The 76 South Tyneside women who are bidding for an award for their dedication

A group of South Tyneside volunteers are bidding to become award winners for the second time in a matter of months.

Sunday, 21st July 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Sunday, 21st July 2019, 7:00 am
The South Tyneside League of Friends who won the Unsung Hero category at the Best of Health Awards - and now they're in the running for another honour.

The 76-strong army of women - who run the League of Friends in South Shields – are the latest nomination in this year’s Best of South Tyneside Awards.

The tireless campaigners have an average age of 74 yet they still give their time every week to run a shop in the main entrance of South Tyneside Hospital.

It is open from 7am to 8.15pm from Mondays to Fridays, 1.15pm to 4.15pm each Saturday and Sunday, and 6.30pm to 8.30pm every Sunday night.

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The panel of sponsors.

Every shift is run by the women free of charge and their dedication won them the Unsung Hero category of the Gazette’s Best of Health Awards in May.

Now, the women are in the running for another award and group chairman Josie Wigham said: “I am over the moon. It is nice for the ladies to be recognised.

“Most of them are retired and some are doing two shifts a week at the shop.”

On top of their shop work, the League has also donated vital funds to the battle against breast cancer.

It recently gave £6,000 towards specialist equipment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where women from South Tyneside are treated for breast cancer.

Josie would love to hear from more potential shop volunteers and anyone interested is urged to call in during its opening hours.

In the meantime, the League of Friends joins a growing list of awards nominations.

There is still time to nominate your own worthy cause.

We want to know about the unsung heroes, community champions, inspirational children and fantastic sports people for this year’s awards which will be taking nominations until Friday, August 30.

That’s loads of time to put forward your favourites – and once we pass that deadline, the judges will meet to draw up a shortlist in each amazing category on September 3.

Then it is on to the grand finale which will be held on Thursday, September 19 at the Roker Hotel.

The Best of South Tyneside awards, this year, have the support of Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, Tyne Coast College, Barbour, JML, Harlow Print, UTS, and Warmseal.

Watch out for more details on them in the days and weeks to come.

In the meantime, let’s start that process of honouring all those unsung stars.

There are plenty of categories to choose from.

Get your nomination in as soon as you can as that way, you know you’ve put an unsung hero in the running for honours.

To nominate, please send us the full name, phone number and email address, of the person you wish to nominate and the category you want to nominate them for, along with a brief description of why they are worthy of an award.

And if you are submitting an entry in the Young Performer category, send us a video of them performing.

Send your entries by email to: [email protected] or to

The categories

Green Champion of the Year.

Child of Achievement.

Fundraiser of the Year.

Entrepreneur of the Year.

Local Hero Award.

Sporting Excellence/Young Sportsperson of the Year.

Sports Team of the Year.

Community Champion.

Student of the Year.

Community Group.

Small Business of the Year.

Large Business of the Year.

Child of Courage

Young Performer of the Year.

Lifetime Contribution.

Special Recognition.