Published on 19/07/2018

We are searching for our Christmas Star to light up Watford at our Christmas light switch on event on 12 November.

We received tons of entries and have whittled them down to our final five. Here is more information on why our final five were nominated:

Tyler Whitley - "At only 10 years old he is an absolute star. He is kind and loving and is my carer. I have a chronic illness and he does so much to help by caring for me and his sisters. I don't think he realises how amazing and special he is!"

Nomination sent in by Tyler's mum, Kerry.

Kelly Hallett - "I would like to nominate my mum - Kelly Hallett. My mum works every day helping vulnerable people who have drug, alcohol, offending behaviour and mental health issues. She has helped thousands of people both before they are released from prison and when they are in the community. As well as this, she spent months helping my sister to recover after she was critically injured in a car crash at just 16 years old. She didn't know if my sister would even survive when she was unconscious in intensive care. She survived but it took her months to recover and learn to walk again and my mum never gave up and helped her even while helping everyone through her work. Less than two years later I myself was critically injured in an unprovoked attack in Watford. I sustained a serious brain injury and my mum again had to go through nearly losing a child. While I was recovering my mum was there every day helping me. Always looking for a way to help people, she then used her blog to promote awareness of brain injury. Her blog was shared virally, reaching over 18,000 people and she still supports lots of these people in her spare time. While all of this was happening, my mum was poorly herself. She has suffered from endometriosis for many years and 2 years ago, just before I was injured, she had to have a full hysterectomy. Even though she was still helping people through her work, looking after me after my injury, helping my sister after her accident, helping raise awareness of head injuries and suffering herself, she saw yet another opportunity to help people. Seeing a gap in support for women facing similar challenges, She set up a support group online through Facebook  called "hysterectomy support and shared experiences." To date there are over 2200 women in her group. She spends hours supporting these women with very difficult decisions and helping them through their pain and surgeries. I truly think that she very quietly runs one of the biggest women's health support groups that exist. She works hard to raise awareness of women's health issues and I know that the women she supports are so grateful. I also know how proud she is of the help she gives. With this group and the many women she helps, her daily work helping vulnerable people that is full time, the awareness of head injuries raised through her blog, the support she has given to those affected by head injury and the dedication in helping me and my sister recover from our injuries she really deserves the Watford hero award. She literally spends every hour of her time helping people."

Nomination sent in by Kelly's daughter, Holly-Louise

Brooke Cornwell - "I would like to nominate 9 year old Brooke Cornwell. Brooke lives in North Watford and is one of just 125 people across the UK born with Diamond Blackfan Anaemia, a disorder which means her bone marrow cannot produce enough red blood cells to carry oxygen around her body. Brooke rarely complains even though she has been in and out of hospital most of her life for blood transfusions, chemotherapy and to undergo a bone marrow transplant. She has lost her hair, eyebrows and eyelashes on more than one occasion. Earlier this year she was rushed into intensive care in St Mary’s Hospital in London "an hour from death" where she shocked doctors with her spirit and fight for life as she battled on, eventually coming off life support after 46 gruelling days. Her grandmother said that Brooke has an amazing fight for life, she has a setback and she claws her way back. It’s like she’s climbing a mountain an inch at a time - someday she’s going to get to the top. If Brooke was to become your Christmas Star I feel sure this would give her a boost as she continues her amazing fight."

Nomination sent in by Gill Crowson

Dan Carpenter - "We would like to nominate Dan Carpenter. He is our hero because he's the most selfless, caring person you'll ever meet. He's like a father, a friend and a therapist all in one! We started working for Dan a while back at a music studio and, both being very shy, Dan brought us all together like a family and has helped us grow as people as well as musicians. This seems like a good chance to really show our appreciation for what he's done for us these past months. We think he deserves this because we all live very quiet lives, keep our circle small etc. But he works so hard and long, as well as being an awesome person in general, he doesn't get enough recognition or appreciation and we want him to know how much he means to us. He's the kind of person that would travel miles to help someone out, even if it meant him losing out on something. He's the kind of person who had his own problems but he'll always sit and listen to yours and give the wisest, most realistic advice. He's patient (and Lord knows we've tested that sometimes!) and kind; even when people are difficult with him. He's also a really talented songwriter, but most of all he's the one person that Charlie and I really look up to in tough times and he's never failed us. I hope you can get an idea of how much of a great guy Dan is, that's why he's our hero."

Nominated by Shona and Charlotte from Sanctuary Studios

Stella Lane - "One of our longstanding volunteers is leaving Home-Start Watford and Three Rivers. Home-Start is an independent voluntary organisation that offers 2-3 hours of free friendship and practical support to families in their homes. Families could be suffering from isolation, domestic difficulties, multiple births, behaviour issues, and illness to name but a few. We would like to nominate Stella Lane to recognise 20 years of unfaltering and tireless volunteering service. Stella hasn't had a break in service and during her 20 years and has supported an astounding 21 families. With strong family values she is an excellent role model.  Stella loves teaching and playing traditional games with the children she supports e.g.  dominoes, ludo, and snakes and ladders. Stella encourages children to be children. She builds long lasting relationships and still sees some of the families she has supported long after the support through Home-Start has ended. A spritely 79 years old she is calm, reliable, empathetic, consistent and never lets her families down. She has always been extremely supportive of our scheme in many ways and attends all our events. Stella ALWAYS has a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye."

Nomination sent in my Stella's colleague, Jeni


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