We reveal the winners of The Sun’s Who Cares Wins awards at glittering star-studded bash

DR Waheed Arian scored a dream meeting with his footie idol when David Beckham presented him with the Best Doctor award at The Sun’s Who Cares Wins awards.

The inspirational medic, who picked up the gong on a star-studded night for inspirational heros in London last week, has supported Man Utd since arriving in the UK as an Afghan refugee 21 years ago.

And he could not contain his delight at picking up the gong from the Red Devils legend.

Waheed, 36, from Chester, said: “To have David Beckham present this award to me . . . When I came here as a 15-year-old refugee, seeing David playing was amazing.

“That’s why I became a Man Utd fan, because of Sir Alex and David — that’s who I grew up with.”

When he arrived from war-torn Afghanistan on his own as a teenager, Waheed had just £80 and the dream of becoming a doctor.

He spent his childhood being shelled by Russian forces before fleeing to Pakistan, where he lived in a refugee camp.

Witnessing tragic scenes — and picking up a potentially deadly combination of tuberculosis and malaria — he knew he wanted to make a difference in other people’s lives.

In Britain, Waheed worked alongside doing A levels, eventually earning a place to take medicine at Cambridge.

After graduating in 2010, he had two aims.

He says: “I wanted to give back to this country and the NHS, and I wanted to help the country I was born in.”

Waheed has now done both. In 2015, he launched medical charity Arian Teleheal, which supports medics in war-torn countries, and he worked on the frontline of the pandemic.

His win featured in the TV coverage of the ceremony broadcast on Channel 4 last night.

The awards, hosted by Davina McCall, 53, celebrated winners across 13 categories.

SCARS OF CONFLICT

Becks, 46, said: “When you hear stories like Waheed’s it’s amazing and humbling. For children in refugee camps seeing people like Dr Arian win these awards, it’s inspiring. We all want to be inspired and that’s why nights like tonight are so important.”

Accepting the award, Waheed said: “This is a special moment for me, having survived 15 years of conflict, surviving the bombs in Afghanistan, refugee camps, tuberculosis, and coming here as a 15-year-old with nothing, no family support money, no formal education and the scars of conflict.

“But it was the compassion of the British people that allowed me to realise my dream.”

Best Midwife: Angela Chamberlain

WHEN the pilot on her return flight from a holiday in Tenerife asked if anyone was medically trained, Angela leapt into action.

She found Lauren McLean in labour in the plane’s loo – and with three hours before they were due to land, the midwife knew her fellow passenger needed urgent attention.

Angela, 40, from Walsall, West Mids, said of the drama in March 2020: “Lauren’s mum explained to me that she was 30 weeks pregnant and had been having abdominal pains for a couple of days. Now she was leaking fluid.”

As the pilot diverted to Portugal, Angela urged Lauren not to push.

Thirty minutes later Lauren was in an ambulance while Angela explained the situation to the paramedics. Baby Oscar was born minutes later, weighing 3lb 7oz.

Lauren, a data analyst from Solihull, West Mids, who nominated Angela for the award, said: “There is no doubt that she saved Oscar’s life. I can’t thank her enough.”

Angela was presented with the Best Midwife gong by TV’s Penny Lancaster and Steph McGovern.

Penny, 50, said: “I was lucky enough to be one of the judges for this award and was imagining how terrifying it must have been for the mother, but Angela did her job. No one else could have done what you did and that was just incredible.”

Best Nurse: Jackie Brunton

IT was the day the Prime Minister announced a nationwide lockdown.

So when Susan Aryton’s father Neville, 73, was hospitalised with a severe case of Covid in March 2020, she was told she wouldn’t be able to visit.

But Jackie, lead nurse for end-of-life and bereavement at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, ensured the pair would be able to say proper goodbyes.

The 45-year-old grabbed her iPhone so Susan could have a final FaceTime video call with her father before they turned off his life support.

In the following days she spearheaded a communication system for the hospital, with iPads on every ward so families could stay in touch.

Jackie, from Preston, said: “When the pandemic hit we didn’t have a bereavement support service and we set one up very quickly. We used iPhones and iPads so they could ‘visit’ their loved ones.”

TV presenter Kate Garraway handed Jackie the award, and fought back tears as she heard her incredible story.

Kate, 54, said: “Jackie is extraordinary, exceptional. Nurses have been extraordinary throughout the whole pandemic. Taking that extra moment to make that contact helps the person losing their life and the person that has to carry on living.”

The Caroline Flack Mental Health Hero Award: Charmaine George

WHEN Charmaine couldn’t find any local grief support after the death of her son, she create her own.

The 47-year-old mum was devastated after son Ewan, 18, was found at the bottom of cliffs in May 2020.

She found The Good Grief Trust online and set up a “grief cafe” in Treviskey, Cornwall.

Charmaine, who also has daughter, Libby, 13, now works for The Good Grief Trust as a cafe co-ordinator and runs fortnightly grief cafes at Amy’s Kitchen And Bar in Treviskey.

She was presented with the Caroline Flack Mental Health Hero award by singer Frankie Bridge and Caroline’s mum Christine, who said: “It’s hard enough to carry on, and to do what she did is wonderful.”

Charmaine, from Redruth, Cornwall, said: “I’ve done something in Ewan’s honour, and it is something to be proud of.”

Young Hero: Carmela Chillery-Watson

DESPITE being one of only six people in the country with her very rare type of muscular dystrophy, seven-year-old Carmela has spent the past 18 months walking hundreds of miles to raise funds for the fight against her life-limiting condition.

She was presented with the Young Hero award by England soccer ace Tyrone Mings and gold medal-winning Paralympian Lauren Steadman.

Aston Villa and Three Lions defender Tyrone, 28, said: “I’ve got a huge admiration for what Carmela’s doing. The pain she’s in and her ability to continue and to find strength and raise money for other people to find a cure for her disease is unbelievable.”

Carmela’s mother Lucy, 45, above, from Devizes, Wilts said: “I’m super proud of Carmela. She struggles daily with her disabilities. But she woke up one morning and said, ‘Look, Mum, I hate muscular dystrophy. What can I do?’.

“So we came up with some fundraising ideas. I don’t think she realises the magnitude of winning something like this.”

Best Health Charity: Park Lane Stables

VIRGIN Radio DJ Chris Evans praised Park Lane Stables’ Natalie O’Rourke for “dealing in smiles” after they won the Best Charity award.

The stables has offered access to horses for disabled and vulnerable people for the past 13 years. But in November 2020, manager Natalie was faced with stumping up £1million to buy the centre’s land in South West London or shut down for ever when her landlord chose to sell

Determined to stay open to support the staff, volunteers and the dozens of children who ride there, Natalie launched an online crowdfunder and managed to raise enough to keep the stables going.

Applauding Natalie’s efforts, Chris, 55, presented her and 25-year-old Philippa George, who rides at the stables, with the award.

Natalie, 46, said: “To be in such company was really humbling. We were genuinely shocked but obviously delighted.”

Ultimate Lifesaver: Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole

THE parents of a man who drowned trying to rescue a woman from the Thames say they are “overwhelmed with pride” after he won our Ultimate Lifesaver award.

Folajimi – known as Jimi – jumped into the river after hearing the woman’s desperate cries. His parents, Michael, 63, and Olasunkanmi, 53, from Bermondsey, South London, collected the gong from Sir Trevor McDonald, 82.

Olasunkanmi said: “Nothing can bring back our Jimi but this is the proudest day of my life. To know the whole country will see what an amazing man he was brings us a lot of joy.”

Prince William hugged Jimi’s grief-stricken mum after she made a plea to meet him in her acceptance speech.

999 Hero: Mick Hipgrave and Deena Evans

AN emotional Prince William presented the award to “truly heroic” paramedics Mick and Deena, who were stabbed while on duty.

The Duke of Cambridge, 39, hailed their “astonishing level of courage” after they were slashed by knife-wielding attacker Martyn Smith on a call-out in Wolverhampton in July 2020.

Mick, 52, was slashed across his back, while Deena, 40, was stabbed in the chest.

The pair did not hesitate to return to the front line as soon as they could.
Mum-of-three Deena, from Wolverhampton, said: “I was just happy to be here and have some recognition for the job we do. Neither of us had prepared a speech.”

Mick added: “It’s been an emotional night. Prince William comforted me as I came off stage. He asked if I was OK and put his hand on my shoulder. He was really kind and it was an honour to meet him.”

Best Team: Court House Retirement Home

THE brilliant bunch at Court House won the Best Team gong with a whopping 56 per cent of a vote in The Sun.

As lockdown hit, staff including Julie White, Paulina Pupka, Tina Brooke and Donna Marke moved into the retirement home in Somerset.

For 12 weeks they lived apart from their families and owner Chris Dando was unable to see his daughter Edith, now five.

Gary Lineker, 60, who presented the group with the award, said: “What they did for all those months shows incredible strength. It was truly beyond the call of duty. They’re superheroes.”

Chris, 55, said: “I’m gobsmacked to have won. What these guys did, the sacrifices they made, they are fantastic people. I’m very honoured to have them as part of the team.”

Unsung Hero: Barney Jones

DEDICATED Barney fixed ambulances round the clock during the pandemic – and vowed he would, “Do it all again”.

The 48-year-old, from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, had just one day off in nine months at the East of England Ambulance Service.

Despite his partner Teresa being classed as highly vulnerable to Covid, Barney braved 14-hour days, seven days a week, as a mechanic to keep ambulances on the road.

Flanked by celebs Vernon Kay and Fleur East, who presented him with the award, Barney said: “I don’t regret a thing. I’d do it all again and again and again.”

Vernon, 47, said: “If Barney and his team didn’t do what they did, we’d struggle with the emergency services getting out and about to help save lives. It’s the unsung heroes amongst the unsung heroes and that’s what Barney represents.”

Fleur, 33, joked: “Nine months every day. Three trimesters, that’s a lot of work and you delivered.”

Groundbreaking Discovery/Pioneer: Oxford Covid-19 Vaccine team

BORIS JOHNSON hailed the “brilliant work of our scientists” as he presented the Oxford AstraZeneca team with their gong.

The PM added: “The big breakthroughs and discoveries usually take years and years.

“But faced with the greatest challenge of our times, fantastic scientists rose to it and rewrote the rule book, and none more so than the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine team.”

Collecting the award with some of the team, Professor Andrew Pollard, 56, said: “We have a huge sense of pride in receiving this award for all of the efforts that have gone on, represented by a few people here, but actually thousands of people who have tested the vaccine with us in the NHS.”

The National Lottery's Local Health Award: Annie Aris

PARALYMPIAN Kadeena Cox hailed Local Health Hero Annie for her unfailing work in bringing laughter to children living with illnesses or disabilities.

In 2007 Annie used her years of experience in performing arts and social care to co-found The Laughter Specialists, a charity which supports children across South East England by providing laughter therapy in hospitals and schools.

She continued to make kids smile during lockdown by performing outside their family homes so they could watch through the window.

Cycling gold medallist Kadeena, 30, who presented Annie with her award alongside Camelot chief executive Nigel Railton, told her: “Your work is key and you can tell your heart is in it.”

Trophy in hand, Annie, from Saffron Walden, Essex, said it was inspirational to have won an award alongside so many incredible nominees.

Looking back on the past year, the 50-year-old said: “It’s been fantastic to be able to share laughter at such a difficult time. To win this award is about getting a platform for laughter out there. We all know that Covid was a really challenging and scary time for lots of people.

“Laughter has got me through and I know we’ve managed to bring laughter into children’s lives that would not have been there otherwise.”

The Christina Newbury Award: Jabs Army Volunteers

WHEN we asked you, our incredible readers, to give your time to get the nation vaccinated with our Jabs Army campaign, more than 50,000 signed up straight away.

Even more followed, and without their selfless desire to help, the rollout would not have been possible.

It is why this year we are dedicating the Christina Newbury Award to all our amazing volunteers.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the campaign when he said: “I want to thank the tens of thousands, including the volunteers, the Jabs Army recruited by The Sun, who have helped to administer more than 92million vaccines, saving countless lives.”

Jabs Army is a campaign The Sun’s late Health Editor – known by her maiden name, Christina Earle – would have loved and thrown herself into.

Since we launched the initiative in January this year, 65,000 of you have made yourselves available to volunteer at more than 800 vaccination centres throughout the nation.

Last month we launched Jabs Army 2 to help in the final push of the country’s vaccine rollout. The campaign has been supported by a host of stars including Vernon Kay, Shirley Ballas and Jeremy Clarkson.

The Sun’s Editor in Chief, Victoria Newton, said: “Thank you to The Sun’s great readers who all volunteered. This campaign truly reflects Christina’s legacy.”

  • THE Sun’s Who Cares Wins awards is available to stream on All 4.


Who Cares Wins awards

The Who Cares Wins awards honour those who have helped take care of the nation.

Here are the categories:

  • 999 Hero
  • Best Charity
  • Best Doctor
  • Best Midwife
  • Best Nurse
  • Groundbreaking Pioneer
  • Mental Health Hero
  • National Lottery Award
  • Ultimate lifesaver
  • Unsung Hero
  • Young Hero

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