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Pride of Britain Award Night

Pride of Britain Award Night

And so it was off to London and the Pride of Britain Award night which was to be held at the Grosvenor House, in a star studded event to be shown on itv.

Staying as a guest of itv at The Cumberland Hotel on the edge of Oxford Street, Maria arrived and was introduced to all the other regional fundraiser winners including Karl Hinett from the West Midlands.

With the excitement growing, the time drew closer to leave and as all the winners gathered in the hotel lobby it was a little nerve racking to say the least. The transport arrived outside and Maria was off to the award night, taken through the busy streets of London on the short journey to the Grosvenor.

As she pulled up outside she saw a massive crowd watching the stars walking up the red carpet as well as all the press with cameras flashing it seemed miles away from her day to day life of running a Charity.

Then it was her turn to take the walk up the red carpet for an experience of a life time walking past Paul Hollywood to name but one celeb, who was being interviewed by Good Morning Britain, a really surreal moment.

As she entered the Grosvenor she was shown to a seat and asked to wait while the main room was secured for the arrival of the Prime Minister and other dignitaries. Maria being Maria immediately hit it off with the security man who looked after her and made sure she was ok all night.

Entering the main event room she was shown to a champagne reception with the other regional winners which was also attended by some celebrity guests (She spotted Paul Hollywood again!). On to the main event, sitting with her partner, Mark and Karl Hinett it was time to spot the celebrity, everywhere she looked there was a face off the tv and it was Jason Manford and Ben Shephard who were the first to step up for that photo opportunity.

As the night progressed the meal was served it was show time and Carol Vorderman introduced The Script to kick the night off with a bang. Before the Awards were presented Maria met a handful of celebrities but one man in particular caught her attention and that was the Invictus GB team captain, Dave Henson, who it would be fair to say was a total gentleman after meeting Maria in, shall we say, a totally non-conventional way (She jumped the queue at the loo!).

With all the Awards presented the evening was drawing to a close but before she left there was an interview with itv and a drink and after seeing Paul Hollywood so many times she finally got to meet him and have a photo taken.

Heading back to her hotel, her trusty security guard was waiting in the lift and as she turned the corner to her surprise waiting in the lift was, Bruce Forsyth! Surprise is an understatement she couldn’t believe she was in a lift with Sir Bruce, it just doesn’t happen does it and he was kind enough after a very long night to have his photo taken before heading off.

It goes without saying it was a privilege to meet so many good people each one of the regional winners had their own stories to tell, their own passion in life and their own reasons to do what they do, true heroes. It truly was a once in a lifetime occasion and one that Maria will remember for a long time to come.

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