Who's Who 2009

Here are the results of Who s Who for 2009 Ely Standard editor, Debbie Davies, has chosen the 17 people she thinks have been inspirational during 2009. Liam Fairhurst Fund-raiser Liam Fairhurst died on June 30, 2009 after losing a courageous and har

Here are the results of Who's Who for 2009

Ely Standard editor, Debbie Davies, has chosen the 17 people she thinks have been inspirational during 2009.

Liam Fairhurst


Liam Fairhurst died on June 30, 2009 after losing a courageous and hard-fought battle against cancer. But the legacy he leaves behind will be remembered for generations to come. Liam's mum, Sarah, described him as a "a beacon of hope, courage and inspiration" and that best sums up this amazing young man who suffered so much and gave of himself so freely and willingly. Despite the pain, the setbacks and the energy-sapping treatment for cancer, Liam managed to raise more than �300,000 for charity, but equally as significant is the way he was able to inspire others into action. This resulted in hundreds of thousands of pounds for the coffers of the children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent and Liam going on to win several national awards for his courage and fund-raising efforts. A truly remarkable young man.

Nicole Wilson

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Brave teenager

Nicole was aged just 17 when she contracted meningitis while on holiday in Cyprus. Complications from the potentially fatal disease left her fighting for her life. Meningococcal septicaemia meant the loss of parts of most of her fingers and she suffered blindness in one eye. On the journey home from Cyprus, the teenager had to be ventilated three times and in the intensive care unit at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge she had two stomach bleeds, lost 13 units of blood and suffered several infections, a collapsed lung and a seizure. Sadly, despite the efforts of the medical staff, Nicole underwent surgery to have several fingers and both legs amputated. A bitter blow for a teenager who was a keen gymnast and had recently won a three-year scholarship to the Italia Conti Dance School in London. Her family set up the Nicole Wilson Trust and are raising funds to buy Nicole prosethic legs, and through this Nicole has become a positive role model for young people showing immense courage and presence of mind. It is hard to believe that Nicole survived her ordeal at all but her courage and determination to lead as normal a life as possible is inspirational.

Sid Wales

Winner of the Ely Standard's 2009 Unsung Hero Award

Sid has been the head teacher at Rackham Primary School in Witchford for 20 years. A keen sportsman himself, he has encouraged his pupils to participate and excel in a wide variety of sports. He can often be seen cheering from the sidelines at weekend competitions and after-school events. In October 2009, Sid suffered a stroke and has decided on medical advice that he will retire at the end of the current school term (July 2010). His colleagues say that his ability to motivate and encourage children to participate and achieve in everything from chess to football is an "incredible gift. Sid is the head teacher all parents want for their children.

Trevor Hopkinson

Winner of the Ely Standard's 2009 Sports Personality of the Year Award

Trevor has been involved with Ely City Hockey Club for 22 years. In that time he has undertaken a number of different roles, including player, umpire, coach, chairman and president. He has been instrumental in driving forward several ideas and plans that have helped to make the club not only more successful but also widen its appeal and accessibility in the community. He helped to set up the Zone Hockey scheme, which provides free sessions for adults and children with learning difficulties. Trevor takes a keen interest in the club at every level and stills plays and umpires every week. He colleagues describe him as "extremely kind" and a "true legend". Trevor has shown true dedication and is a great example of what can be achieved in the community with enthusiasm and commitment.

Richard Hobbs

Mayor of Ely

This is Richard's third stint as mayor of the city of Ely and when he took the role on in May he announced his intention to fund-raise for a new plaque for the city's war memorial. The plaque was to contain the names of all the servicemen who have died in conflicts around the world since World War Two. At the time it seemed like a huge task in a short space of time, but Richard set about fund-raising and contacted the Royal Navy Association and other military organisations to obtain the information. At 11am on November 11, 2009 he proudly laid his wreath at the war memorial with his new shiny plaque, containing all the names, firmly in place. The mayoral role is a demanding one and Richard is a great ambassador for the city, but his fund-raising campaign and the new plaque are testament to the worthiness of his appointment.

Eddie Canham


Eddie, who died suddenly on November 15, 2009, was a real unsung hero in every sense. He was a member of the Ely City Military Band - a position he held for 29 years and colleagues described him as the "perfect gentleman". In 1991 Eddie had a heart attack and his life changed forever. He and his wife Patricia decided they wanted to give something back to Addenbrook's and Papworth hospitals, where Eddie had been treated, and organised some coffee mornings to raise money for the Heartbeat charity which supports people who have undergone heart surgery. Over a 19-year period they raised more than �38,000 and this year Eddie made 160 jars of jam for one of their coffee mornings. Eddie was one of those stalwarts of the community who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help and support others. A true gent.

Emma Greaves

Magpas Volunteer

Emma, a mum-of-two, gives up more than 30 hours a week to make sure the people of Ely and Littleport received life-saving treatment in emergency situations. She is a Magpas volunteer and was recently recognised for her life-saving work at a glittering awards ceremony hosted by the East of England Ambulance Service. She was chosen from more than 2,000 volunteers across the region. Emma gives a whole new meaning to the word 'multi-tasking'. Thank goodness there are people like Emma out there supporting their communities.

Mark Peters

Star Radio Presenter

Mark is one half of the Breakfast team at Star Radio and also the station's programme controller. In 2006 Mark launched a Liamsmile campaign after being approached by Liam Fairhurst for a donation of �20 for the Clic Sargent charity. In typical fashion, he managed to turn this around and a few weeks later the fund-raising total sat at a magnificent �20,000. Support from the radio station led to a greater awareness of the charity and has no doubt played a part in the local success story that Clic Sargent has become. Mark is a great ambassador for East Cambridgeshire and such is his local appeal that his presence at any event will guarantee its success. A hard-working individual who thrives on the buzz that is gained from hosting community events. The bigger the task, the more impossible the odds of pulling it off and the more this man digs deep and achieves the desired result for everyone around him.

Peter Carter

Eel catcher

The humble eel is as synonymous with Ely as the great Norman cathedral that stares up out of the landscape and Peter Carter is working extremely hard to make sure that the slippery creature is here to stay. Eel numbers have slumped dramatically in the last 20 years and the eel is now an endangered spices. Peter is the last remaining eel catcher in East Cambridgeshire and retains many of the old skills involved in catching eels. He attends many local events where he demonstrates basket weaving and talks about the history of the eel and the importance of correct river management to ensure their future. Peter forms an important part of the fabric of Ely. His efforts to sing the praises of the eel and ensure that generations of children are informed about its history and existence is exemplary.

Keith Gallois


The latter end of 2008 was not a good time for Keith Gallois. His wife Lesley suffered a brain haemorrhage and he took on the job of caring for her, until that is, a few weeks later when he himself suffered a stroke. Most people would have, and quite rightly, felt sorry for themselves and taken some time out to recover and recuperate, but Keith is not 'most people'. He wanted to raise some money for the Neurological Critical Care Unit at Addenbrook's Hospital where Lesley received treatment and also where a few months later local teenager Sarah Oldham received emergency treatment after a car crash before she sadly died. He organised a NCCU Variety Performance - a stage show which featured dozens of amateur acts and raised �11,032. The show took place in May and attracted attention from Dame Judi Dench and Conservative leader David Cameron; and Lady Archer who attended the event. A staggering amount of money for anyone to raise at a local event, but for a man with more than his fair share of troubles - it was a truly magnificent feat.

Bill Hunt

Leader of the 'Say No To Mereham' campaigner

Bill was, and still is, the spearhead for this campaign which continues to rage on. He represents seven parish councils on the district council, and when he discovered a planning proposal for the creation of a new settlement called Mereham between Wilburton and Stretham, he knew local people would not be happy. He considered the plan for 4,000-6,000 homes, with little improvement to infrastructure and access roads, a disaster waiting to happen and set about making sure people knew how to register their protest. He organised petitions, set up market stalls to bring about awareness and handed out several hundred leaflets to inform the local population about the plan. The plan was rejected, but the fight continues as a new proposal has been announced and not yet heard. Bill is a man with a strong desire to protect village life and don't be surprised to see him pictured in the Ely Standard sitting in front of a bulldozer if the unthinkable happens and the Mereham plan is passed at some future date.

Avril Hayter-Smith

Ely's Town Crier

Almost no civic event in Ely would be complete without the city's town crier, Avril Hayter-Smith. The position was created in November 2001 when Avril won a 'cry-off' to take the title. She is one of the city's most colourful characters and, of course, one of the loudest! She spends several weeks each year organising a Town Crier competition, which sees criers from far and wide competing for the title at Ely's annual Eel Day which takes place in May. A larger-than-life character who brings a sense of the fun and jolly wherever she goes, and a welcome addition to all that is quirky about Ely and makes it such a nice place to live.

Peter Cresswell

Chairman of East Cambridgeshire District Council

When Peter was appointed chairman of East Cambridgeshire District Council in May 2008 he told colleagues he wanted to be more than just a man wearing a chain who turned up civic events. I think anyone who has come across Peter in his capacity as chairman would agree that he has fulfilled his role with a commitment and dedication that is a credit to the civic position. He ensures that the district council is not only represented at hundreds of civic functions, but also gives freely of his time to support local organisations such as Soham Village College and the Citizens' Advice Bureau. His Chairman's Concert in November, which raised more than �800 for Clic Sargent, was a huge success and it has become almost impossible to attend a sporting, business or community event in East Cambridgeshire and not bump into Peter. Peter is a credit to the role, but much more than that, he is a man who genuinely cares about the community he serves and the individuals who make up that community.

Nathan Jones

Arts Development Manager for Young People at ADeC

Nathan has worked hard in this vital role for 10 years. His colleagues say he is a real 'unsung hero' often working behind the scenes to make things happen whether it's at events or leading workshops. In 2006, he teamed up with Steve Mingay to develop Fenland Jam, a group which provides opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to come together to make music, socialise and share ideas. He encourages young people to enjoy the arts whether it's on stage, through music or learning backstage skills, encouraging them to participate, create and raise aspirations through the arts award qualification. There is no doubt that Nathan has inspired and encouraged hundreds of young people to take music more seriously, but just as importantly, hundreds more have been given the opportunity to try something new or different. Nathan provides a positive role model for young people, but he also helps to break down the negative media sterotypes that young people can suffer from. A hardworking individual who deserves to be recognised.

Ben and Pauline Jupp

Environmental Campaigners

Environmental issues are increasingly under the spotlight and in Ely there is a great enthusiasm to stake a claim on the 'green map' and highlight social injustice and two people have been at the forefront of these movements. Ben and Pauline Jupp most recently celebrated the fact that Ely became a Fair-trade Diocese and this was achieved in just 15 months and in the 900th anniversary of the Diocese. More than 160 churches in Cambridgeshire and West Norfolk are now serving Fair-trade tea, coffee and other products as a result. In order to campaign on several fronts, Ben and Pauline Jupp set up The Ely Social Responsibility Forum in November 2007 which campaigns include justice for people working in the sex trade and for farmers who are exploited by supermarkets and gang masters. They have organised marches to protest against slavery and encouraged local schoolchildren to think about the origins of the food they eat. A Stop the Traffik petition to highlight the trade of people and prosecute the traffikers, attracted more than 1,000 signatures in less than a month, but the Jupps are aiming for a million signatures before they present it to the UN. A truly inspirational couple who clear away the gloss of pretence and ignorance and help the rest of us mere mortals sit up, think, and take action.

Derek Crawley

Community Champion

Derek, who sadly died on August 20, 2009, had been mayor of Ely on three occasions. He was a Rotarian for 26 years and awarded the organisation's highest honour for his dedication to the community. He spent more than two decades raising money for local and international charities and served on the boards of several local organisations, including Dial-A-Ride, the Citizens' Advice Bureau, Ely Horticultural Society and Ely Community College. A true stalwart of the community who gave of his time and energy to serve others and raise awareness for those in need.