This time last year we were in our first lock-down and completely oblivious as to what the rest of the year would look like…
“We’ll be back in the office after our summer holiday in August.”
“I’ll be having a big bash for my 40th in September.”
“See you at the Christmas Party in December.”
None of that happened.
But it does not take away the hope and prosperity we all felt this time last year. And that is exactly what the New Day Awards was all about.
I launched the awards back in April last year because I was genuinely touched by the old school community spirit that kept people together to support one another despite being physically apart. So much good was being done across the region and I felt I could use my channels and network to celebrate and give recognition to the many people and organisations going above and beyond to give light to others during a dark time.
The awards took off and the North East community really did get behind them, which was an amazing achievement for the Prospect 13 team. We were all working hard remotely, busy supporting an expanding client base and just coping with our strange new world as best we could. But what kept us excited and thinking positively was doing our small bit to give back to the community by delivering this special project – we all loved it.
It felt good to give these ‘unsung heroes’ of the pandemic a platform and recognise those who worked quietly throughout lockdown and acted as lifelines to many across Aberdeen city and beyond in their own unique way.
It is these ‘heroes’ that made the New Day Awards what it became. It was about giving back to those who gave so much. It was never about singling out individuals, but rather to raise awareness of all the good in the community.
A year on and we still find ourselves stuck to an extent – we have all experienced a year without things we take for granted…
Hugging extended family and friends.
Popping for a coffee on a Sunday afternoon.
Sitting in a restaurant until close, finishing off your third (or fourth…!) bottle of wine whilst the waiting staff clear up beside you.
Today, our New Day Award finalists, winners and many others, are still providing community support, with no signs of slowing down. So, I felt it was important to not only look back and reflect but also take the opportunity to highlight these initiatives again.
Because we never did get that chance to celebrate. We had plans to bring people together at the new P&J Live for a glitzy awards ceremony today – 13th May 2021 – exactly a year after our live virtual ceremony on Facebook. It was set to be an amazing event to re-cap on the achievements of our eight worthy winners:
Winner: Lisa Munro, Great Self Isolation Bake Off
Winner: Charlie House
Sport & Leisure
Winner: The Fitness Guy
Food & Drink
Winner: The Kilted Chef
Winner: North East Rig Out (NERO)
Winner: FUBAR News
But something more important is taking place at P&J Live at the moment. I will actually be there later this evening to drop off my husband for his vaccine so I may just rock up in my evening gown for the hell of it!!
A huge congratulations again to the New Day Awards winners – one year on and you are all still doing wonderful things. I caught up this week with two of the winners to find out what they are up to now…
Community Hero Winner - Lisa Munro, The Great Self Isolation Bake Off
"To find out that I had been nominated for an award was truly exciting, but to win the award for Community Hero was off the scale! Sitting in anticipation watching the live stream from Prospect 13 is a memory that I will treasure always.
A year on and my Facebook community group is going from strength to strength, and with restrictions starting to lift, I am hoping to be able to start meeting some of the members that I have never met before and maybe even arrange a little party. I also have some exciting plans that will be revealed soon so it is an exciting time indeed."
Media Winner - Admins, Fubar News
"Fubar News was delighted to accept the New Day award on behalf of the Aberdeen community. We would be nothing without the 175,000 people who have joined in and sent messages to this fabulous community spirited page.
It has helped and informed many people in good times and in bad and hopefully put some smiles on some faces along the way. Our Admin team like being anonymous as the local community should take the credit for creating the best and biggest media page in the area. Thanks again to everyone who voted for us, you are amazing!"
Sport & Leisure Winner - The Fitness Guy
"The New Day Award meant so much to us an dour clients at The Fitness Guy during such tough times. It was wonderful to be recognised for the hard work we put into creating a workout and recipe app which enabled subscribers to keep on top of their health and fitness goals whilst gyms were closed. It took blood, sweat and tears getting the app live in such a short space of time, so your award was very much appreciated.
In the last year, we have also created ‘The Fat Furnace’ which is a 14-day programme, and it has really turned our business around. We also continue to offer our 10-week course using the app which is expanding with new workouts and recipes added weekly."
3rd Sector Winner - Sarah Bremner, Charlie House
“Winning the 3rd Sector New Day Award last year really was such a boost for the team during extremely challenging times. In lockdown we have seen our income down by 70% against previous years and the requests for our support up a staggering 84%.
One year on we find ourselves settled into a new virtual way of working, it’s not the same for the team but we are all still lucky to be doing what we love, making the most of every opportunity and most importantly being able to support local families when they need it most. That has never wavered! We rely on our annual events, donations, corporate support and our incredible fundraisers every year to enable us to have the funds to continue to offer our free support services to North-east families. As restrictions continue to ease, we are so excited to be able to get back out there and see and thank these hugely important people face-to-face for their continued support".
So, we won’t party this evening, but we can be thankful for everything we have and think back to the fab memories of the virtual awards last year.