PROUD mum Louise Sotheran-Darley had no hesitation in putting son Jacob forward for a Pride of Hartlepool award.
Within hours of the 2012 awards being launched, she had contacted the Hartlepool Mail to tell us about the talented and dedicated nine-year-old musician.
The kind-hearted youngster used his talents to help raise money for Hartlepool & District Hospice at a recent fundraiser where his dad Lee Darley, who is a member of town band The Jar Family, were playing.
Despite his tender years, Jacob bravely took to the Town Hall theatre stage in front of 500 people and wowed the audience.
Louise, 34, of Burke Place, Hartlepool, has put Jacob forward in the Young Performer category.
She told the Mail: “Jacob is an excellent performer and has made me the proudest mum ever.
“Jacob started playing the guitar in November 2010 when he was almost eight years old.
“He was self-taught and also had some tuition from his dad and his granddad.
“During our holiday in August 2011 to the Solfest family music festival in Cumbria, Jacob found the courage to perform on the open mic stage and received a positive response from the audience.
“His confidence grew dramatically after that.
“Jacob’s dad is a member of the local band The Jar Family and when Jacob discovered they were performing a charity gig in the Town Hall with all proceeds going to the Hartlepool hospice, he wanted to be involved.
“Jacob took to the stage and opened the evening entertainment, performing to an audience of 500 people.
“He played and sang two songs, one of which he wrote himself. He is an excellent performer and deserves this award in recognition of his efforts.”
The Mail launched its annual Pride of Hartlepool Awards this week and within hours the nominations were coming in.
Many will be featured over coming weeks ahead of the February 13 deadline for nominations.
The awards are aimed at publicly praising and celebrating the actions of those remarkable people who go that extra mile for others and for their communities.
Friends, family, workmates, neighbours and groups can put forward the people they know have made a difference.
We want you to let us know about those amazing people who truly transform the lives of others and make such a difference in the community.
There are 12 categories and we are asking you to study them and put forward those special people who you feel deserve to be recognised for their endeavours.
Anyone can be nominated including those people put forward last year.
The awards will culminate in an emotional ceremony at the new £53m Hartlepool College of Further Education campus on Thursday, March 22.
The main event sponsor is leading waste management company Niramax, which is delighted to be backing the awards for the second year running.
We would urge you to start getting your nominations in now so that we can find those special people who truly are Proud to be a Poolie.
• To download a nomination form click here
Anyone wanting further information about the awards should contact the Mail’s head of news, Paul Watson, on (01429) 239361 or email paul.watson