Home>Extraordinary Islanders>Our Extraordinary Finalists: Part 1

Extraordinary Islanders: The Shortlist Revealed Part 1

Tuesday 11 May in Extraordinary Islanders

When it comes to extraordinary people, our island isn’t short of pretty amazing characters. This is exactly what Extraordinary Islanders was established to celebrate.

Once launched, nominations flew in with the judges facing the touch challenge of having to whittle each category down to just three in each for the public vote.

These incredible Manxies encouraged more than 15,000+ votes by general public to select the winners. Wow! Keep your eyes peeled, the Extraordinary Isalnders party will now take place in June 2021, with winners being announced on the night.

In the mean time, lets remind ourselves of part 1 of the shortlist:

Innovation and Technology (sponsored by Manncoin)

Jess & Nic Le Merle

In just four days, Jess and Nic Le Merle, who run Afundi, created eatout.im – a platform to facilitate online food orders for local food and drink businesses, which was offered free of charge. Very soon they had more than 20 businesses signed up and generated over £350 000 for local industry, from bakeries and coffee shops to evening fine dining.

The website was instrumental in keeping many businesses going at this time.


In March, when the first lockdown was announced, there was a national shortage of one of the most sought-after and necessary items - hand sanitizer.

The Fynoderee Distillery noted the short supply and completely transformed its operations using existing skills, know-how and equipment for the greater good. It made sure people on the Island did not go without this powerful disinfectant in the fight against COVID-19.


Crowdshield.im comprises a group of 30 laser cutter and 3D printer owners across the Isle of Man who gathered skills and resources to cater to the increased need for PPE at a time when demand was high.

The group coordinated a community driven response, resulting in almost 3,500 face shields being produced by 3D printers in just two weeks. This was done alongside their day-to-day jobs.

Caring for the Vulnerable (sponsored by Ramsey Crookall)

Rose Cope

Rose gave birth to her beautiful daughter Thea during lockdown. Being a new mum is tough enough without the additional challenges of a global pandemic, so to help others in the same situation Rose set up a Facebook baby group that quickly grew to more than 450 members.

Every week she posted tips, tricks and fun things for new mums to try, while also encouraging the ‘lockdown mums’ to get to know each other in the absence of face-to-face baby groups. Many members have made valuable friends for life through it.

Helen Walmsley

Helen runs ‘A Little Piece of Hope’, a local charity dedicated to helping bereaved families and sick children under 21. It offers a support network and helps families to arrange hospital travel, funerals and headstones.

During lockdown, Helen organised shopping deliveries for these families in the south and east of the Island. She also arranged for monthly ‘anxiety boxes’ to be delivered to poorly children.

Sally Hardman

Sally runs the Family Library’s Mobile Library unit. In the early days of the pandemic, she and the rest of the team ensured that those who were shielding and isolated felt cared for with extra deliveries of books and audiobooks.

This provided them with new resources at a time when getting out and about wasn’t possible. Sally did all of this with a big smile and a very warm heart.

St John Ambulance

SJA pulled out all the stops during lockdown 2020, assisting the Isle of Man Ambulance Service at the front line, by providing a response ambulance, due to an increased number of calls.

They also collaborated with local pharmacies and the oncology department at Nobles Hospital, providing over 1000 hours of service, delivering medical prescriptions to vulnerable members of the community, island-wide - wow!

Paul Hotchkiss & Manx Solidarity Fund

The Manx Solidarity Fund was formed to support local causes and individuals that got into difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was established swiftly to deal with the rapidly growing difficulties during lockdown and made a big difference to the lives of many who applied for support.

The charity aimed to deliver much-needed funds to support local people who needed it most at this time.

The Team at Crossroads

Crossroads stepped up its services during lockdown and continued to provide support to local carers throughout the height of the pandemic.

The team also temporarily looked after the Government’s ‘Home Care’ services to free up staff to work on the front line. Crossroads staff had to adapt to new roles and went the extra mile to ensure the charity could continue to provide much needed respite to service users.

Overcoming Adversity (sponsored by Boston)

Dylan Walton

Eight-year-old Dylan has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, but that didn’t stop him from setting himself the ambitious challenge of climbing Snaefell and running a marathon to raise money for Rebecca House and COVID-19 relief charities.

In total, Dylan has raised a phenomenal £30,000 and continues to take on incredible challenges that even the fittest of people would struggle with. He is a truly remarkable young man.

Jaime Amodeo

Jaime lost a close family member to COVID, but despite this set up a challenge to help look after the mental, physical and financial wellbeing of people in our community, and further afield.

Keen to help where he could he launched the global 1,019km COVID-19 Challenge, setting the task of walking, running, swimming, rowing or cycling a distance of 1,019km during lockdown – which gave many people the encouragement they needed.

Heather Christian

Heather is an active volunteer with the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation IOM. She offers support and advice to people newly diagnosed and does a tremendous amount of fundraising and awareness raising, both locally and nationally. All while having incurable lung cancer as a never smoker herself.

During lockdown she provided support and encouragement for other cancer patients, while also having to go through the uncertainty of treatment off Island. Despite facing her own battles, she always puts others first.

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