Test Valley’s unsung heroes award scheme names Week 7 recipients


Unity and Dmitrijs Meiksans MYP are proud to announce the seventh round of recipients that have received the Test Valley COVID-19 Unsung Heroes Award. The award aims to recognise and highlight the amazing people that have gone above and beyond to assist their local communities throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.

This week, the shortlisting panel voted to select Jo Grout from Romsey and Donnamarie Lewis from Sherfield English.

One nominator said about Jo, “My mum, Jo, is a Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Clinical Specialist Nurse at Southampton General Hospital and has worked non-stop throughout the pandemic. She is my hero, but is also a hero to so many suffering the horrible disease of cancer. She is a saving grace to so many young people and she has worked tirelessly to fulfil her job, even during the toughest times of the pandemic when all she wanted to do was collapse in a dark room. She has worked very long shifts, covered for colleagues shielding, working extra days, and being on constant standby to be called to covid-19 wards to assist there. As well as this, she has continued to be an incredible mum to two daughters and a dog, and has done multiple people’s shopping, on top of ours, for those who couldn’t leave their homes due to shielding. I believe that she is a complete and utter hero to not just her family, but to many others who rely on her every day for her care. We love her so incredibly much and she has been so humble about her actions. She really deserves to be recognised for her amazing work throughout this incredibly tough past year.”

Jo smiling in a blue jumper with short hair by a window.

Donnamarie Lewis from Sherfield English also received the award, nominations said:

“She has saved my life during lockdown. I was a new solo parent at the start of lockdown with a bad back, collapsed arches, a broken core and with a significant amount of weight to lose. My mental health was poor also. I was desperate. When Donna started up zoom classes not only did she get me back to fitness and help me to lose 25lbs. She also provided the kind of community and support that other PTs have never provided. The people she has brought together have become a community thanks to her and we have become friends and supporters. When lockdown started she could have lost her newly created business, but she stood up, said no this won’t happen, and built up an empire. She started new classes, built on her training and qualifications and actually started a new dance academy. I may not have made it through lockdown without her at the end of a zoom call, on the phone and on the end of WhatsApp both via our community and as 1-2-1. At my lowest ebb, she built me and many others up.”

Donnamarie is smiling with long blonde, curled hair and a grey t-shirt. She has a blurred background.

Dmitrijs Meiksans, the organiser of the awards scheme, said, “We are now gliding through Week 7 of the awards scheme, and we are very proud to name Donnamarie and Jo our recipients this week – they have both absolutely deserved this recognition.”

Nominations are still open to nominate your local unsung hero in Test Valley. Visit www.testvalleycuha.co.uk/nominate to recognise someone today.

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