From victim to award winner

Debra Knight, Winner of Winners at the Community Awards 2012
Debra Knight, Winner of Winners at the Community Awards 2012

Debra Knight is still fizzing with excitement about being crowned Winner of Winners at the Community Awards 2012 sponsored by Pictons.

“Shocked sums it up best,” she beams. “It really blew me away. I’m still processing it.”

She and her community interest company Nine Red Presents had already taken the Community Art Award and she was so sure she wouldn’t win anything else, she’d kicked off her strappy stilettos prior to the Winner of Winners announcement.

“I was rummaging round under the table trying to find my shoes and everyone was laughing,” she recalled.

“But it was a great honour to receive the award and I really appreciate it.”
What made it even more important to the former Lealands and Manshead Upper pupil was the positive impact it will have on the people her company helps.

“They’re from socially isolated backgrounds or have been abused, as I was,” she explained. “Winning an award like this shows what can be achieved, that life can be beautiful and it’s safe outside.”

The 35-year-old from Sundon Park, who trained as a barrister, formed Nine Red Presents nine years ago with DJ Gordon Davis. Today the company runs more than 15 projects, six of which fund the others.

“We do photo mosaics, event management, exhibitions and performances,” she said. “They’re all low cost and tailor-made.

“We also offer free and immediate help to victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence and rape.”

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