We live in extraordinary times, which is actually ideal as last night some of the island’s community joined together to celebrate some of the Extraordinary Islanders who have done so much to inspire and support others through what has been an extremely challenging 18 months.

Organised by Isle of Man Advertising & PR, the night brought the Nunnery to life to recognise the individuals, teams and innovation that has inspired hope and been a cause for celebration across the island.

The winners are…

Team Spirit and Wellbeing (Sponsored by RL360)

Luke Adebiyi, described as ‘Capital International’s answer to Joe Wicks’, made working from home that bit easier for his colleagues by producing packs that included exercises, recipes, music and much more. And he did all of this alongside his full-time role. Luke also created a virtual staffroom and organised events for staff from both the Isle of Man and South Africa so they could catch up, making a huge impact on staff wellbeing.

Young Citizen (Sponsored by ZEDRA)

When we all needed someone to inspire us, little did we know that nine year-old Jayden Gaines would be that hero. Jayden decided that he wanted to do something positive and set out to ride 100 miles on his bike to raise money for Ramsey Rugby Club ‘Doorstep Deliveries’ on behalf of the Isle of Man Foodbank. His initial goal was to raise £100 but the final figure was a fantastic £2,370. The island has produce some amazing cyclists over the years, but few have really captured people’s minds and hearts like Jayden managed to.

Charitable Endeavours

What can you really say about this man other than 19 marathons in 19 days! While the thought of even one marathon would leave many of us in tears, Christian Varley ran a grand total of 497.8 miles and raised more than £100,000 for the Manx Solidarity Fund in the process. While May 2020 may seem like over a year ago, and in fact it is, Christian’s sheer determination brought light to what was an incredibly dark time for our island and finishing his final marathon on the top of Tynwald Hill is a sight which will long live in our collective memory. 

Caring for the Vulnerable (Sponsored by Ramsey Crookall) (Individual)

A truly remarkable woman who selflessly threw herself into helping others, Helen Walmsley runs ‘A Little Piece of Hope’, a local charity dedicated to helping bereaved families and sick children. It offers a support network and helps families to arrange hospital travel, funerals and headstones in what are their darkest hours. During the lockdowns, Helen organised shopping deliveries for these families in the south and east of the island and arranged for monthly ‘anxiety boxes’ to be delivered to poorly children ensuring that even when people were isolating, they weren’t isolated from the support around them. 

Innovation & Technology (Sponsored by Manncoin)

The island’s motto of whichever way you throw it it will stand, is not only a good slogan, it binds together the people of the Isle of Man to stand together in the face of adversity and the group behind Crowdshield.im epitomised that spirit. With the island needing to fulfill an increased demand for PPE during the pandemic, 30 laser cutter and 3D printer owners joined together to produce a fantastic 3,341 face shields in just two weeks. 

Contribution to the Community (Sponsored by KPMG)

Sport is a big part of island life and the community supports all sorts of individuals and teams and when lockdowns saw residents needing help, Ramsey Rugby Club returned the favour and stepped forward to set up a delivery service for isolating and vulnerable people all over the north of the island. 

Dave Harding and Gareth Hinge were the main organisers behind the taskforce but rallied together members of the club including wives, girlfriends and children who were all keen to help out. Overall, the club estimated that they reached more than 200 people from the start of lockdown in March. 

Caring for the Vulnerable (Sponsored by Ramsey Crookall) (Group)

When the island’s caregivers were needed to staff the island’s primary care settings, Crossroads stepped in to not only support their regular clients, but also to take on the extra responsibility of looking after the gov’s homecare services too. The charity and its staff really did  go above and beyond to make sure their clients were given the care they needed and every single member of staff went the extra mile to make sure Crossroads could continue providing much needed respite care.

Overcoming Adversity (Sponsored by Boston)

All of the night’s winners were deserving of recognition, as indeed were all the nominees and finalists, but if one little guy has truly shown that no distance is too great and no mountain too high, it was eight-year-old Dylan Walton. Dylan has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, but that didn’t stop him setting himself the ambitious challenge of climbing Snaefell and running a marathon to raise money for Rebecca House and COVID-19 relief charities. Not only did he smash these goals, Dylan went on to raise a truly incredible £30,000 for island charities.

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