Pandemic heroes among those honoured at Pride of Britain Awards

Aine Fox, PA
·3-min read

NHS frontline heroes, an inspirational six-year-old and footballer-turned-food campaigner Marcus Rashford are among those honoured at this year’s Pride of Britain Awards.

The list of recipients also features 100-year-old veteran and charity fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore, a Holocaust survivor and a racial equality campaigner.

The awards have been presented by a host of famous faces including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, David Beckham and TV duo Ant and Dec.

Host Carol Vorderman said the winners “are the perfect representation of the way the nation has pulled together in 2020”.

While the pre-recorded show is broadcast next Sunday evening, landmarks across London, including the London Eye, BT Tower and County Hall, will be lit up in red, white and blue in celebration of the winners.

Rashford has been given a special recognition award for his ongoing campaigning to help feed vulnerable children, after his work forced a Government U-turn on free school meals in England this summer.

His campaign to extend provision over the holidays continues, with paediatricians, councils and businesses across the country backing him and helping out.

The 22-year-old striker accepted his award on behalf of “those who step up without the need for thanks and accolades”.

He said: “I am extremely humbled but I’d like to think that I am receiving this award on behalf of all of the incredible people who have selflessly stepped up to support their communities during this pandemic.

“I have met many of them and I am no more deserving than them.”

NHS workers have been given a special recognition award, presented by Kate and William, for their life-saving actions in the pandemic, after organisers said they received thousands of nominations for the health service.

Tony Hudgell, who had to have both his legs amputated in 2017 as a result of abuse suffered at the hands of his birth parents, captured the hearts of tens of thousands of people when he completed a heroic walking challenge this summer.

He set out to raise £500 for the hospital that saved his life by walking 10km in 30 days on his prosthetic legs, but ended up raising more than £1 million.

The six-year-old has been given the Good Morning Britain young fundraiser award.

Manchester United v Chelsea – Premier League – Old Trafford
Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford is recognised for his work campaigning for free school meals during the holidays amid the pandemic (Michael Regan/PA)

Sir Ben Helfgott has been recognised with the lifetime achievement award for his tireless work to help fellow survivors and educate younger generations about the Holocaust.

Lord Herman Ouseley receives a special recognition award for his work campaigning for racial equality in football for more than two decades and establishing the anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out.

Sir Tom, a Second World War veteran who raised £33 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden, was presented with his special recognition award earlier this year live on television.

Vorderman, who is providing commentary for the awards alongside Diversity star Ashley Banjo, said: “(This year) People have faced challenges unlike anything we could have imagined, but we have all helped each other through them, and that is what Pride of Britain is all about.”

– The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards, in partnership with TSB, will be broadcast on ITV on November 1 at 9pm.