Annual Forth Awards shine spotlight on local heroes
Fringe favourites and music legends
The great and the good from across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife were celebrated today (14 November) at the annual Forth Awards, alongside music industry legends and Fringe favourites.
Ten awards were handed out – six for community winners and four for entertainment – as nominated and voted for by Radio Forth listeners.
The Community Awards were set up to recognise those unsung heroes who never normally get credit for the great things they do, and this year six incredibly worthy winners took home awards.
Sean Carr collected the Community Venture Award sponsored by Gyle Shopping Centre for Urban Nature Retreat who have created a unique, safe environment for disadvantaged children with disabilities to enjoy the therapeutic benefits that animals and nature can provide.
Irene Squires-Guild was crowned Local Hero, collecting the award sponsored by The Edinburgh Evening News after dedicating her life to helping others, following the death of her son. A volunteer with the Red Cross, Irene assisted with relief for the Grenfell tragedy and regularly fundraises for those in need, offers support to refugee families, amongst many other selfless endeavors.
The Best Restaurant award with Caledonian Heating and Plumbing was presented to Italian La Rusticana while Sarah Keenan from Carnegie Primary in Dunfermline was named top of the class, winning the Best Teacher Award, sponsored by Fuse.
Charity Volunteer of the Year sponsored by Heritage Portfolio went to Neil Rankin from Street Assist, founded to help the citizens and emergency services within the City of Edinburgh. Finally, the Cash for Kids Award with Westwoods Health Club was collected by Paula Bowie, founder of L.I.F.T – Low Income Families Together – a new project which works with these families to reduce barriers restricting families from moving forward in life.
The final four awards celebrated entertainment with special appearances and performances from award winners. Janey Godley collected The Forth Fringe Award sponsored by OMNI Edinburgh, awarded after her Festival run and for her hilarious take on the news with her now infamous ‘dub’ videos.
The Forth Scottish Best Artist Award with Victor Paris was claimed by Sophie Ellis Bextor who performed her hits ‘Groove Jet’, ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ and ‘Take me Home’.
Marc Almond of Soft Cell was awarded The Forth Icon Award, sponsored by The Edinburgh Playhouse. Marc delighted the attendees with a fittingly iconic performance of both solo and Soft Cell singles. Commenting on his win, Marc said: “It’s a real honour to be awarded the Forth Icon Award. I love performing in Scotland and can’t wait to return next month for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay”.
Finally, The Forth Contribution to Music Award with The Liquid Rooms was awarded to Scottish rockers Wet,Wet, Wet who have sold over 15 million singles and albums to date, and featured in the official UK charts for over a massive 500 weeks, with their albums certified platinum 20 times in the UK. The band, newly invigorated by the introduction of lead singer Kevin Simm thrilled attendees with their impressive back-catalogue.
The Forth Awards were hosted by Radio Forth favourites Boogie and Arlene and attendees were also treated to theatrical performances from The Lion King ahead of the show’s return to The Playhouse in December and The Steamie, ahead of their December run at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro. Further musical entertainment came from Edinburgh girl Nina Nesbit and the now iconic dance music section of the awards saw Shena take to the mic with the classic ‘There’s nothing I won’t do’.
Richie Jeffrey, events and marketing manager at Radio Forth said: “The Forth Awards are a fantastic mix of celebration that spans local heroes plus the best music and entertainment. Everyone at Radio Forth is hugely proud to put on an event which is able to recognise the acts of selflessness of our local community winners whilst being able to provide top class entertainment from our industry winners and many more. Congratulations again to all of our incredibly deserving winners and nominees.”
Martin Perry, director of development at sponsor Edinburgh St James, said: “Every year the Forth Awards just seem to get better and better, which means our continued sponsorship of this great event is no real surprise.
“Our involvement with the Forth Awards throughout the lifecycle of this project feels especially poignant now we are less than a year away from opening our first phase, delivering a once-in-a-generation development that equals Edinburgh’s global reputation.
“But we knew from the start that, for Edinburgh St James to truly succeed, we needed to develop real partnerships across the city, and our relationship with Radio Forth continues to be one that we are very proud to have.”
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