Citizens' Award Winners 2002
Camila Batmanghelidjh receives an award for her inspirational and outstanding work with disadvantaged and vulnerable children, for her moral courage, sheer determination and remarkable ability to achieve results where others have failed. Through her work in schools and through the establishment of the Kids Company, a centre providing support and succour to hundreds of children facing a life of abuse and moral deprivation, she has given children the love and support, and, most importantly, provided the tools and encouragement to build useful and productive lives. She has laid down a challenge to those in her field, and to the government, to emulate her example. Camila Batmanghelidjh is one of the truly inspirational leaders of her generation.
Pauline Charnley has lived since 1978 on the Four Grove housing estate in the Risedale Ward, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. The estate has been ranked among the top ten percent of most deprived areas in the United Kingdom. It had become such an undesirable site, ridden by drugs and criminal activity, that its number of boarded-up houses for which no tenants could be found, was fast rising. Vandalised allotments had become rubbish tips and only four were left rented. With the formation of the Four Groves Residents Association, spearheaded by Pauline Charnley, the downward spiral was first stopped and then reversed. The Cumbria Constabulary reported that within 23 months the estate is now a shining example of a community working together and that it has become a positive influence on other neighbourhoods in the area.
Geoffrey Paul Lythgoe
On 23rd May 2001 a head-on collision occurred at high speed between a car travelling on the A51 towards Lichfield, Staffordshire and a 7 1/2 ton Renault goods van. In the very heavy impact the wrecked car slewed through 180 degrees and burst into flames. A passing motorist, Geoffrey Lythgoe, and his wife, came on the scene. People standing around were not doing anything, whilst other vehicles simply drove past. Using his training with the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Mr Lythgoe ran to the vehicle, despite the imminent risk of the car exploding. He wrenched down the frame on the top of the driver's door and, with the help of a single policeman, extracted the seriously injured occupant from increasing heat and smoke. The victim eventually recovered, but suffered the amputation of his left leg above the knee. But for their skillful and courageous actions, the total of fatal traffic accidents would have been increased by one.
Captain Eric Moody
On midsummer's night in 1982 Eric Henry Moody, Captain of a southward flight BA009 from Singapore to Perth, Australia was at peace with the world, flying at 37,000 feet. Suddenly, all four of his Rolls Royce RB211 jet engines shut down. The plane was encased in the dancing light of St Elmo's fire. Unbeknown to him, the upper atmosphere has been filled with ash from an eruption of the Indonesian volcano Mt Galunggung. He has 263 people aboard. He was now flying in effect the world's heaviest glider - a 330 ton Boeing 747. Losing height at more than 30 ft per second for an interminable 14 1/2 minutes, he and his crew by dint of superb skill and ice-cool courage brought the aircraft down to 12,500 ft, where in clearer air they managed to re-fire the engines. The ash had so scoured the cockpit windows they were opaque. The air speed indicators were malfunctioning, nevertheless he effected a perfect landing at Jakarta airport. Captain Moody, whose hair turned white, received no Crown medal in recognition of a deed which provided data and insights for the whole of world aviation. He did however receive a Commendation, which carries a silver badge but no post-nominal letters. The number of such awards are not even officially published.