EXACTLY 15 years ago today, The News began its We Can Do It campaign to celebrate unsung heroes – and it’s still going strong.
Back in 2000 we used the front page and the next 16 pages to launch a major manifesto in which we pledged to accentuate the positive and ensure we reported on the many good things happening in our communities.
It is a great concept to feature people who wouldn’t normally be recognised for their bravery or hard work.Sophie Mortimore
It was billed as The News’s biggest-ever campaign and has seen us carry many hundreds of stories about selfless people working hard to help others and improve life locally.
Today the We Can Do It ethos is as strong as ever and, together with sponsor Colas, we’re proud to celebrate those who are happy to go the extra mile for no reward.
Only last month we held our latest We Can Do It Awards, an annual ceremony in which we shine a spotlight on the achievements of ordinary people who go to great lengths to help others, show bravery, raise money for charity or improve the environment for everyone’s benefit.
Every Friday we also devote two pages to We Can Do It stories and encourage nominations for the next awards ceremony.
Mark Waldron, editor of The News, said: ‘We Can Do It is very important because it says a big thank-you to people in the community who really deserve it.
‘It spreads the good news in our area and allows us to take a step back and applaud the people who make our communities better places to live in.’
Sophie Mortimore was the Spirit of Youth winner at the 2014 We Can Do It Awards. The 16-year-old managed to run three miles despite being diagnosed with a spinal deformity and undergoing a 10-hour operation.
She also wanted to raise awareness for the charity which helped her deal with the disability.
Sophie, from Lee-on-the-Solent, said: ‘It is a great idea to feature people who wouldn’t normally be recognised for their bravery or hard work. It’s important that people get recognised as they could inspire others.’
Sophie’s mum, Lisa, added: ‘The awards really boosted Sophie’s confidence. Having scoliosis made her more self-conscious, but during the awards she was able to stand up tall and it definitely helped.’