‘Passion, enthusiasm and a love of the Isle of Man,’ is how Trudi Williamson, deputy chairman of Isle of Man Newspapers, sums up what the Awards for Excellence judges are looking for.
The build-up to this year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence continues and entries are being invited for all 16 categories. If you are thinking of entering your company, your public sector or charitable organisation, or yourself as an individual, you have until October 4 to submit your application.
But what makes a really great entry? What are the judges looking for?
Trudi Williamson explains: ‘First of all it is important to stress that neither I nor anyone else at Isle of Man Newspapers is involved in the judging. The judging panel is made up of well-known and respected people from the commercial, public and charitable sectors and the decision is theirs.
‘But what we do hear constantly around the judging table is that they are looking for enthusiasm and passion; they’re looking obviously for Freedom to Flourish values, and they very much like to see benchmarks so that they can judge what industry standards are.
‘They don’t necessarily need the longest application – they need an application that they find interesting. And they like to see measures of success.
‘They’re looking for a love of the Isle of Man as well.’
The application forms, which can be downloaded at www.iomtoday.co.im/afe, invite entrants to show how they have demonstrated the Freedom to Flourish values: resilience, resourcefulness, independent thinking and community loyalty.
‘They match the entry to the Freedom to Flourish values, which is what the application is all about,’ explains Trudi.
Occasionally, with a category such as Volunteer of the Year, an entrant will be nominated by someone else who has admired what they have achieved.
In cases like this, Trudi explains that she will then contact the person nominated directly:
‘I explain that they have been mentioned to us for their work and ask them to fill in the application form themselves. This is because, whilst the information given by a third party may be glowing, it is usually scant.
‘By doing the application themselves we get the full and correct information that the judges need.’
The one award category where the recipient is chosen by Isle of Man Newspapers is the Lifetime Achievement Award and Trudi explains the process for this:
‘The person who is honoured for Lifetime Achievement is the only one who has absolutely no idea on the night that they have won anything! There is no application form submitted and no formal judging process.
‘What happens is that, over the course of the year, people mention to us the names of those who they think would be worthy, so we get input from all areas of the community.
‘In past years, very few of them have been business people – they are people who have done very many wonderful things but often outside their actual role.
‘Last year’s winner, Dot Tilbury, was an incredibly popular choice and a classic example of someone who had made a great contribution to the community outside her normal role – obviously she had a great career but it was all about passion and what she had done for the Isle of Man.
‘It was also a very appropriate time because of the Olympics and success of the cycling and the fact that a lot of the success of Manx cyclists had been attributed to her – and how wonderful that she’s still doing it with all the youngsters!’
Trudi says that one of the most memorable Lifetime Achievement Awards was the one awarded posthumously in 2010 to Mike Kerruish:
‘That even brought a tear to the eye of the presenter on the night, Rory Bremner. He commented that, having done hundreds of awards nights he’d never been moved before by someone he didn’t know but he was very moved by this tribute.
‘Each year, the film footage for the Lifetime Achievement Award is made by Paul Moulton and he managed to capture the poignancy of the award to Mike Kerruish, just as he was able to capture the fun element of Dot Tilbury last year.’
And she adds: ‘Look out for this year’s Lifetime Achievement winner who we are already working on!’
For more information see www.iomtoday.co.im/afe