Meet eight-year-old triathlon runner Bailey Matthews, who has cerebral palsy, Alton Towers crash paramedics David Cooper, Tom Waters and Ben Clark, and Jess Evans and Mike Houlston, whose son Teddy became the UK's youngest ever organ donor
Tonight’s the night when celebrities get starstruck, as they meet some of Britain’s true heroes.
From amazing courage to strength in the face of adversity, the Pride of Britain awards are designed to celebrate some of the ordinary men and women who have done extraordinary things over the past year.
The awards were held on Monday evening, but are broadcast tonight at 8pm on ITV, hosted by Carol Vorderman. Here are just a few of the amazing people who will be recognised tonight.
Child of Courage: Bailey Matthews
Child of Courage winner and triathlon champ Bailey never lets anything hold him back. The eight-year-old has cerebral palsy, but in July finished his first triathlon with a flourish, chucking aside his walking frame to reach the finish line unaided.
Millions have since watched the closing moments of Bailey’s 100 metre swim, 4km bike ride and 1.3km run online. In tonight’s awards, recorded on Monday, Bailey did it again, walking up to the stage without help to a huge standing ovation.
Bailey’s Dad Jonathan says, “He’s our inspiration. Bailey is always pushing himself on to the next hurdle, the next challenge he’s set himself. There’s nothing he doesn’t think he can do.”
Bailey says he now wants to do five triathlons.
Emergency services: David Cooper, Tom Waters and Ben Clark
These are the three men who risked their lives to save casualties stuck on an Alton Towers ride.
Army doctor Major David Cooper, Dr Ben Clark and paramedic Tom Waters were on duty with Midlands Air Ambulance medics when they were called to the theme park on 2nd June after the rollercoaster Smiler crash.
The climbed 35ft up the ride to reach the trapped people, including 18-year-old Leah Washington whose leg had been partially amputated. They managed to stem the bleeding and give her a blood transfusion while she was still trapped.
Leah’s boyfriend Joe Pugh, Victoria Balch and Daniel Thorpe were all seriously injured in the crash. Leah, Victoria and Joe were all at the Pride of Britain Awards to personally thank their rescuers.
Special Recognition: Jess Evans and Mike Houlston
Jess and Mike’s baby son Teddy lived for just 100 minutes, but he is still a life saver.
The couple found out during pregnancy that one of their twins had a rare condition and when born would not live longer than a few days. They decided to continue with the pregnancy and offer their son’s organs for transplant.
Teddy died on 22nd April 2014, but became the youngest ever organ donor when doctors removed his kidneys and heart valves. His kidneys helped save the life of a patient in Leeds, and the story encouraged many more people to sign up to the donor register.
On stage at the Pride of Britain Awards, Jess and Mike met surgeon Niaz Ahmad, who carried out the transplant. They also played a recording of Teddy’s heartbeat, which they keep in a teddy bear for Teddy’s surviving twin brother Noah.
The Pride of Britain Awards 2015 is on Thursday night at 8pm on ITV