Fife’s unsung heroes took centre stage last night as the tireless work of individuals, businesses, schools and voluntary organisations was celebrated at the annual Kingdom FM Local Hero Awards.
Hundreds of guests packed into the Rothes Halls in Glenrothes to hear amazing stories and mark the achievements of people across the region.
Top gong of the night was the Kingdom FM Outstanding Achievement Award which went to Elaine Wyllie MBE in recognition of her major contribution to the health and wellbeing of children across the globe.
The retired teacher from Burntisland started the Daily Mile project at a school in Stirling in 2012 and, since then, the initiative has been adopted in 65 countries, with 9,312 schools and nurseries taking part.
Mike Watson, chief executive of DC Thomson Media, presented the award to Mrs Wyllie, stating she had demonstrated that “keeping it simple works best”.
Former Liberty X turned Wet Wet Wet singer Kevin Simm was the headline performer on the night, and there were star turns from the Leuchars and Rosyth Military Wives and singer songwriter Cody Feechan, who was the recipient of this year’s Home Grown Talent Award.
The Kelty Allotment group was named Best Community Group ahead of runners-up Fife Gingerbread and the Kelty and District Loving Hands group.
Jan Kerr, who cares for her long-time friend and multiple sclerosis sufferer Kitty, was named Carer of the Year, Alex Little Funeral Directors took the New Business Start Up Award and Ben Donnachie, a former soldier who set up the Warrior Academy for Rehabilitation, was given the Unsung Hero Award.
Kirkcaldy High School was winner of the Best School Award, while 11-year-old Katie Pake, a pupil at Coaltown of Balgonie Primary, was given the Child of Achievement Award.
She became just the third person in the country to have part of her leg removed, known as Rotationplasty, after being diagnosed with cancer. Not only has Katie returned to competitive swimming but she also finds time to act as a young ambassador for local child cancer charity Love Oliver and is the face of Cancer Research campaigns.
Provost Jim Leishman was on hand to grant the Provost Award to the King’s Theatre project in Kirkcaldy, which is transforming the town’s old cinema and hosting live entertainment events at the YWCA.
Growers Garden Limited was given the Green Initiative Award for producing crisps using misshapen vegetables that would normally be discarded.
Val El Dieb and Wayne Melrose jointly won the Fundraiser of the Year Award for their work in the Cupar community, Volunteer of the Year went to 17-year-old Police Scotland volunteer Morgan MacGregor, and Invictus Games hero Michael Mellon was named Sports Person of the Year.
The Mary Leishman Award this year went to the Roads to Success Art Exhibition, which has seen staff at Contact Point Fife work with people mental health issues to create a month-long display of artwork in the Lochgelly Centre.