Ceremony celebrates outstanding achievement of borough stars


A ceremony celebrating the outstanding achievements of Wigan Borough residents and organisations recognised with Believe Stars took place on Monday, June 24 at Wigan Town Hall.

Hosted as part of Wigan Borough’s 50th anniversary year, the event brought together all those recognised with a Believe Star since the scheme began in 2012.

Those recognised with a star on Believe Square include Olympic athlete Jenny Meadows, legendary heart doctor Nayyar Naqvi OBE and businessman John Winnard MBE, as well as representatives from the NHS, Joining Jack and Joseph’s Goal.

James Winterbottom, director of strategy and innovation at Wigan Council, said: “Achieving a Believe Star is not just a one-off award, it is a permanent recognition of the tireless efforts and the unwavering commitment that our stars have demonstrated in their respective areas.

“Whether in education, sports, arts, community, or health, their achievements have not only made us proud but have also inspired others in our community. We also remember those recognised with a Believe Star who are no longer with us.

“The legacies of Joe Galvin, Barbara Nettleton and Dr Kate Fussell will stay with us all here in Wigan Borough, and their contributions will be remembered for a long time to come.”

April 2024 marked 50 years since Wigan Borough was formed, uniting 14 districts into one shared identity under the Progress With Unity banner.

Throughout this year, Wigan Council and its partners will explore why the anniversary is an important moment in our social and cultural history, including two All Stars ceremonies held in Wigan and Leigh.

British athlete, Jenny Meadows, who was among the first recognised with a Believe Star in Wigan, added: “I’m so proud to have a Believe Star.

“Over the years, Wigan has grown in influence and recognition around the world because of its rich sporting heritage and I couldn’t be prouder to be a Wiganer.

“This is a really important scheme in recognising homegrown talent and local icons.

“The fact that Keely Hodgkinson, Margaret and the late Joe Galvin all have stars over in Leigh is something that I know has lifted them up, making them feel supported locally and recognised for their contribution to the borough.”

To find out more about Wigan Borough’s 50th anniversary year, please visit: wigan.gov.uk/WiganBorough50