'You do us proud' - Meet some of South Tyneside's pandemic heroes as chosen by Gazette readers
One year has passed since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the first national lockdown in England due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 12 months since that date – March 23, 2020 – have been difficult for all of us in so many ways.
So today, as we reflect on a year like no other, we wanted to shine a light on the special people who have helped you through the pandemic, and all it has thrown at us.
Shields Gazette readers have been nominating the wonderful souls who have had their back on the dark days.
Here are some of your pandemic heroes, and the stories you told about them on our Facebook page:
Vikki Biggs: “My amazing work colleagues in the Emergency Assessment Unit at South Tyneside Hospital. We’ve all kept each other going throughout this last challenging year, what an amazing bunch of hard working people!”
Natalie Lascelles: “I’d say the majority of South Tyneside as a whole has been fantastic. Community spirit from most has been lovely.”
Clara Donovan: “Bede's Helping Hands Food Bank have been a great help to my mum.”
Jacqui West: “The kids of South Tyneside Dance Workshop. Smiling faces and enthusiasm through the most uncertain times.”
Sue Venus Curtis: “My husband who's protected me from catching this virus. I'm high risk. He stopped anyone getting anywhere near me because i'm susceptible to viruses.
"He's stayed in with me, he went out once a week to a local corner shop for some groceries and only when they were empty. We just celebrated our wedding anniversary. Been together for 34 years.”
Gemma Moore: “My mam Jackie Fada has been an absolute star by looking after the kids so we can still work. Little gem she is.”
Tonia Kaid Mckie: “Jacqui West and her team for keeping smiles on the faces of South Tyneside Dance Workshop’s kids through Zoom classes.
"Also keeping their families entertained with live Facebook bingo and a variety of quizzes wearing outfits to match! She’s been amazing.”
Natalie Bolam: “My daughter, mam, dad, brother and work colleagues being there for each other and to pick each other up on your bad days.”
Janet Defty: “Every NHS worker far and wide … you do us proud.”
Christine Brennan: “My husband and my walking mate Pat she has kept me sane, some lush walks.”
Kirsty Joyce: “Michael Jay, Michelle Urwin and Karin Adams were amazing when we had to isolate for 12 weeks. I will never forget the help and support you gave us.”
Pat Gribbin: “All medical staff, delivery drivers and shopkeepers, local volunteers, my daughter, my neighbour, postal workers and FB family and friends whose banter, jokes and arguments keep me going.”
Linda Scott: “My husband who protected me from everything and everyone as I am very high risk, he went shopping late at night when it was quiet, cleaned all the shopping with anti-bacterial wipes before I could touch anything.
“Took me to hospital appointments and for my chemo treatments but sadly had to leave me there as he used to sit with me but wasn't allowed.
"He is an amazing person and I couldn't have done it without him, he's my rock, and I want to thank all NHS staff too they do a fantastic job.”