A MAN who helped rescue two boys from the River Kent during flooding last summer was one of 14 James Cropper employees honoured at the company’s fifth annual Pride Awards.

Dryerman’s assistant Shane Cooper received a commendation in the community and the environment category for his bravery, revealed at a ceremony held at the Burneside Paper Mill.

Shane was on a break during his shift when he spotted the two youngsters – aged between 10 and 11 – walking along the riverbank.

“I never thought anything of it at first but then I saw one of them trying to climb back up over the wall and slipped.

“I didn’t have time to think about it – I just ran round and pulled them up over the wall.”

Shane did not even realise he has been seen until he was nominated anonymously by several colleagues for the Pride awards.

This year’s awards saw 64 employees nominated by their colleagues and managers, with the winners in each category being presented with a £500 cheque and an engraved commemorative gift.

The winner in the community and the environment category was materials scientist Vicki Wright, who was instrumental in getting the Kendal Torchlight Procession reinstated after it was cancelled in 2012.

She played a key role in organising the ‘Keep the Flame’ campaign last year, which raised the profile of the event, and served as recruitment co-ordinator on the event’s committee when it returned this year.

The winners were: safety improvement, Lyndon Montgomery; community and the environment: Vicki Wright; support for colleagues: joint winners; Lee Hoskinson, Jacqueline Redman; innovation and creativity: Glyn Carradus; customer service: joint winners, Amie Knipe, Louise Bell and taking pride: Simon Crossley.

Commendations were also handed out in most categories: safety improvement, Chris Harris; community & the environment: Shane Cooper; support for colleagues: Ben Hyde; innovation and creativity: Denis Powell; taking pride: Phil Sykes, Mike Robinson.