South Tyneside charity champions chosen to carry Queen's Baton in Commonwealth games relay

Two charity workers who have dedicated their time to helping people in South Tyneside have been selected to be part of the Queen’s Baton Relay building up to the Commonwealth Games this summer.
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Angie Comerford from Hebburn Helps and Cancer Research fundraiser Ann Walsh will represent the borough as baton bearers for the games in Birmingham which take place From July 28 to August 8.

Angie, 45, co-founder of Hebburn Helps, which won the Community Champion Award at this year’s Best of South Tyneside Awards, has worked tirelessly since 2015 with a team of volunteers to support vulnerable families and individuals struggling to feed themselves and their children.

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As well as operating as a food bank the charity also hosts other appeals such as a toy drive at Christmas, providing a Christmas lunch for a family and activities for children during the school holidays.

Angie and Ann will carry the baton.Angie and Ann will carry the baton.
Angie and Ann will carry the baton.

Angie was shocked to discover she’d been nominated by and couldn’t believe someone would choose her for something so prestigious.

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She said: “I feel like the luckiest person on the planet right now and I’m so very grateful. My little boy said he’s so proud of me and can’t believe his mam might be on the telly carrying the baton.

"To think that I will get to hold something that has crossed through the hands of so many inspirational people is something I can’t quite comprehend. What an honour it is.”

Ann Walsh with her British Empire Medal.Ann Walsh with her British Empire Medal.
Ann Walsh with her British Empire Medal.
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Ann who has raised funds as chairperson for Cancer Research UK, Jarrow Relay for Life for 14 years was also nominated.

During her time, Ann, with the help of others, has raised around £800,000 for cancer through the 24-hour relay event where teams take it in turns to walk all day and all night to show that together we’ll do whatever it takes to beat cancer.

The 63-year-old, who received a British Empire Medal in 2016, said: “I was chuffed just to be nominated for it and I wasn’t really expecting to be chosen when you think of all the nominations there will have been.

"When I got the email to say I’d been selected I felt really proud and honoured to be recognised for my work.”

Those in the North East selected to be baton bearers will carry out their duty on July 14 and 15.