Two young stars hope to shine at Gazette awards

Best of South Tyneside performers, Sasha and David France
Best of South Tyneside performers, Sasha and David France

A brother and sister double act are hoping to shine brightly when they take to the stage at this year’s Young Performer of the Year Awards.

Sasha FRance, 14, and her brother David France, 12, have once again been put forward for the Gazette award in the annual Best of South Tyneside Awards.

Sasha France

Sasha France

Sponsored by Port of Tyne the award looks to find outstanding performers in the borough.

The two Jarrow singers were nominated for the accolade by proud dad Dave France, 45, for their dedication in raising money for the Children’s Heart Unit through their music.

The unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital is a cause close to the family after Sasha underwent two major hear operations as a baby.

Mr France who works in child care, said: “I have nominated them as they have worked so hard over last five years performing also doing charity gigs and busking to raise money for CHUF as Sasha was a heart baby at the Freeman Hospital.

Port of Tyne is sponsoring the Young Performer of the Year.

Port of Tyne is sponsoring the Young Performer of the Year.

“They have been fundraising through busking at Alnwick Gardens and other events.
“They also held a big event in July at Headworthfield CA all in aid of CHUF.”

Sasha was just 11 days old when she needed immediate surgery after her heart started to fail.

She was suffering from a hole in her heart and a coarctation of the aorta.

She was tube fed for weeks as she was too small and weak for the second surgery, but her heart failed again and they had to do it.

Thankfully the surgery was a success and her fundraising is her way of giving back to the unit which saved her life.

Now the youngsters will join a host of young performers as they showcase their talents during a performance evening at The Customs House on September 5.

But the Jarrow Comprehensive School pupils are no strangers to the Customs House stage, having blown away audiences with their performance in last year’s competition.

The pair have even travelled to Nashville in America on pervious occasions to record their own music.

Sponsoring the overall Best of South Tyneside Awards this year is electronics giant Siemens as the headline sponsor, along with a host of category sponsors including Harlow Print, Northumbrian Water, South Shields Football Club and the Customs House.

For the first time, the winner of our Young Performer of the Year Award and the Young Sportsperson of the Year category will also receive a £500 bursary from the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust.

The awards will be the first to be paid out by the trust set up in celebration of the much-loved couple to nurture the talents of those pursuing their passion in performance and sports.

The families of the teenagers chose the awards to launch the trust to say thank you for the support and love shown by the people of South Tyneside towards themselves after Chloe and Liam’s lives were cut short.

We are asking for nominations to be submitted by Friday, September 1.

Following the performance evening the top three will then be chosen by judges to move on to the Best of South Tyneside grand finale at the Quality Hotel, in Boldon, on September 21.

To make a nomination, email lynn.wild@jpress.co.uk with the category you wish to nominate and provide your full contact details, including email address and phone number along with those of your nominee.

Nominations can also be posted to Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, DH4 5RA.

CATEGORIES

These are the sections to choose from:

• Role Model

• Neighbour of the Year

• Greener South Tyneside

• Child of Achievement

• Fundraiser of the Year

• Entrepreneur of the Year

• Carer of the Year

• Sporting Excellence

• Sports Team of the Year

*Young Sportperson of the Year

• Community Champion

• Student of the Year

• Community Group

• Volunteer of the Year

• Child of Courage

• Young Performer of the Year

• Lifetime Contribution