HUNDREDS of people gathered in the impressive Coronation Hall to celebrate the great and the good of Ulverston.

Finalists and guests came dressed immaculately for one of the biggest events in the festival town’s calendar - The Heart of Ulverston awards.

Jonathan Lee, managing director of Newsquest Cumbria, paid tribute to each nominee and thanked every sponsor.

Donations to St Mary’s Hospice were given on the night - with Barclays matching the amount raised.

Following the speech, the illustrious awards got under way.

It is an impossible task to put in to words what Nigel Atkinson has done for the town of Ulverston.

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Each award was special in their own way. Felix Cooper, a 10-year-old who completed a 300-mile tour of the Hebrides to raise money for the nurses who helped a family friend, won this year’s Young Citizen of the Year.

In an emotional tribute, Jack Talbot and Phil Clark shared the Courage Award for their remarkable efforts of bravery and determination to get on with life no matter what is thrown at them.

It was a fantastic night for the Clark family as Owain, who battles Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, an incurable genetic disorder that weakens the collagen in the body, won the Young Courage award during a night of celebration for the remarkable people of Ulverston.

Roger Chattaway received the Citizen of the Year award for his help, willingness and community spirit during the last 38 years. He chose to share the award with fellow finalists Bill Kitson and Kenny Thomas.

Two awards were rightly picked up by Ulverston Community Enterprises, who were nominated due to their fantastic work of saving the Coronation Hall from closure and keeping the market hall alive and kicking. They went home with Community/Project of the Year and GSK 70th Year Anniversary Community awards.

Manchester City goalkeeper Curtis Anderson, who starred in England’s Under 17 World Cup glory last year, won the Young Sports Performance award.

For her incredible 35 years volunteering in the community, the inspirational Cathy Bloom won the Helping Hand award for her work with the NSPCC and St Mary’s Hospice. Along with husband Paul, Cathy helps provide money for Indian children to get a good education.

To recognise the fantastic business she has set up in the town, Lauren Hart was the Young Entrepreneur of the Year for her incredible work since opening Blue Bell & Ivy. Since the opening in 2016, the shop has grown in stature and has now moved to Queen Street.

Rob Rastelli was named Teacher of the Year for his dedication to UVHS sixth form and GCSE chemistry over the last 22 years. He is known for going above and beyond to making a different to his pupils.

With acknowledgement of creating a wildlife community garden that the Ulverston community thrive in, Sophie’s Garden Community Group deservedly won the Environmental Volunteer award.

Terry Sandham, with 30 years of dedicated work to GSK, won the Employee of the Year.

Terry has given the young people of Ulverston a chance by offering guidance, support encouragement as an apprentice programme runner.

And Nigel Atkinson picked up the Sports Volunteer of the Year and Lifetime Achievement awards for his services to the community. The awards were a reminder of the strength of our communities and the special bond Ulverstonians have for each other.