Community champion leads call for Shields Gazette awards entries

Paralympian Josef Craig presents the 2016 Community Champion of the Year award to Jason Meiers.
Paralympian Josef Craig presents the 2016 Community Champion of the Year award to Jason Meiers.

Reigning champion Jason Meiers spoke of the day he won a Gazette community award - and never thought he stood a chance.

A year on from his Best of South Tyneside win, the centre manager of both the All Saints Community Association and Chuter Ede Community Association, in South Shields, re-lived the “lovely night” when he was rewarded for his outstanding work.

I said at the time that I don’t do what I do to get an award. But I did go away and think ‘I really appreciate that someone took the time to put me forward.’ Someone took the time to fill in a nomination and that was lovely

Jason Meiers

Now, as we launch the 2017 competition, Jason urged people to put forward their favourites and revealed how it was such a proud moment for him to lift a trophy in 2016.

“I said at the time that I don’t do what I do to get an award. But I did go away and think ‘I really appreciate that someone took the time to put me forward.’ Someone took the time to fill in a nomination and that was lovely.”

It’s been another great year for Jason who said: “We have had to register as a charity and we have more flexibility to get more funding and more options with what we can do with the space.”

One attraction at Chuter Ede is wrestling and Jason said it was proving to be a big attraction for youngsters who get to meet the competitors.

Also at Chuter Ede, office space is available to let to businesses and Jason wants it to go to start-up companies .

At All Saints, projects including a sexual health scheme and the centre is also working to help homeless teenagers.

He urged other people to nominate their favourites for this year’s awards which have the support of a string of fantastic backers.

The Best of South Tyneside awards have a headline sponsor of Siemens, and are being held in association with Northumbrian Water, JML, Port of Tyne, Barbour, Harlow Print and the Customs House as category sponsors.

So now all we need are entries for this year’s awards. The grand finale is at the Quality Hotel in Boldon on September 22 and we want you to inundate us with impressive nominations.

To nominate, send your entries by email to: lynn.wild@jpress.co.uk or posted to: Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, DH4 5RA.

The Categories

We have a great range of categories for you in this year’s Best of South Tyneside awards.

It means you can put forward your favourites in everything from role model of the year through to sporting excellence.

Take a look at the categories below and then send us your favourites in any one – or more – of the sections listed.

Feel free to send in as many entries as you like for as many categories as you like.

The more you send, the more choices our judges will have when it comes to drawing up a shortlist – and the harder their task will be to choose winners in each section.

These are the sections to choose from:

l Role Model:

l Neighbour of the Year:

l Greener South Tyneside

l Child of Achievement

l Fundraiser of the Year

l Entrepreneur of the Year

l Carer of the Year

l Sporting Excellence

l Sports Team of the Year

l Community Champion

l Student of the Year

l Community Group

l Volunteer of the Year:

l Child of Courage

l Young Performer of the Year

l Lifetime Contribution

To nominate, send your entries by email to: lynn.wild@jpress.co.uk or post to: Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, DH4 5RA.