A SPECIAL award has been created in memory of the little girl whose brave battle with neuroblastoma touched the hearts of everyone in Inverclyde.

Rosie Veronica Mitchell will be honoured at the Greenock Telegraph's upcoming Community Champion Awards on May 17 through a newly-created memorial award.

The honour, which will become part of the annual event which showcases the extraordinary efforts of ordinary people, will be given each year to a local person who has displayed outstanding courage or bravery.

Tele editor Brian Hossack explained: "Rosie's story affected everyone locally, she was such a courageous child who always had a smile for everyone despite what she was going through.

"Rarely has the paper ever witnessed such a community effort to fundraise for a cause as we did for Rosie.

"The paper highlighted the drive to help raise the money to send her for specialist treatment and we felt we wanted to do something special to honour Rosie's memory.

"She touched so many people and we hope that by creating this award in her name we are doing our little bit to help her memory live on."

Rosie's parents Donna-Louise and Ross will attend on the night to present the trophy to the winner.

Donna-Louise said: "As a family we are very touched the Telegraph has decided to do this for Rosie."

The Rosie Veronica Mitchell Memorial Award will be one of 11 given on the night as the Tele celebrates charity champions, selfless volunteers and the kindness of people across Inverclyde.

The winners were chosen at a recent judging session, hosted by sponsors Amazon at their Gourock depot.

Mr Hossack added: "This is the third year of the awards and we had a record number of nominations.

"We had a very difficult job choosing our finalists let alone our winners.

"It is an evening I am very much looking forward too as we enjoy nothing more than celebrating everything that is good about Inverclyde."

The event sponsors are also excited about the finals.

Gavin Morrison, general manager at Amazon in Gourock, said: “Supporting the local community is very important to us and we are thrilled to once more sponsor the community champion category at the Greenock Community Champion Awards 2019.

“I was honoured to be part of the judging panel.

"The entries were humbling to read and I would like to congratulate all the worthy finalists.

"In Inverclyde we have so many amazing people who work tirelessly and go above and beyond to help others in their community. “

Eddie Hawthorne, Arnold Clark chief executive and group managing director, said: ‘I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to all of the amazing entrants and all awards finalists for the Heart of Gold category.’

Peter Clark, manager of Greenock's Oak Mall shopping centre, said: "Once again Oak Mall is delighted to sponsor the youth community champion category at this year’s awards.

"There are no losers in this category, they are all winners that have displayed a passion for contributing to their communities.

"The nominees have given of their time to support others who have had challenges in their lives, they have raised funds for various charities and they have done all this with an infectious enthusiasm. Well done to all the nominees."

Alison Dickson, General Manager at Balclutha Care Home, who sponsor the senior champ category, said: "Congratulations to all the finalists for the senior community champion category from all of us at Balclutha Court Care Home. We are looking forward to a fabulous night celebrating everyone’s achievements.”

The Tele's Community Champions event is sponsored by Amazon, Arnold Clark, Balclutha Court Care Home, Inverclyde Council, Oak Mall Shopping Centre, Protec Plumbing & Heating and Platinum Paving.

Greenock Telegraph Community Champion Award 2019 finalists.
*Senior Community Champion
Bartholomew Dundas
Alex Murphy
Alastair Liddell
Sandra McColl
Mrs Irene Pollard
Mrs Margaret (Pearl) Simpson

*Youth Community Champion
Clydeview’s Senior Phase Group
Jordan Gemmell
St Stephen’s High Students

*Community Champion of the Year
Compassionate Inverclyde
Jayden’s Rainbow
Laura Percival Graham
Leah Canning
Michelle McIlroy
Prison Visiting Group

*Heart of Gold
Taylor Barnes
Isabel Docherty
Nicole Gunn
Maureen McKurk
Sheila Murphy
Kathleen Orr

*Charity Champion of the Year
Anna Hemphill
Jayden’s Rainbow
Molly Cuddihy
Reach for Autism
Taylor Kitchen

*Sporting Champion of the Year
Danny Lee - Greenock Boxing Club
George Giffnoy - Inverkip Primary Athletics Team
Rhys McCole

*Business Champion of the Year
Compassionate Inverclyde
Kip Marina
Riverside Inverclyde
Pointe Perfect Dance School

*Teacher of the Year
Ms Julie Ballantyne
Denise Crawford
Lauren Hair of Pointe Perfect Dance School
Karen Morgan

*Little Champion of the Year
Rhys Cuthbertson
Rebecca Collings
Jessica Glover
Cassie Murphy
Poppy Shaw

*Live Music Award
Black Dove
Clydeside Singers
Jack Vize
The Urban Folkers