Competition unearths a real gem in the community
Grosvenor Shopping Northampton’s campaign to find exceptional people in the community has come to a fantastic close, with NHS key worker Elaine Sheehan being awarded the title of ‘Local Legend’, as well as a £150 shopping trip.
Earlier last month, Grosvenor Shopping Northampton received a host of nominations from across the town about the many wonderful people shining a bright light on others during these troubling times.
The winner, Elaine Sheehan, was secretly put forward for the competition by her daughter Abbie Campbell who shared details about her mum’s unwavering dedication to her family, friends and patients.
Abbie said her mum has been caring after her elderly aunt and uncle and helped them through two hospital admissions, while also feeling the additional pressures of COVID as a key worker in a busy medical department.
The shopping centre team learned that Elaine has remained a rock to those around her despite going through a particularly challenging period in her personal life, with the recent loss of a very close friend.
Elaine recalls the moment she found out the results of the Local Legend competition, she said: “I had no idea Abbie had nominated me, so my first reaction was to think she was joking! Followed by one of disbelief as I honestly don’t feel I have done anything to gain this, but then apparently, I never see my own worth! I have never won anything in my life and am extremely overwhelmed.
“My son told me, ‘maybe now you’ll realise just how much you do’.” said Elaine. “Abbie was absolutely thrilled and couldn’t understand why I was crying.”
Elaine went on to explain that her aunt and uncle have been a big part of her life since she was a child. “They are the only living relatives I have from the generation above me, so I feel it only right for me to do what I can for them. It’s quite sad to see them becoming more reliant on others as they have always been so independent.”
She continued: “I suppose I get strength from feeling if you can help someone else why wouldn’t you? It’s something I’ve always done, there are plenty of people that would benefit from a helping hand.”
Abbie says her mum has always been an amazing support system for family and friends and has kept a brave face for everyone, but it has been tough in more recent times and a treat is very much deserved.
Elaine said: “Losing my dear friend has most definitely taken its toll on me, we had been friends for over 36 years. I am finding it difficult to come to terms with the fact that I am not going to see her again but having my two children near is the most precious thing to me. A ‘thank you’ for nominating me doesn’t seem enough but it’s all I can say apart from ‘I love you’.”
James Roberts, centre manager at Grosvenor Shopping Northampton, says the Local Legend campaign hasexceeded all expectations. “We’ve always known how special our community is and it has been a real pleasure to learn more of the lives of the individuals around us.
“The quality of entries received were wonderful and with this year being hard for so many, there was a lot of deliberation, but Elaine’s story really touched us,” James added. “She clearly has the biggest heart of gold and is a pillar of strength to her loved ones. This is just a small way of thanking her for all she does and Elaine, we hope you have the loveliest time treating yourself to something special.”