The Great Big Thank You Awards 2016: A night to remember for our amazing winners - VIDEO and 360 picture

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Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the final of the Express & Star's Great Big Thank You Awards.

The glittering ceremony, held at the WV1 Suite at Molineux, saw celebrities, sponsors and fantastic finalists come together to find out who would be crowned Grandparent of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Angel of the Year, Young Star of the Year, Inspirational Leader of the Year, Unsung Sporting Hero, Ambassador of the Year, Volunteer/Fundraiser of the Year and Community Champion.

The finalists were welcomed and the winners announced by compère for the evening, Alan Dedicoat, known as the National Lottery's Voice of the Balls, and also for his work on Strictly Come Dancing.

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Awards host Alan Dedicoat

Alan said: "Tonight is about honouring some the unsung heroes in our local communities.

"The people who regularly help their neighbours, who reach out to those in need.

  • MORE - Gallery pictures and video from the night available on Saturday


"The people who never tire of raising money for the less fortunate, who compassion ensures they take action to help others."

A special mention was also made to the late Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint who had been invited to attend but sadly died on Wednesday.

X Factor star Joe Whelan and the Fizzogs

A drinks reception complete with dancing grannies, The Fizzogs, along with an array of magicians was followed by a stunning performance by Britain's Got Talent finalist Connie Talbot, who took to the stage to perform Adele's 'When We Were Young' and 'Life on Mars?' by David Bowie.


Singer Connie Talbot gave a stunning performance

Each winner received a sparkling glass trophy and a special prize from the sponsors of each award.

Olympic bronze medallist, Kristian Thomas and Signal 107's Dicky Dodd, who sponsored the award, greeted the first winner as Grandparent of the Year, Stephanie Winwood.

Sports commentator Jacqui Oatley MBE was joined by Wolverhampton council's Keith Ireland to announced Keith Sedgebeer as the winner of the Teacher of the Year Award.

Sports presenter Jacqui Oatley MBE

Well-known Lisa Potts-Webb, GM and Kieran Larkin from Walsall Housing Group revealed Lesley Thomas to be the winner of the Angel of the Year award.

Young Star of the Year was announced as 10-year-old Louis Johnson, with The Voice Star Megan Reece announcing his award alongside Lee Rudkin of Tile Choice.

Express and Star editor Keith Harrison and sponsor Altodigital's Stuart Kershaw presented Julie Grainger her award as Inspirational Leader of the Year whilst Mike Ball and Graham Hodson were announced as Unsung Sporting Heroes of the Year by sponsors Wolves Community Trust.

Greg Hedges and mascot of the Staffordshire Regiment Association, Watchman V were announced as winners in the Ambassador of the Year category, presented by Steve Bull MBE.

Volunteer/Fundraiser of the Year was named as Philip Cook, who was presented his award by Britain's Got Talent star Jean Martyn.

Finally, Eileen White was announced as the winner of the last award of the evening, the Community Champion Award.

Alan Dedicoat on stage during the awards night

Other notable celebrities that attended the evening included Anita Lonsbrough MBE, Hugh Porter, Sky Sport's Johnny Phillips as well as XFactor stars Relley C and Joe Whelan.

Dignitaries and politicians showed their support for the event too.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Wolverhampton, Barry Findlay and Margaret Findlay gave out an award, along with Chief Whip and South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson attending as did Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East, Emma Reynolds and Ninder Johal, as well as Councillor Paul Sweet, Councillor John Reynolds, and education director Julian Cramer.

For all the pictures and full stories from all of the winners, see tomorrow's Express & Star.

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