Green-thinking Angela Todd was left stunned by an out-of-the-blue award nomination.
And it means the group she formed is now in the running for a Best of South Tyneside Award.
It was formed out of a passion for conservation. I feel strongly about ... having some pride in the place where we live.Angela Todd
The nomination came after Angela created the South Shields-based Litter and Laugh group to help clean up the streets from the town centre and leading to the seafront.
The volunteers meet on a monthly basis and attracts people of all ages who come along to have fun, while picking up litter, which is then recycled.
Each month, the Litter and Laugh walk is attracting more and more people to take part.
After hearing about the nomination, Angela said: “I am bowled over - this is totally out of the blue. I am surprised and overwhelmed. It is such a nice gesture that the group has been recognised.”
The group’s success had come within just a few months of its launch.
“It was formed out of a passion for conservation. I have had amazing support from the public.
“I feel strongly about issues such as plastics in the ocean, not only for protecting marine animals, but also about having some pride in the place where we live.
“Being able to motivate people and give people encouragement is important.
“I have got two granddaughters aged eight and four and they will pick bottles up and put them in the bin.”
One of Angela’s plans is to grow the group and hopefully issue tote bags which people can use to collect litter. The bags could then be washed to be used again.
* Is there a role model, a carer, or a child, who you think shows incredible courage? Do you want to honour a community stalwart who goes the extra mile to help others without asking for acknowledgement?
Is there a child of achievement who has gone that extra length to achieve their targets?
Or is there a young stage star who would deserve to win the Young Performer of the Year category?
We are calling on you to put forward nominations for everything from sports team of the year to entrepreneur of the year, and community group to fundraiser.
This year, the grand finale will be held at the Roker Hotel, where we will be revealing the winners on Wednesday, September 19.
Ray Spencer from the Customs House will be the compere for what promises to be a fantastic occasion.
The Best of South Tyneside awards, this year, have the backing of Barbour; Harlow Printing Limited; JML; BT South Tyneside; Northumbrian Water, UTS Engineering Ltd, Warmseal and South Tyneside College.
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@example.com or posted to: Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, DH4 5RA.