Citizens' Award Winners 2000
Mrs Florence Siddons
In 1978, a man who brutally murdered a sixteen-year-old girl in Derby was acquitted due to insufficient evidence. The girl's grandmother, Mrs Florence Siddons, was shattered, but rather than give up, she fought. She overcame countless setbacks, dead-ends and legal obstacles. Her extraordinary determination was finally rewarded when the Old Bailey found the original suspect guilty - more than thirteen years after he was originally acquitted.
On 16th March 2000, the night of a Muslim festival, five policemen were attacked with a barrage of bricks and bottles by a large and violent crowd in Manchester after they tried to arrest a youth for vandalising a car. The policemen were cornered and hopelessly outnumbered. Three of them were injured. At great risk to himself and his property, Shabir Mughal ushered the policemen inside his restaurant. The windows were smashed, but Mr Mughal still refused to give in to the angry mob, holding out until police reinforcements arrived.
In Leicester on 9th February 1999, Roger Leck heard the alarm of the neighbouring branch of a building society go off. Moments later he saw a man with a stocking over his face and a handgun running out of the building. Mr Leck gave chase. Only after suffering an injury to his neck, did Mr Leck realise that the gun was an imitation. He continued to chase the man and his action ensured the arrest of a criminal who was wanted by the police and known to be violent and extremely dangerous.
Mrs Doreen Chard
In 1949, Mrs Doreen Chard was told that she would be unable to have children. She and her late husband, Patrick, decided to adopt a little girl called Gloria. Judy and Hilary quickly followed. Thirty five years later Mrs Chard took in a three year old boy, who is nineteen years old and saving money to take a degree in Sports Management. Unbelievably he was the 732nd child to whom she had given a loving home.
Mrs Phyllida Bowser
Mrs Phyllida Bowser, of Dundee worked in a semi-derelict centre for the homeless for fifteen years. She has been the driving force in raising £500,000 to build a new centre, which has just opened. It aims to break the cycles of offending and drug or alcohol addiction, and help people to start a new life in which they can support themselves. Mrs Bowser continues her work and too often sits in the local crematorium as the only mourner.
Ken Venables and Ray Williams
Mr Venables and PC Williams have dedicated much of the last five years to raising the self-esteem of countless teenagers, many of whom were juvenile offenders. Leading by example, they use physical challenges, including fell-walking, abseiling, canoeing and assault courses to give their charges new confidence and self-respect as well as a real sense of achievement. Their scheme has been so successful at steering children away from a life of crime that there are now plans for it to be copied all over the country.