Community hero 'Wor Vera' in line for award after entertaining thousands during pandemic in South Tyneside

A South Tyneside singer who entertained thousands of people during the pandemic is in the running for an award.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 4:55 am

Deborah Taylor-Smith, who performs as ‘Wor Vera’, was a welcome sight outside care homes across the borough during lockdown.

She kept spirits high with her live renditions of Vera Lynn songs for the residents of the care homes and racked up 150 performances in 100 days.

But ‘Wor Vera’ went even further. She also entertained at the homes of people who were poorly or missing loved ones and many of her performances attracted more than 1,000 people when they were shown live on social media.

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Deborah Taylor-Smith who has been nominated for a Best of South Tyneside Award.

When she found out she was nominated, she said: “Wow. That’s brilliant. It is a nice gesture that people think I am deserving of this.”

Deborah’s busy life includes being a mum of four, a student and a singer. She has performed as Wor Vera for 5 years but the Covid-19 outbreak meant her bookings were cancelled.

She said: “I thought ‘what can I do and at first I started doing events online to go directly to the care homes.

Wor Vera in full flow.

"Then I went to a care home along the road and stood outside and sang. It lifted them and I thought ‘that’s one care home, there must be many more in South Tyneside.”

Her campaign of free gigs reached 150 homes in 100 days.

Now she has been nominated for an award and one of the nominations for her said: “She went above and beyond for the elderly and children too during the pandemic.”

Deborah becomes the latest in a huge selection of nominations for the awards which is the first to be held since the pandemic.

Deborah pictured during one of her many live performances during lockdown.

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.

The Best of South Tyneside Awards.

All these and more will be honoured in our annual awards where you can make all the difference.

Get those nominations in. Send them by email to [email protected]

To find out more, visit


Local Hero Award.

Fundraiser of the Year.

Small business of the Year.

Sporting Achievement of the Year.

Community Champion.

Community Group of the Year.

Large Business of the Year.

Sports Team of the Year.

Child of Achievement.

Green Champion of the Year.

Child of Courage.

Young Performer of the Year.

Entrepreneur of the Year.

Covid hero of the year.

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