Paramedic who hosts Christmas dinner for elderly reaches Amplifon Awards for Brave Britons final
A paramedic who brings Christmas cheer to pensioners has reached the final of the Amplifon Awards for Brave Britons.
Sara Lace, of Southport, has been nominated for the Community Champion award, as global hearing specialist Amplifon searches for unsung heroes who represent ‘The Best of British’.
Sara has served Christmas dinner for 40 elderly people at the fire station where she’s based since 2013. She was inspired to act after being sent on a call to an elderly man just days before Christmas 2012 and learning he had no relatives to share Christmas dinner with.
Upset by the encounter, she approached her manager to ask whether they could use the station’s community rooms the following year and a tradition was born.
Colleagues put forward the names of people they’d like to invite and Sara asks local businesses and community groups to donate food, gifts and money for the event.
Paramedics and firefighters help on the day, peeling vegetables, decorating the room and wrapping presents before serving dinner and playing bingo with their guests. One member of the crew even dresses up as Santa to deliver presents.
Sara was delighted to be nominated for the Community Champion award. She said: “So many emergency service staff are on duty at Christmas and it’s great to get them involved in the dinner. My mum Flo and son James help out and, last year, James said it was the best Christmas Day he’d ever had.
“I keep on fundraising to host the dinners because after seeing how much the guests enjoy it I couldn’t not do it again!”
Set up in honour of Amplifon’s founder, Second World War hero Major Charles Holland, the awards recognise courage and achievement in the categories of Outstanding Military Bravery, Community Champion and Against All Odds. Animals who have transformed the lives of their owners are honoured in the Hero Pet category.The finalists will be judged by a panel including Falklands war veteran Simon Weston, who is an ambassador for Amplifon.
Charles Holland was awarded both the MBE and the Military Cross and received the Bronze Star from the United States Government in 1948 for his bravery behind enemy lines during the Second World War.
After the war, the courageous veteran dedicated his life to providing better hearing for people affected by the conflict and in 1950 launched Amplifon, which has become a global company specialising in providing the best in class hearing solutions and devices.
Giuseppe Manzo, general manager for Amplifon UK & Eire, said: “We received some fantastic entries in the Community Champion category and the four finalists truly embody the heroism shown by Charles Holland.”
The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Army and Navy Club in London on Tuesday 17th October.
A panel of judges will choose an overall winner of the Charles Holland Award from the category winners, who will win a trip to Italy.