Home>Extraordinary Islanders>Our Extraordinary Finalists: Part 2

Extraordinary Islanders: The Shortlist Revealed Part 2

Tuesday 11 May in Extraordinary Islanders

Extraordinary Islanders is a project set up to celebrate some of the incredible people in our community and shine a light on the tremendous acts of kindness happening on our Island every day.

Nominations flew in for the project in the early days making it very difficult for the judges and sponsors to whittle each category down to just three in each for the public vote.

In the end a staggering 15,000+ votes were cast by the general public to select the winners, which are now due to be announced at the rescheduled event in June 2021. In the mean time, lets remind ourselves of part 2 of the shortlist:

Team Spirit and Wellbeing Category (sponsored by RL360)

Sinead O’Connor

Throughout lockdown, Sinead went above and beyond for every single member of staff at DQ Advocates. She regularly checked in to see how they were and took actions to ensure the team felt safe, valued and comfortable. She was integral to keeping everyone positive and upbeat during this difficult time.

Outside of work Sinead volunteers for Samaritans, a role she continued during lockdown.

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, considered by many the nation’s lifeline, has truly lived up to this title over the course of the pandemic.

From the Reservations Team being on hand to answer queries and rearrange bookings to the on-board crew who had to adapt to new schedules and additional precautions and then the freight team who were tasked with manoeuvring huge volumes of essential items, each member of the team has handled themselves with professionalism and enabled the Company to continue to serve our Island throughout these unprecedented times.

Luke Adebiyi

Throughout lockdown, Luke stepped up to make sure his colleagues at Capital International had the resources to keep safe and well at home.

Single-handedly he created packs which included working from home tips, recipes, exercise, music and much more. He also kept staff connected by organising events and creating a virtual staffroom where colleagues from both the Isle of Man and South Africa could catch up, making a huge impact on staff wellbeing. This was all in addition to Luke’s full-time role.

Team Spirit and Wellbeing Category (sponsored by RL360)

Francesca Signorio-Hooper

Francesca is the driving force behind the charity helpout.im – an online hub for all thingsCOVID-19 related on the Isle of Man.

The website was set up and ran voluntarily by Francesca with the goal of recruiting volunteers to help members of the community who were isolating or in need of support due to the impact of the pandemic. It also matched the skills and resources of businesses to help other businesses as well as the wider community.

Sammi Farrell

During lockdown, Samantha created the Facebook page ‘IOM Community Meal Donations’ to provide homecooked meals for vulnerable people, those in isolation and for the young adults at St Christopher’s. In total she made more than 1,600 dinners over the course of 11 weeks for free, supported by generous donations from the community.

She cooked and distributed every meal herself, with a little help from her husband and two young children. The dinner donations were vital to those who received them.

Ramsey Rugby Club

Dave Harding, Gareth Hinge and Michael Flynn from Ramsey Rugby Club rallied together as soon as the initial lockdown was announced to make sure no vulnerable people in the north of the Island went without.

In no time at all they set up ‘Doorstep Deliveries’ which involved the distribution of foodbank parcels as well as organising shopping and prescription deliveries for shielding, isolating and returning residents. Without their initiative many would have struggled to get basic supplies.


Young Citizen (sponsored by ZEDRA)

Jayden Gaines

During lockdown, nine-year-old Jayden decided he wanted to raise money for an important cause. He challenged himself by cycling 100 miles in under two weeks, which he successfully completed.

The money he raised went to Ramsey Rugby Club’s ‘Doorstep Deliveries’ on behalf of the Isle of Man Foodbank. His goal was to raise £100 which he smashed, donating a grand total of £2,370 to the club to help with essential support for vulnerable people.

Amy Cowley

Amy is registered with Anthony Nolan. It was discovered she matched with a child in the UK who needed a transplant, and during lockdown made two solo trips to London to donate stem cells at the age of just 21.

This meant she had to be alone in hospital for long periods of time and isolate on her return to the Island on both occasions. What an incredible and selfless thing to do at an already uncertain and scary time.

Alaia Nicholson & Cat Woolley

Alaia and Cat, both 21, are the founders of the Manx Students’ Union. When lockdown disrupted the studies of hundreds of university students on and off-island, these young women rallied together to make sure this community was not forgotten about.

MSU provides information and resources on Manx student finance, mental health, travel, internships and more. They were vital in ‘Operation Fairy Bridge’, also known as ‘Operation Furry Bridge’.

Charitable Endeavours (sponsored by Isle of Man Advertising & PR)

Jackie Bridson

Live at Home’s Chief Executive Jackie transformed the charity’s service provision to make sure its 500+ members continued to be cared for during lockdown. She also recruited an additional 42 volunteers during this time.

Where members would usually benefit from the charity’s 1-2-1 befriending service, this was replaced with regular phone calls, a free helpline and home delivery service. It also provided activity packs and ‘boredom busters’ for those who were shielding.

Emilie King

In lockdown, 10-year-old Emilie started a handwritten recipe book including all the tasty bakes her and her family created. As soon as she had gathered ten recipes, she decided to sell her books - ‘Emilie’s Isolation Bakes’ - to family and friends to try and raise money for those struggling with the effects of COVID-19.

Emilie raised more than £800 for the Friends of Noble’s Hospital, with copies going all over the Island and even further afield.

Christian Varley

Christian took on the incredible challenge of undertaking 19 full marathons in 19 consecutive days toraise money for the Manx Solidarity Fund.

In doing so he raised more than £100,000 for the charity, which went to families and businesses that needed support. His marvellous fundraising efforts made a huge difference to the Fund and to those who applied for support.

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