Here's why there were tears and standing ovations for the people of South Tyneside last night
You’re all amazing. That’s the message to the cream of South Tyneside who were awarded honours at a glittering ceremony.
Eight courageous children and a runner who battled back from cancer were among the winners at the Best of South Tyneside Awards.
And on a night to remember – filled with tears, cheers and standing ovations – the most poignant honour of them all went to a footballing stalwart who passed away in the summer.
The incredible loyalty of Richard Bailey, who gave 74 years of his life to South Shields Football Club, was remembered.
He was the man who first watched Shields in 1947, was vice president in his later years and still found time to clean the dressing rooms.
Sadly, he died in August this year aged 86 but the audience rose to remember him as he was awarded the posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award.
That was only one of numerous moving stories at a glittering occasion at the Roker Hotel.
l There was Sarah and Chris Cookson who set up the Charlie & Carter Foundation in 2013 in memory of their first son Charlie, who sadly died aged just two, following a series of health problems.
And in January this year the couple faced a second devastating tragedy after losing their son Carter.
But despite everything they have been through the couple have helped 68 families across the UK, with the charity giving away more than £210,000.
They won the Special Recognition Award.
l The Judges Choice trophy was given to Laura Crutwell who was on the scene of an accident in September last year and gave immediate CPR – just months after having first aid training at work. Laura was later told that it was partly down to her amazingly fast intervention that the life of a man involved in the accident had been saved.
l Eight inspirational children won Child of Courage awards. They were Kayleigh Brennan, 7; Evie-Mai Davis, 9; Chloe, 9, and Nathan Curry, 8; Drew Broderick, 13; Oliver Mckenna, 12; Lacey Mae Davidson, 3; Hannah Rogers, 5. We will have more on them in the days to come.
The Role Model of the Year was Becca Anderson who tackled the Great North Run this year after a diagnosis of leukaemia in 2010, aged 18.
And the ever-popular Young Performer of the Year category was won by Headrush, an up-and-coming band made up of Harton Academy pupils William Gofton, Daniel Taylor, Jay Morris, and Alex Lipanov.
Nathan Tully, 16, from the 18 South Shields Boys’ Brigade Company, won the Child of Achievement Award for his outstanding efforts in the Brigade nationally.
The League of Friends of South Tyneside Hospital, founded in 1948, are a team of volunteers who have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds over the years to provide patients and staff with extra comforts and equipment.
They won the Fundraiser of the Year category.
And the Sporting Excellence trophy went to the St Joseph’s Catholic Academy under-13 girls football team from Hebburn who became EFL National champions after playing the final against a school in Bristol at Wembley in March.
Community Champion was South Shields-based Bright Futures which works with women aged 16-25 who are facing complex issues such offending, homelessness or domestic abuse, to help them back into employment..
Community Group of the Year was Hebburn Helps which, in just four years, has helped more than 4,000 people in need in South Tyneside with the likes of food parcels, clothing and household items.
The Kayaks group was highly commended.
Other winners included;
Business of the Year – Master Debonair (winner) and Cafe 42 (highly commended).
Greener South Tyneside – Litter and Laugh Walk (winner) and Daniel Rowell (highly commended).
Entrepreneur of the Year – Kevin Johnston of Funky Chunky Furniture in Jarrow.
Student of the Year – Mahrin Ahmed.
We will have much more from the awards in further coverage over the coming days, including a supplement packed with photos and more news from the night next week.
In the meantime, our thanks go to all our sponsors – South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Tyne Coast College, Barbour, JML, Harlow Print, UTS, and Warmseal – for their invaluable support.
ROLL OF HONOUR.
Role Model of the Year (sponsored by the Shields Gazette) – Becca Anderson.
Business of the Year (sponsored by UTS) – Master Debonair (winner) and Cafe 42 (highly commended).
Greener South Tyneside (sponsored by South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust) – Litter and Laugh Walk (winner) and Daniel Rowell (highly commended).
Child of Achievement (sponsored by Barbour) – Nathan Tully.
Fundraiser of the Year (sponsored by the Shields Gazette) – League of Friends, South Tyneside Hospital.
Entrepreneur of the Year (sponsored by JML) – Kevin Johnston of Funky Chunky Furniture in Jarrow.
Sporting Excellence (sponsored by Harlow Print) – St Joseph’s Catholic Academy under-13 girls football team.
Community Champion (sponsored by Warmseal) – Bright Futures.
Student of the Year (sponsored by the Shields Gazette) – Mahrin Ahmed.
Community Group (sponsored by Warmseal) – Hebburn Helps (winner) and Kayaks (highly commended).
Child of Courage (sponsored by Tyne Coast College) – Kayleigh Brennan, Evie-Mai Davis, Chloe and Nathan Curry, Drew Broderick, Oliver Mckenna, Lacey Mae Davidson, Hannah Rogers.
Young Performer of the Year (sponsored by Warmseal) – Headrush.
Special Recognition (sponsored by the Shields Gazette – Sarah and Chris Cookson.
Posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by UTS) – Richard Bailey.