Here we go!

Wow! Where did that year go?

Today the 2017 Love Barrow Award nominations open (6th Oct). It hardly seems 5 minutes ago that we were celebrating the Best of Barrow at the Forum with the glitzy award ceremony!

But, time waits for nobody and here we are, opening nominations again – the clock is ticking and it’ll be closed again before you know it in November, then it will be Christmas, then the New Year and hey, we’re heading into awards night again!

So get your thinking caps on and get nominating those local heroes – keep checking this blog for full details as the nominations start rolling in!

Tonight’s the night!

How can that have come around so quickly? It only seems like yesterday that we opened the nominations for the 2016 Love Barrow Awards and here we are on the day of the event!
Tonight the red carpet will be rolled at The Forum as we welcome an amazing bunch of people to the 11th Annual awards night.
Dresses have been bought, suits pressed, shoes polished as the glitz and glamour of the glittering awards cermeony gets underway.
For our finalists it will be a night to remember as they sit down to a meal and then watch the awards cermenoy unfold in what promises to be an amazing night.
Our thanks go to our sponsors and everyone who has worked so hard behind the scenes to make tonight happen.
The finalists are:
Group or Project of the Year
VOCE, Keswick to Barrow walk, SAFA

Young Citizen
Ryan Bickle, Katherine Pugh, Ellie Larsen

Sports Volunteer
Paul Kell, John Jefferson, Colin Knight

Communtiy Focussed Business
Lisa Hart (Kidfest), Deemon Dance, Cheeky Monkeys Childcare

Apprentice / Trainee of the Year
Jake Newton, Jennifer Christie, Omar Echehamta

Citizen of the Year
Julie & Gavin Andrews, Joe Wardman, Irene Crabtree

Teacher of the Year
Ruth Squires, Mike Walsh, Craig Rutherford

Carer of the Year
Lee Winter, Janet Bury, Beverly Dixon

Environment Award
Pat Denny, Morecambe Bay Partnership, Barrow Park Rangers

Courage Award
Jo-Ann Ellis, Gill Tyson, Diana Burns


We look forward to welcoming them all on the red carpet – you can follow events live on Twitter, Facebook and The Bay Radio.

The 2016 Love Barrow Awards – Apprentice / Trainee Award

Jennifer Christie, Omar Echehamta and Jake Newton make up the three finalists in the Apprentice or Trainee of the year category in the 2016 Love Barrow Awards.

Jennifer Christie is a Business Support Apprentice working for Cumbria County Council supporting all aspects of Childrens Services. She has been with the organisation for just over a year and is a valued member
The nomination form told us that Jennifer is quick at learning with the ability to think outside the box and possesses excellent communication skills. Jennifer joined the department at a time of great change and transitions in ways of working, Jennifer has helped embrace the changes and helped others within the department.

Omar Echehamta  has been involved in North Walney Primary School since his children started school. The
teachers noticed how good he was at relating to children and asked him if he could help out in classes. Omar willingly volunteered in school and really enjoyed working with children.
His experience of volunteering in school led him to apply for an apprenticeship scheme through Lancaster & Morcambe college. Omar completed his level 2 childcare qualification in July this year and has now started his Level 3 qualification through Furness College. Omar is enthusiastic and committed to caring for children. He is a great male role model for the children in school and is well respected by the children and adults that he works with.

Jake Newton  has truly been a star throughout his time at Furness College. He was fortunate to receive an apprenticeship through BAE Systems in the Easter intake. Jake has always been willing to join in with College activities, during the Christmas fund raising, Jake lead a group who run a stall – his enthusiasm was infectious and soon the whole group were surrounded by customers.

Jake has always been willing to share his knowledge with others in class and is always willing to give opinions and to start discussions. Jake’s work in the workshop has always been of a very high standard, he has enjoyed the challenges of new tasks. “Nothing ever seems too much trouble for Jake a truly exceptional student. “

Three great finalists I’m sure you’ll agree and very difficult to choose an overall winner! We look forward to joining all three at the awards evening in March when all the Love Barrow Award finalists receive their accolades as finalists and winners.


The 2016 Love Barrow Awards – Environment Award

Time for some blog updates – I’ve been a little bit busy and have been caught out by the Love Barrow Awards main man John tweeting about this blog, so, quick, here we go…

The three finalists in the Environmental Award Category are:

Pat Denny, The Barrow Park-keepers and Morecambe Bay Partnership.

Pat Denny is well known in the local area for her love of wildlife and caring for animals, particularly birds, over many years.

Pat has transformed her home into a wildlife rehabilitation centre and haven where she nurses injured and sick animals back to health for release back into the wild. For birds that are unable to be released back, they spend their days in her aviaries.

She is over retirement age but continues to work to fund her good work with animals. She really is a dedicated and worthy Love Barrow Award nominee.

Barrow Park-keepers have been nominated for the work they undertake within the local park – it really is a wonder to see. The grass is always perfect, the flower beds are stunning, the whole place is a credit to the dedication of the team tasked with looking after it. As a regular at the weekly parkrun, I meet many people fro out of the area who come and visit our park to take part in the run – they always comment about what a stunning park we have here in Barrow and how it rivals any other in the country. Well done team!

Morecambe Bay Partnership is a small charity that makes BIG things happen. They are working hard to
bring benefits to the communities, heritage and environment around the Bay. To date, the Partnership has secured over £3.5M of external investment and are aiming to help secure £10M in the next 10 years to make
more great things happen. Recent projects include the Bay Cycle Way and bringing 2020Vision exhbition to the Bay.

They run a project called Love My Beach which encourages local communities and schools to get involved in environmental projects within their area, they also run the Dunes of Barrow Project, working closely with Natural England.

ALL THREE are great finalists, the winner will be announced at the awards night in March 2016, but in reality, they are all winners, well done all!


Carer of the Year nominee – Lee Winter

Lee Winter is a familiar face to anyone who visits the Forum arts centre and theatre in Barrow, he’s always smiling as he goes about his work there as the Technical Officer.

Lee holds down this full time job and also cares for his wife Joanne. He also balances that with looking after their lovely son Oliver who has autism.

Lee is described on the form as “Very caring and hardworking.”,  the person who nominated Lee anonymously also tells us that they had read Lee’s blog and it “really touched me the dedication he has to looking after his family.”

You can read Lee’s blog about his family and running hobby (slightly more than a hobby) at

Lee has also raised money for charities including the NAS furness branch through his running.

A worthy nominee, Lee is typical of many Love Barrow Awards nominees – “I’m just a carer” he said when we contacted him! I’m sure there;s a few people who think you’re a bit more than that Lee!