The Dorset Hall of Fame Awards

Dorset Hall of Fame

A foster carer, charity founder, mental health activist, soup kitchen founder, and two engineers were inducted into the Dorset Hall of Fame on Thursday 10th October 2013.

In it’s second year, the award ceremony is designed to honour the unsung heroes that make Dorset such a special place to live. Launched by Heart and sponsored by Teachers Building Society in association with the Daily Echo, the evening revealed inspirational stories from people across the county.

The fabulous black tie event at the Pavilion Ballroom in Bournemouth saw more than 180 people witness which of several hundred nominees had been selected to enter the Dorset Hall of Fame.

The first person inducted was Claire Matthews, an inspirational organiser of a soup kitchen a St. Andrews Church in Richmond Hill, she reacted with complete shock, saying “ I never expected anything like this when I started this idea ” and thanked her family for all the support they have given her during this process.

Up next were John and Mike Garnish, two brothers who are part of the Bournemouth and District REMAP panel. REMAP is a unique charity, which designs, manufactures and supplies technical aids to disabled people where there is no suitable commercial item. The two brothers were very humbled by the experience and will share the award with their entire REMAP team.

The third person inducted was Sandra Watt, foster carer to over 80 children in the Dorset area. She has inspired many others to become foster carers and helped many families adopt in the Dorset area. Sandra was very moved as close family and friend’s from near and far came to support her on her big night.

Fourth was mental health activist, Paul Scates. Paul works with the NHS, Dorset Mental Health Forums and Bournemouth University to bring better mental health care services to the community. Paul gave a rousing speech and held the audience in the palm of his hand by reminding us “We all have mental health and we should talk about our emotions, it’s when we don’t talk about our emotions it can become a crisis”. Paul also received a glowing letter from Claude Littner of The Apprentice applauding his hard work and congratulating him on the award.

The last award of the night was the most emotional and was awarded to Chantel Cooper founder of the Amelia Grace Foundation. The foundation was created as a legacy to her daughter Amelia Grace and provides experiences for children who are terminally ill such as trips to London Zoo and Legoland. Chantel received the award and a heartfelt speech from their patron Kara Tointon of Eastenders and winner of Strictly Come Dancing.

The evening ended with the six winners standing shoulder to shoulder on stage, receiving a richly deserved standing ovation from the crowd Check back early next week for all the photos from the very emotional night. 

Heart Dorset Hall Of Fame supported by
Teachers Building Society
in association with the Daily Echo

Teachers Building Society Teachers Building Society was founded in 1966 to help teachers to own their own homes. Today, their mortgage service and savings products are available to everyone in Dorset.

They aim to provide a truly personal service and are committed to helping first-time buyers and have a long history of supporting the Government's affordable home ownership schemes.

As a mutual organisation run for the benefit of their members, instead of having to pay dividends to shareholders they can offer great deals to customers. They were named 'Best Local Building Society' at the What Mortgage Awards in 2011and 2012 and won 'Excellence in Treating Customers Fairly' at the Mortgage Finance Gazette Awards 2012.

Find out more here...

In association with the

The Daily Echo and Dorset Echo ‑ two exceptional and award-winning daily newspapers, Bridport News - a robust paid-for weekly, Society - a high net worth county magazine and the free Advertiser series with its 150,000 circulation.

Allied to a portfolio of complementary websites including and with 7 million page impressions and 700,000 unique users a month, Newsquest Dorset represents an outstanding opportunity to connect with the population of the county.

Find out more here...