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Matt and Claire Way enjoyed the glitzy Daily Mirror Pride of Britain awards along with 16 other ITV regional finalists.
Matt, from Newquay, won Southwest regional winner due to his hard work ensuring his son's legacy was not forgotten after he died at the age of just four in his parents' arms. Joe, who was born with Angelmans Syndrome, died after having a rare reaction to one of his drugs called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.
The annual Paddle for Life in partnership with Newquay Towan Blystra Lions Club and Surf Life Saving Cornwall raises money from the paddlers entry money, food stalls, drink sales at the rowing club and the prize draw raffle.
Matt said: "It was such a massive loss when Joe died that we had to do something to fill that void. This has been amazing experience and a real credit to Joe's legacy. We have always told Joe's story to inspire people as he had battled ten superbugs and put up such a great fight which he always did with a smile. We just wanted to celebrate the positive way he dealt with everything”.
The Pride of Britain awards celebrate achievements of everyday men and women who have gone above and beyond were recognised at the star studded event at Grosvenor House in London.
Prince William, the Prime Minister and more than 100 of our best-loved celebrity’s music superstars, TV favourites, sporting legends and top politicians heard the individual stories of heroism.
The winners included Grenfell Tower families, heroic emergency service workers, a grieving childhood sweetheart and an anti-racism campaigner whose work led to the Race Relations Act of 1965.
Although Matt didn’t win the National award he has returned to Newquay planning next Junes Joe Way Paddle for Life with new energy and enthusiasm.
Matt said: “At the pre-event briefing one of ITV’s executives went through the 17 finalists stories and all of us were so inspired by what had been achieved by everyone in the room. The whole evening was amazing from walking up the red carpet to having the who’s who of the celebrity world joining us for selfies and asking us about our stories. The other finalists were all great fun and we have made some great contacts to help each other in the future. Jake who won the national fundraiser of the year was a well deserved winner and a lovely guy who we will be keeping in touch with and hopefully supporting in the future”.
Jake Coates married Emmy Collett, who was his childhood sweetheart only for her life to be cut short by cancer at the age of just 31. Despite her terminal diagnosis, Emmy joined Jake in charity work - raising a staggering amount of money for the The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, which helped her during her fight. Emmy died on June 20 this year and tonight her widower was awarded with the ITV fundraiser award at the Pride of Britain ceremony in central London, after nominations were made by ITV regional news viewers.
The star studded awards will be shown on ITV on Tuesday 7th November at 8pm.