Mercury awards: Hemsby's Sue is named a community hero

Hemsby Lifeboat coxswain Daniel Hurd with Sue Wharton-Weaver and their Mercury Awards.

Hemsby Heroes: Lifeboat coxswain Daniel Hurd with Sue Wharton-Weaver. - Credit: James Weeds

A main contributor to Hemsby Lifeboat - having raised over £100,000 for the independent lifeboat service - has won the community hero award in the first ever Great Yarmouth Mercury Awards.

Sue Wharton-Weaver of Newport Road, Hemsby, won the award for her charitable work for both the lifeboat service with her charity shopping venture and the wider community of Hemsby.

Sue Weaver with her Mercury Award

Sue Wharton-Weaver has won the Community Hero of the Year in the Great Yarmouth Mercury Awards. - Credit: James Weeds

Ms Wharton-Weaver, 59, said: "It's really very nice to have been given the award.

"It starts with the community shop, it starts with a community, it starts with one person there with a shed and it grows and the community has grown with us.

"Alongside that, thankfully, Hemsby Lifeboat has been able to benefit from it.

"People have got ownership of the lifeboat now. They feel it is a part of them.

"With me, they can dump their stuff with me, feel like they've done their bit and other people get to benefit from that because I sell it on so cheaply.

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"It's not about the money and that's why it works.

"The community gives and the community have back.

"And in between, the lifeboat benefits."

Champion fundraiser Sue Wharton Weaver with Hemsby Lifeboat's Dan Hurd

Champion fundraiser Sue Wharton Weaver with Hemsby Lifeboat's Dan Hurd - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Ms Wharton-Weaver began her community shop from her living room eight years ago in order to fundraise for Save Hemsby Coastline.

Six years ago, she began selling school uniforms and four years ago, Ms Wharton-Weaver began a food drop off point.

"The public demanded I raised money for the lifeboat and that's what I did," Ms Wharton-Weaver said.

Ms Wharton-Weaver, originally from Stevenage, has lived in Hemsby for 15 years.

"It's lovely," Ms Wharton-Weaver said. 

"For better or for worse people are there and they come round to the shop on a sunny day for a laugh and a chat.

"It is a community hub."

"I do keep very busy with the shop and I enjoy it.

"I could be out there for twelve hours during the summer."

Ms Wharton-Weaver has four children, 14 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

"So that keeps me busy," she added.

Sue Wharton Weaver and the lifeboat crew waving a people on Hemsby beach

Sue Wharton Weaver and the lifeboat crew waving a people on Hemsby beach - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

In December, Ms Wharton-Weaver was also celebrated by Hemsby Lifeboat, who named their new Atlantic 75 vessel "Sea Weaver" in her honour.

The runners up for the community hero award were: Liz Townson and Hannah Ashpole.

The Mercury awards saw votes pour in

The Mercury awards saw votes pour in - Credit: Archant