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Page last updated at 09:44 GMT, Monday, 19 October 2009 10:44 UK
Bradford's Kimberley is top woman

Kimberley Walsh
Kimberley Walsh has been named Yorkshire Woman of the Year

Bradford-born pop star Kimberley Walsh has been named Yorkshire Woman of the Year.

The Girls Aloud singer has been recognised not only for her professional success but also for her role as celebrity ambassador for the Breast Cancer Haven charity, which has a branch in Leeds.

Accepting her award, the singer said: "To think that I will always be remembered in some part of history as being a successful Yorkshirewoman is a big compliment and it means a lot to me.

"To finally get where you want to be is a big achievement and it does feel good and the fact that I'm from Bradford just makes it better."


The Man of the Year award went to Paratrooper Ben Parkinson, from Doncaster who lost both his legs and suffered head injuries in a landmine blast in 2006.

Despite facing his own battle to recover from his appalling injuries, Lance Bombardier Parkinson now devotes much of his time to supporting injured comrades.

The Yorkshire Awards were set up to recognise "those who have had an impact on Yorkshire and its people, demonstrating their affection for, and commitment to, the county".

The Arts and Entertainment award was presented to Keighley-born screenwriter Simon Beaufoy in recognition of his work on the multiple Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire and 1997's The Full Monty, which featured a group of unemployed men in Sheffield.

Meanwhile, a Bradford electrician who built an £8m-a-year business from scratch and now employs more than 100 people was given the Lifetime Achievement award.

I am proud of being in Bradford and I would do anything for Bradford
Balbir Panesar, Bradford businessman

Balbir Panesar is the founder and managing director of PEC Building & Shopfitting and the first Asian president of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce.

"I am a Bradfordian," he said. "I love Bradford, I am proud of being in Bradford and I would do anything for Bradford."

The Sporting Achievement award went to Jessica Ennis, from Sheffield, who secured Britain's first ever heptathlon gold medal at the Athletics World Championships in Berlin in August.

Her victory was made even sweeter by the fact that she missed out on the Beijing Olympics last year because of a stress fracture to her right ankle, an injury that was considered potentially career-threatening.

"I was at such a low point last year so to come back from that and so strongly, it's amazing," she said.

The Yorkshire Community Hero award goes to cancer sufferer Val Lepadatl, from Doncaster, who co-founded the Aurora Centre, which provides cancer patients with non-medical care at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.


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