A shortlist we can take pride in

NOMINATED ... Ewan Barry, Robbie Smith and Jordan Kelly.

NOMINATED ... Ewan Barry, Robbie Smith and Jordan Kelly.

They come from all walks of life and touch the lives of other people.

Whether it’s caring for the disabled, running grassroots projects, keeping the streets safe or achieving personal goals, all our Pride of South Tyneside Awards nominees are doing something special.

The judges had a tough job whittling dozens of entries down to a shortlist of just three for each of the nine categories.

But after hours of deliberation, they finally did it – and here are the chosen ones.

After showcasing their abilities at a fantastic talent show last month, The Waiters, Hollie Ritson and South Tyneside Academy of Musical Performance (Stamp) made it to the final three for Young Performer(s) of the Year.

The Waiters are a pop-punk four-piece from South Shields who write their own material, while Hollie, 16, from Jarrow, is an accomplished actor, singer and dancer who plays piano, flute, piccolo and guitar.

South Shields-based Stamp offers professional training in dance, drama and music and has been running since 2006.

Physiotherapist Martin Kay, brain injury victim Paul Belk and scholar Abid Rahman, 13, who has won a place at Harrow School, make up the Achieving Excellence shortlist.

Deborah Johnston, Mandy Garrod and Danielle and Lauren Hudson are in the running to be named Carer of the Year.

Mrs Johnston, from Jarrow, was nominated by daughter Chloe-Louise, 14, who has dyspraxia, fibromyalgia and, along with her sister Ellie, seven, epilepsy.

Mum-of-two Ms Garrod, from South Shields, has never left three-year-old daughter Gracie-Mae’s side since she was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition which affects her development.

Sisters Danielle, 17, and Louise, 14, from Hebburn, help look after mum Noreen, who suffers from Hashimoto’s encephalitis, which reduces brain function.

Two-year-old Charlie Cookson, 11-year-old Robbie Young, both from South Shields, and Karl Smith, 21 months, from Hebburn, have been shortlisted for Child of Courage.

Charlie has spent most of his short life in hospital with a range of medical problems, while Robbie is helping others while battling cancer and Karl is recovering from a heart operation.

Community Group of the Year will go to either the Special Needs Integrated Play Scheme, for children with special needs, The Holder House Saturday Club, which supports young carers, or mental health support group Just-ICE.

Firefighter Ray Houghton, Jubilee Wood in Jarrow or Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle will pick up the Greener South Tyneside Award.

Charity fundraiser Andy Buddin, organ donor campaigner Sharon Eckert and anti-racism champion Richard Offiong are in the frame for Role Model of the Year.

Julie Robinson, who supports victims of domestic violence, South Tyneside Street Angels and South Tyneside Positive Activities and Targeted Youth Support Group are in line for the Safer Neighbourhoods award.

South Tyneside Swimming Club, disabled athlete Robbie Smith and octathlete Anthony Hogg are vying for the Sporting Excellence title.

There will also be a surprise Judges’ Special Award.

The awards will be presented at a star-studded ceremony at the Temple Park Centre in South Shields on Sunday evening.

We’ll be covering the event live via Twitter, using #sgazpride, and online at www.shieldsgazette.com.

There’ll also be full coverage in the paper and on our website on Monday, followed by a special supplement on Friday, May 10.

The Pride of South Tyneside Awards are organised by the Gazette, South Tyneside Council and the Customs House in South Shields.

They are sponsored by Siemens, Port of Tyne, Barbour, BT South Tyneside, Harlow Printing, South Tyneside College, Colmans and South Tyneside Homes.

Twitter: @shieldsgazedu




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