandad, he’s Tony Forde, and we think he’s a hero who deserves recognition. You certainly do Tony.

Tony Forde: It means everything. It shows I’m appreciated really and I appreciate what people have done for me.

Janet Ellis: Our next worthy winner takes the title of Active Gran. She’s Gillian Jones. Gillian I know you’re going to sprint so come up here and get, ha ha.

Gillian Jones: It means everything to me, because it means that my daughter is really appreciating everything that I’ve done and has thought about me especially, and that’s just a lovely thing for anybody to do… it’s lovely.


Janet Ellis: Our overall winner and the Grandparent of the Year is Granddaughter Jessica’s twenty four seven rock. A hero to all our judges, and I know to all of us, Patsy Thomas.

We have teamed up once again this year to search for the most inspirational grandparents as part of the Yours Grandparent of the Year Awards, in association with RIAS. The awards aim to celebrate the significance of grandparents and recognise the important role they play by sharing their wisdom, experience, love and support with their families.

After much deliberation the judging panel selected the finalists from hundreds of worthy entries. They all enjoyed a luxurious afternoon tea and attended the awards ceremony at the London Hilton on Park Lane. TV presenter and celebrity grandmother, Janet Ellis, hosted the event and commented that, "Last year the standard of entries was incredibly high and this year was no exception."

Congratulations to all of the winners! Why not take a look at the videos and see who our inspirational grandparents of the year are...

Hero Gran: Patsy Thomas, 73, Cheshire

Having never visited London before, Patsy, was bursting with excitement at our ceremony. And this bubbled over when she learnt that the judges felt her story was so inspiring, that she was crowned the overall winner. Janet told Patsy: “Having not known any of my grandparents, I didn’t have that role model to know what to do when I became a grandmother. People like you are my role models.” Patsy’s granddaughter Jessica nominated her gran for the award. She said: “It was lovely to see my gran in the spotlight. She so deserves it.” Patsy was presented with her award and £1,000, which in true selfless style she immediately said she would share with Jessica.

 

Video Transcription

 

Jessica, Granddaughter: She deserves to win, you know she really is a hero.

Patsy Thomas: I’m amazed because there were some lovely stories… touching stories, aren’t they. There really was.

Janet Ellis: My Grandma has been my rock since I was a small child. Aged five, my Mum got diagnosed with terminal cancer, and while my Dad was always there he was on call throughout the night, so I had to move in with my Grandma. The years passed, and my Mum passed away, but I never went back to live with my Dad. Although suffering from severe arthritis, Grandma was there for me for my first day at high school, for my first heartbreak… now I’m eighteen I’m still here and she still continues to go out of her way to look after me. If it wasn’t for her, I’d be truly lost.

Patsy Thomas: I’m so proud of my Granddaughter, you know. I mean, I didn’t really expect to win when I heard these lovely stories, but you know… and I’ve never won anything in my life. I’m so thrilled.

Jessica: Absolutely ecstatic. She really deserved to win.

Janet Ellis: All the stories deserved to win a prize, and they rightly did, but something about Patsy’s dedication to her Granddaughter was really special and both of them obviously really love each other and like each other a lot too which is great.

 

Grandad: Tony Forde, 77, Hertfordshire

While the grans got glammed up, Tony was taken suit shopping in London. Tony was nominated by his daughter-in-law Helen for the support he has shown since she gave birth to premature triplets in June 2009, just two weeks before moving house. She wrote: “We don’t know where we would be without his quiet and unassuming presence. His grandchildren think he is a hero.”

 

Video Transcription

 

Thomas Forde: Well, due to a nomination by my wife for Grandad, just to give him a day out and for him to recognise his achievements, what he’s done for us and my sister’s family, and for all of us and maybe people in the area where he works.

Janet Ellis: Grandad has been a hero to us since our triplets were born prematurely in June 2009. In the early days Grandad gave us a break at least once a week, looking after two babies at a time for a whole day. Grandad now regularly walks the mile to our house in all sorts of weathers, returning home with one toddler in a buggy. Grandad adores his family, and his family adore him. Our triplets say he’s their best friend and we think he’s a hero who deserves recognition.

Tony Forde: It means everything. It shows I’m appreciated really and I appreciate what people have done for me. I suppose I’ve been helpful in my own way and I’m sure she appreciates it a lot.

 

Glam Gran: Eileen Silver, 53, Kent

Elegant Eileen was nominated by her granddaughter, Macie, (with a little help from her grandad, of course!) for “being beautiful inside and outside”. Eileen, who works full-time in a nursery as well as looking after her granddaughters for three evenings a week, was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago, but is now in recovery and looking better than ever.

 

Video Transcription

 

Eileen Silver: I was overwhelmed, because my little Granddaughter nominated me. She’s seven, and I had no idea until I got the phone call. So to win it was really tremendous for me and also for her as well.

Janet Ellis: She’s a young at heart Nan, full of life, energy and fun. She’s beautiful inside and outside. She’s fifty three years old and works full time in a pre-school nursery, as well as looking after me and my little sister three afternoons and evenings a week. Everyone loves my Nanny. She’s a role model to her younger girls at nursery and is always there for everyone at any time.

Eileen Silver: When I got the phone call I screamed and I cried down the phone because I had no idea and I was just on my way to work when I got the phone call, so it was really, really lovely.

Janet Ellis: My Nanny had breast cancer four years ago and is now in her final year. She is very positive, and fundraises for Cancer Research, and she competes in Race for Life. She’s glamorous and active and we love her.

Eileen Silver: It feels wonderful. It feels absolutely wonderful and all the girls at work are really, really pleased for me, and, you know, they’ve really boosted me for it as well so, all behind me.

And what’s been the highlight for you today, what’s been the best part of the day?

E. Dibley, Eileen’s Mother: Her winning. She deserved it. She’s lovely.

 

Great Gran: Mary Sullivan, 84, London

This year, we wanted to recognise the role that great-grandparents play in the family and Mary, known as Small Nanny to her family, is a shining example. Her granddaughter Sabrina wrote: “It’s difficult to put into words how ‘great’ she actually is. My little boy starts nursery soon and Small Nanny has been caring for him each day for the last two years. I know she’ll be lost without him and he without her.”

 

Video Transcription

 

Sabrina, Granddaughter: I nominated my Grandmother for Great Gran of the year competition because she looks after my two children, so basically her Great Grandson and her Great Granddaughter, and she’s also got another Great Granddaughter as well. She’s just the rock of our family, basically.

Janet Ellis: My Great Nan has been called since I was tiny Small Nanny. She’s eighty four years old and a Grandmother to four Grandsons and me, her only Granddaughter. She’s also Great Grandmother to three Great Grandchildren. I do not think it is quite possible to put into words how great she actually is. She is a marvellous person, I don’t think I would have half the strength to be the Mum I am today without my Grandmother’s influence. It is the greatest feeling in the world to see Small Nanny with her Great Grandchildren and to hear them calling her Small Nanny as well. History in the making. Mary, come up here and get your prize.

Mary Sullivan: I’m awfully excited about it, I can’t believe it, I thought it would never happen to me. I never dreamt anything like this would happen to me. Never.

 

Active Gran: Gillian Jones, 61, London

For Gillian, the hardest part of the makeover day was sitting down long enough to be pampered! Gillian is used to being on the go, as she cares for her eight month old grandson Freddie five days a week to allow his mum Catherine to continue working. Catherine says: “She does an amazing job, her day is absolutely devoted to him.”

 

Video Transcription

 

Catherine Jones, Daughter: She doesn’t stop, like ever. Never ever stops, so, she looks after him all day from seven until half four, and then when I get home from work she tutors from half four until seven, like primary school children, and then she does, um, she’s a cub leader. She has been for forty years. She does that every Monday, and she only had like two weeks off and that was when she gave birth to me, um, and she also runs Sunday School at Church and just helps out in the community, the homeless shelter, just like everything doesn’t she! Everything! And she’s wonderful. Today I think definitely that the high tea, we liked that, so yeah… and Nanny got her hair done didn’t she.

Janet Ellis: Lots of people in the community often ask me how she does it. I don’t know is my answer. It will be lovely for her to have the recognition for what she does. Gillian, I know you’re going to sprint, so come up here and get ha ha.

Gillian Jones: It means everything to me, because it means that my daughter is really appreciating everything I’ve done and has thought about me especially, and that’s just a lovely thing for anybody to do… it’s lovely.

 
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