Honiton woman named as unsung hero

Founder of dog club stands to win �5,000 for a community project of her choice - and you can help her win it.

JO Coles, the founder of Honiton and District Canine Society, has been shortlisted to win a national award and �5,000 for a community project of her choice.

Ms Coles is a regional winner in the HiQ Hero award, which honours unsung members of the community, who carry out unrecognised selfless work.

Residents across the region are being urged to vote for her on HiQ’s official website to give her the best chance to win.

She was nominated by Joy Raymond, who told The Midweek Herald: “I have complete admiration for Jo and her volunteers, who give up their time so willingly come rain or shine.”

Jo will now attend the final award ceremony in Birmingham on November 18 with nine other shortlisted candidates, with an opportunity to scoop the overall prize.

Mrs Raymond added: “Jo has been involved with the dog club for 25 years.

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“In this day and age, when we read so many stories of irresponsible owners with dangerous dogs and abandoned animals, it is heartening that Jo puts ion so many hours free of charge to teach our local citizens such important skills.”

Olympic gold medalist Sally Gunnell launched the campaign for HiQ and will present the overall winner with a �5,000 cheque for a community project of their choice, and �500 for themselves.

Each regional shortlisted winner will also receive �250 at the lunch, which will take place at the Custard Factory in Birmingham.

HiQ’s retail director Peter Tye said: “This is a huge campaign for us and we were staggered by the amount of entries and the quality of those that entered.

“It was an extremely tough task whittling them down to 10 regional shortlisted finalists, but with the heroes now chosen, we hope everyone can log on and vote for them in their droves.”

Anyone wishing to register their vote for a shortlisted finalist can click on www.hiqonline.co.uk/aboutUs/hiqHeroes where a full list of voting options will be available.