IN OCTOBER this paper launched a campaign to celebrate the borough’s nicest person.

The aim is to find and celebrate those people who go above and beyond every day to make others happy and we want to celebrate the kindest among us.

After receiving a number of nominations, we are now in a position to reveal the eight finalist who are now vying for your votes.

Voting will close at midnight on Monday, with the winner being announced in next week’s edition of the Gazette.

To vote, email the name of your winner to

Here are the eight finalists:

Basingstoke Gazette:

Emmanuelle Sangster, 20, of Lundy Close, Popley

SELFLESS, kind-hearted and caring is three words used to describe Emmanuelle. The 20-year-old woman from Basingstoke recently organised a fundraiser for an elderly man who had his mobility scooter stolen.

In her spare time, Emmanuelle collects food from Pret A Manger to give to people less fortunate. She also helps the homeless and set up a book club for people with mental health issues.

A friend said: “Emmanuelle is a fine example of selflessness. She is a great ambassador for mental health, encouraging self development and wellbeing. I completed a charity hike on the Isle of Wight and if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have made it through the challenge.”

Basingstoke Gazette:

Steve Edney, Basingstoke

DESCRIBED as the nicest person in Basingstoke, Steve Edney has raised more than £75,000 for a charity called the “Brittle Bone Society which is a cause very close to his heart with his son suffering from the condition.

Nominating Steve, the person said he lights up a room and makes sure everyone around him is ok.

“He is the kindest soul anyone could ever meet. I cannot express the troubles he’s been through with being a great dad to his sons,” the friend said.

“Steve puts everyone he knows first and makes sure they’re okay. He is an absolute legend and I couldn’t imagine the world without him. I wish there were more people in the world like Steve.”

Basingstoke Gazette:

Melanie Williams, of East Oakley

FOR nearly three decades, Melanie has fostered and looked after hundreds of children as well as raising her own family of five, now with children of their own.

“Melanie runs Annie’s Oakley charity shop and will never refuse to help anyone out,” a friend said. Melanie cared for a friend’s sick wife and looked after another friend who fell ill with dementia. “Honestly, she does not stop. If someone needs help, she will assist them,” her friend said.

“I don’t think that I would find or meet a kinder and more genuine person than Melanie.”

Basingstoke Gazette:

Stephen Reid of Basingstoke

HE has a heart of gold, is the way Stephen’s colleague at DW Fitness First describes him.

“Genuinely every member at our gym where we work loves him,” the colleague said.

“He will always do what he can to help his work team out and will always put Fitness as the main priority for all our members. He is a fantastic example of a nice person and he is known amongst the team as Mr Positivity for his uplifting quotes.

“He’s always smiling and always positive. The kind who will pick you up if you’re having a rough day.”

Basingstoke Gazette:

Laura Yeates, Basingstoke

Laura has recently won the RSPCA’s Gold Stray Dog PawPrint Award for the fifth year running.

As part of the work for the award, the RSPCA had to certify all of the work she does, which includes community work such as free microchipping events. Nominating Laura, the person said: “It’s evident that Laura puts everything into her job, and really lives for it.

“She says that, even after working in the job for almost 20 years, she’s still moved to tears and works to make sure that every time a dog comes into her care, it is happy and healthy by the time it leaves.

“She is also humble, saying that the award was down to her team, rather than herself.”

Basingstoke Gazette:

Dave Holby-Wolinski, Bramley

Serial fundraiser Dave Holby-Wolinski is a face that almost every resident in Basingstoke and Deane will recognise.

Better known as Dave the Rower, the Bramley resident won the hearts of the people in the borough when he set out rowing on a static rowing machine in the Malls.

A friend said: “Outside of his fundraising, Dave is one of the warmest kindhearted people you could meet.

“Despite all his achievements and world-records he still remains humble and doesn’t make a big deal of what he has done for people.”

Since starting his efforts have raised more than £50,000 for breast cancer charities in memory of his mother, grandmother, and two aunts, all of whom died from the disease.

Basingstoke Gazette:

Anne Hurst, Basingstoke

RETIRED primary school teacher Anne Hurst makes a fantastic contribution to the community and to the lives of her friends.

Nominating Anne, a friend said she is a delight to speak to and always helps others: “Anne is a retired primary school teacher, who now volunteers as a the secretary to manage the Basingstoke Choral Society for the last 20 years.

“Recently she has had a few health setbacks and some operations, but her sheer strength and resilience to get through it all in her stride continues to impress me.To all the lives you have touched Anne I wish you all the best.”

Basingstoke Gazette:

Mark Jones, Basingstoke

HE SWAPPED journalism for charity work and now Mark Jones is helping the Ark Cancer Centre Charity get closer to its £5million goal to fund a much-needed cancer facility at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital.

Nominating the former editor of the Gazette and now director of fundraising, a friend said: “I’m nominating Mark Jones because I feel he makes such a difference in the community and works so hard for Ark. Mark is generally such a lovely warm hearted person with great aspirations to bring the community together and unite them to achieve success in the cause he is committed too.”

To vote email with the subject Basingstoke's Nicest Person and the name of the person you wish to vote for. 

Voting closes at midnight on November 11.