TWO-YEAR-OLD Loui Herriott-Heath stole the show at The Argus Community Stars Awards as he ran across the stage amid cheers and falling confetti.

Little Loui, who has Treacher Collins Syndrome, shared the Courageous Child Of The Year award with Amelia Craig and Oscar Blackwell

They were among dozens of winners at the awards ceremony at the Theatre Royal Brighton yesterday.

Hundreds packed the auditorium to see TV presenter Fred Dinenage honour Sussex's best for their efforts as carers, parents, volunteers, charity workers and local heroes.

Luminaries including the Mayor and the High Sheriffs of East and West Sussex were there to hand out awards.

Taking the prestigious prize for Outstanding Contribution to Sussex was Major Tim Peake who spent six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS) last year.

Sadly Major Tim could not make it but Beverly Sawyers, of category sponsor American Express, read out a message from the astronaut.

“I was delighted that my six month mission to the ISS had such a positive impact on so many people back home in Sussex and continues to inspire our next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers.

“The Argus Community Stars do an amazing job of recognising the unsung heroes of our homes community and there will be many individuals and groups here today to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude.”

The 15th annual awards ceremony got underway at 2pm with an extraordinary display of choreography by the young dancers of Vicki Cooper's Dance School, featuring star dancer AJ Martin who made the shortlist for the Contribution to Arts and Culture award.

The category was later won by Paula Woolven and the Barn Theatre in Seaford.

Other awards handed out included mass-literacy event City Reads for the Community Event of the Year – for which The Argus received more nominations than almost every other nominee combined.

Vicky Tremain, project manager for City Reads, said: “I’m absolutely over the moon, I’m really gobsmacked. We are so appreciative to all he grassroots support we’ve got, there's so much support in the community and it really shows there’s a power in reading.”

Her colleague Sarah Hutchings, artistic director, added: “People can see bookish people as a bit wallflowery and we shine a light on all the brilliant things about books and how good it is to share that.”

  • Don't miss our special eight-page awards supplement in The Argus on Wednesday.


DESERVING winners from the worlds of charity, sport, public service and the church rubbed shoulders as they were honoured at The Argus Community Stars Awards yesterday.

This annual event, now in its 15th year, follows a busy few months during which The Argus received hundreds of nominations across the categories.

Emily Kenward, of Time to Talk Befriending, an outreach programme which won the award for Charity of the Year, said: “There are thousands of older people in our city and we try to work in the community to find people to reach. We encourage communities to locate those people who are behind closed doors so we can help them and let them know what’s going on.”

Employee of the Year Tim Fellows, of the South East Coast Ambulance Service, who has been crucial in The Argus’ campaign to install defibrillators around the county, said: “I’m very, very proud.

“I think The Argus has done a brilliant job with the Save a Life campaign and this is really a recognition of everything community groups and volunteers have done as well as my staff on a daily basis to help save lives.”

The Rev Ann Waizeneker, of the St Mary de Haura church, Shoreham, received multiple nominations for the work she has done to help the community after the tragedy of the airshow crash in August 2015.

After picking up the Beyond the Call of Duty award, she said: “I think when tragedy strikes, all anybody wants to do is make things better for those who’ve suffered but that isn’t always possible.

“What we can do is be there in support, and that’s what Shoreham has done since that day and what we’ll continue to do.”

TV presenter Fred Dinenage compèred the proceedings and entertainment was provided by Crawley-based Vicki Cooper’s Dance School and by Brighton’s The Baby Faced Blue Buskers, who treated the audience to everything from Johnny Cash to Buddy Holly.

Among the other winners were the Hove Luncheon Club, which won Volunteer Of The Year.

Volunteer Caroline Henderson said: “I am ecstatic. I’m so proud of all these people, they come every Tuesday and Thursday and they work their guts out to feed lonely, vulnerable isolated people, and they do it every week and have such a laugh.”

The biggest cheer came for the brave young winners of the Carole Barnes Award For Courageous Child of the Year award. Fred Dinenage then signed off the event with his catchphrase “And that’s How, for now.”More than £600 was also raised from the raffle for The Argus Appeal.


  • Charity of The Year sponsored by Kreston Reeves

Time to Talk Befriending

  • Outstanding Contribution to Sussex Award sponsored by American Express

Major Tim Peake

  • Community Event of The Year sponsored by Brighton & Hove Bus Company

City Reads

  • Employee of the Year sponsored by Anti-Graffiti Systems

Tim Fellows

  • Beyond the Call of Duty sponsored by BIMM

The Rev Ann Waizeneker

  • Community Star of the Year sponsored by Bungards Funeral Directors

Ann Menhinick

  • Parent of the Year sponsored by Blanch House

Marian Tipler

  • Young Sports Star of the Year sponsored by EC Learning

Blaze Gerrard Brown

  • Young Community Star of the Year sponsored by Churchill Square

National Citizen Service volunteers

  • Public Services Award sponsored by Northstar

Olive and Hugh Mulloy

  • Volunteers of the Year sponsored by UK Power Networks

Hove Luncheon Club

  • Business in the Community Award sponsored by AVT

South Downs HA mental health programme

  • Grandparent of the Year sponsored by Hilton Metropole

Marion Cook

  • Green Project or Person of the Year sponsored by Nuffield

Real Junk Food Project

  • Contribution to Arts and Culture sponsored by Theatre Royal Brighton

Paula Woolven

  • Carer of the Year sponsored by Pembroke Care Group

Janis Simmonds

  • Local Hero of the Year sponsored by Engleharts

PC David Catt

  • Youth Group of the Year sponsored by Bowers & Wilkins

Brighton Pebbles

  • Contribution to Sussex Sport sponsored by Juice 107.2

Heartbeat FC

  • The Carole Barnes Courageous Child of The Year sponsored by The Argus Appeal

Amelia Craig, Loui Herriot-Heath and Oscar Blackwell