Claire's Nomination Story
"I think that my teacher, Miss Weston should carry the Olympic Flame. She works very hard teaching us, is always there for us and inspires us to do our best. Before she came to our school we didn't enter many sports competitions; now we often win them. After school she also runs a fab Cubs pack. Miss Weston loves the Olympics. She knows every Olympic date, every athletic record and every famous athlete from 1896 in Greece to now. I want to give Miss Weston the chance to hold the Flame and live her dream in 2012. Miss Weston has also helped me personally through my emotional troubles when I was eight. She looked after me at school and I would now like to give her something back, to say 'a big thank you'. (Ben's mum-she supported him well above that of a teacher) It would mean a lot if you could make this possible and it would change Miss Weston's life forever." Ben Lloyd,10 Years
Hannah's Nomination Story
"Hannah is a talented girl who works hard in whatever she does. She achieves well in all areas of her life be it in a classroom on a lacrosse pitch netball court or cross country course. In netball and lacrosse, Hannah is a strong defensive player, she marks and intercepts a ball well, she is also able to move into attack easily. She is on the school team for both sports as well as representing the school at cross country. She is respected by her peers and is sensitive and caring of others. She demonstrates true grit and determination, aspiring to achieve as an individual and as a team. Her progress is outstanding as are her relationships, patience, understanding of others and approachability, no matter what."
Hometown: Letchworth Garden City
John's Nomination Story
"John has been a North Herts Bowls club member for over 17 years and has taken on the voluntary roles of Captain, Chairman and now Grounds keeper. In his last role, he spends around 20 hours a week cutting grass, digging and weeding. He was a key member of a group of volunteers who built two new patios around the green, which involved digging up many tons of earth. John was very dedicated and did about 2/3 of the digging along with mixing over ten tons of concrete and a ton of mortar to pave the patio and surrounding walls! Following the patios John has tackled the other area around the green and spends many hours on the upkeep of the flower beds, lawns and other grounds. He has made a big impact on the facilities at the clubs and has inspired others who wish to see the standards maintained. For over 10 years he gets up early to prepare the green for that day's play. Very few people have been aware of how it was done. He works tirelessly and has done for many years behind the scenes and without much recognition. This in addition to the time he spends bowling and helping others with coaching. After all of this, John is now over 80 but is always cheerful and does not get downcast under the most challenging conditions. John recently received the Volunteer of the Year Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2011 Herts Sports Partnership's Service to Sports Awards." CR
Michael's Nomination Story
"Rifleman Michael Swain, 21, from 3rd Battalion The Rifles, lost both his legs in an IED explosion in Helmand Province in 2009. He is an incredibly active and determined young man. Despite his injuries, Michael leads a busy life and has taken part in a number of bike rides to raise money for charity and inspire fellow injured service personnel to not give up and to challenge themselves by giving back to the community. Later this year, Michael is taking part in SSAFA Forces Help's Ride of Britain and plans to cycle the entire route, 470 miles from Edinburgh to London, on a hand bike which he learned how to master as part of his rehabilitation. Of his efforts, Michael said: "SSAFA helps so many families and I'm proud to be able to give something back."
Riessen's Nomination Story
"My brother Riessen told all of his friends and family at his 40th birthday that he was going to train as a 'Samaritan'. He wanted to feel that he was giving something back to his community, as he had so many opportunities and wanted to say 'Thank-you' for them to help people that had not been as fortunate as himself. He volunteers at all different times which means he leaves family events early to get up for shifts at 6.00am and attends friends parties late as he works shifts at the weekend.
He does all of this whilst working full-time as a director in his job where he is respected by everyone who meets him. He is highly regarded by all his friends as the person to go to when anyone wants to discuss anything and always gives fantastic advice which is why no-one who has met him has ever disliked him! His is a fantastic dad to his two daughters which he learnt from our own dad but he has improved upon which I never thought possible..... I know people wish they had the relationship I have with Riessen which is why I am extremely proud to call him my brother the 'Golden Child' as he has always been known." CR
Scott's Nomination Story
"I would like to nominate my son Scott Marsh, based on his dedication to self-improvement and his passion for helping others. At the age of 17 he weighed over his age in stones, tipping the scales at 17.5 stones with a 46 waist to match. Over a period of a year he lost 100lbs in weight and 16 from his waist. After leaving University he knew that his passion had the potential to influence others. He continued to study with fitness and nutrition experts in the UK and USA and qualified as a Strength and Conditioning coach. He has just started his own Personal Training company, as an ode to his own personal journey, but mainly to help people in a similar situation to his. His enthusiasm and passion has allowed him to change the lives of people from the age of 7 all the way to 77."
Farida's Nomination Story
"Farida is a member of the team who since my first day at the branch has made me feel welcomed. Her bubbly personality and sense of humour are probably two of her biggest assets. She has bravely entered a difficult time in her life (she has recently been diagnosed with lung cancer) however remains the same person who the whole team love and have a lot of time for. She has taught me both work and life related skills and is the heartbeat of our team. She is an example to all employees of how to become a partner that fulfils the partnership values. If I knew a more worthy nominee, I would have put their name forward, however I don't. Farida is the light of our department therefore would be an excellent candidate to be a light for the games."
Hometown: Farnham Common
Jo's Nomination Story
"It would be a fitting recognition of Jo's dedication to running a number of half marathons and the London marathon over the past couple of years if she were to be chosen as an Olympic torch bearer on behalf of Nature Valley. Many years ago her husband used to "encourage" her (she would say nag) to do more exercise, predominantly because before children he used to exercise a lot, not because she was unfit! It is amazing given the little free time she has that she has set a number goals and met every one of them. Jo's endeavours have had a very positive impact on her children, they understand more about health, wellbeing and striving for a goal and she has influenced not only her husband to keep up his running but also some of her friends to start running. She has been touched by a few special people along the way who have inspired her to run for some great causes and who have motivated her during cold dark winter nights to keep on going. It would also be great for her children to be involved in some way, to see their mum being a torch bearer for the Olympics would make them even prouder of her and they are already and they are Nature Valley children after all!"
Hometown: St Albans
Kate's Nomination Story
"Kate is a foster mum and a youth worker in her local church, reaching out to kids in two local communities and running a youth group, Lyons Den, to help these young people. She is often seen driving a minibus around St Albans picking up people either for City church, Lyons Den youth group or toddler group She also set up a teenagers talkline, called City Care using a dedicated mobile phone and a support/counselling service in the aftermath of the sudden death of a young man who was a part of Lyons Den, the youth group she leads. Kate is in the process of setting up a young mums group and pregnancy support service for young families. Kate is well known in her community; she smiles through almost everything and is a source of joy and strength to all who know her."
Rebecca's Nomination Story
"Rebecca helps to look after her sister who has a rare medical condition which is treated at Great Ormond Street. She also suffers from psoriasis but always puts her sister first. She is a gifted and talented student who attends Lea Manor High School. Her whole family is proud of her. She has raised over 2 thousand pounds for her sister’s ward."
Hometown: Hemel Hempstead
Sarah's Nomination Story
"Sarah was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and has undergone rigorous treatment, losing her hair in the process. She returned to work and entered an ever challenging environment, still with health issues. Alongside this, Sarah has been part of a huge staff engagement and motivation project, she has gone the extra mile both outside of the boundaries of her health constraints but also her role Sarah’s positive attitude and outlook has shone through in her resilience to fighting her illness. In July 2010 she inspired runners in the Midnight Walk by completing the route herself. Her sense of humour and can do attitude have been a saviour in many difficult discussions and activities with staff which has brought about a significant culture change in the organisation. Sarah has been building up her personal fitness, aiming to stay healthy against the odds, inspiring others to improve their physical activity."
Natalie B (Heart FM)
Hometown: St Albans
Natalie B (Heart FM)
"Natalie B talks a lot, so much so she has a job doing it, waking up Herts, Beds, Bucks and Northants on Heart Breakfast with Stuart and Natalie. Natalie also does voiceover work on TV and radio – her dulcet tones get around! Originally from Nottingham, She has been rather nomadic due to her radio work moving her to Brighton, Nottingham and London before she got settled in St Albans 2 years ago, for her current job. Natalie is a keen sports lady, having cycled from London to Amsterdam for World Jewish Relief, as well as hosting and running Cancer Research’s Race for Life for the last few years with Heart and she will be running the St Albans Race for Life, the week after running with the torch. Natalie is thrilled to have been picked to be part of the torch relay and hopes to do a lap of honour with it at her wedding in September."