Bursting with pride

Launch of the Pride of Hartlepool Awards. Pictured are Frank Antropik of Niramax and Hartlepool Mail editor, Joy Yates.
Launch of the Pride of Hartlepool Awards. Pictured are Frank Antropik of Niramax and Hartlepool Mail editor, Joy Yates.

IT’S back – the Pride of Hartlepool Awards 2013.

And we want you to nominate the unsung heroes that make our town a special place to live.

Friends, family, workmates, neighbours and groups can put forward the people they know have made a difference.

People who go that extra mile to improve lives and communities usually do so without any thought of self publicity so it is up to families, friends and colleagues to put them forward.

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.

Hartlepool is bursting with pride in all walks of life and we want to celebrate it with you.

There are 10 categories and we are asking you to study them and put forward those special people who you feel deserve to be recognised for their proud endeavours.

Anyone can be nominated including those people put forward last year.

Over the coming month we will be highlighting and featuring the nominations as they come in.

They are the true face of all that is special about Hartlepool and it is our privilege to feature them.

The awards will culminate in an emotional ceremony on Thursday, March 21.

Frank Antropik, managing director from our main sponsor NIRAMAX and Mail editor Joy Yates gathered at a thefitting landmark which has also made Hartlepool proud, HMS Trincomalee, to launch this year’s awards.

Ms Yates said: “We are thrilled to be once again launching the Hartlepool Mail’s Pride of Hartlepool Awards.

“There is an immense sense of pride and purpose in Hartlepool and our awards aim to reflect and recognise those admirable qualities.

“We are extremely grateful to all of the businesses supporting the awards and helping us to show how proud we are of all of the exceptional individuals and groups within our community.”

Leading waste management company Niramax is delighted to be backing the awards for the third year running.

Sales and marketing manager Gemma Borthwick said: “As a Hartlepool company through and through, Niramax has had no hesitation in taking on the role of main sponsor.

“The awards have proved tremendously effective in turning the spotlight on individuals who represent the very best of our town.

“We are delighted to continue our sponsorship and play our part in bringing recognition to another group of local heroes in 2013.

“The launch of the Pride of Hartlepool Awards in 2011 happily coincided with a series of major developments within the Niramax Group.

“Multi-million pound investments in sophisticated new waste processing technology, a cutting edge plant for converting waste into fuel and extending our waste collection and transport infrastructure into the Tyne and Wear area consolidated our position as a regional leader in waste re-use and recovery.

“Moreover, we extended our workforce to around 120 employees and laid the foundations for continuing development through 2012 into the future.

“We are proud to be associated with people whose pride in their town is an inspiration to us all.”

Other local and regional companies are adding their support to our awards and we will be bringing you more from them over coming weeks.

Town Mayor Stuart Drummond attended last year’s awards night and quickly announced he will be there to join the celebrations again.

He said: “This is a fantastic event – a very uplifting and inspiring evening which showcases the very best of Hartlepool.”

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.

You can use the form printed here today or download one from the internet by following the link Here.

Details of how to get them to us are on the nomination form. The deadline for entries is February 27.

Anyone wanting further information about the Pride of Hartlepool Awards should contact the Mail’s deputy editor, Gavin Foster, on (01429) 239372 or email gavin.foster@jpress.co.uk

The categories:

l Community Champion: An individual who may have been a good friend and who you think has made a significant contribution to your community. This person may be someone who has cared for you, a friend or family member.

l Child of Courage: This category recognises those children who have shown exceptional courage in their life. They may have overcome great odds or made sacrifices or shown courage in dealing with an illness or battling through a traumatic experience.

l Performer of the Year: This category is to showcase talent in Hartlepool and is open to both groups and individuals. It includes actors, comedians, dancers and cheerleaders, singers, bands and musicians as well as other entertainers, jugglers and ventriloquists.

l Sporting Achievement: This award recognises individuals who have proved outstanding achievement in a specific sporting field. Not only does it recognise sporting skill but also recognises drive, ambition, and determination even through the face of adversity. The award will be made to an individual who demonstrates exceptional sporting talent and determination. The judges will assess the background history of the person, and the achievement he or she has made within sport and where applicable to personal challenges.

l Student of the Year: This award recognises individuals who have achieved success in the education system. The judges are looking for individuals who have achieved results that many thought previously unachievable. It can be from achieving excellent grades at school, sixth form or University, overcoming learning difficulties through the education process, through to doing a further education course later in life.

l Community Group: We are looking for a group of people, whether they are paid or volunteers, who have made a real difference in the community. The award will be made to a group whose time, effort, support and aspirations have improved an area for the benefit of those who live, work and play there.

l Fundraiser of the Year: This award recognises individuals or groups who by their hard work and dedication have made a difference to a charity or cause. The judges are looking for those who have demonstrated continued commitment through fundraising while using initiative to maximise the impact of fundraising campaigns, giving their own time and effort to help out a good cause.

l Local Hero: This award recognises, encourages and rewards an individual who has shown exceptional courage grit or determination in their life. They may have overcome great odds or made sacrifices, shown great courage in dealing with an illness, battled through a traumatic experience, or served their country. They could have acted selflessly and shown great bravery in an emergency situation. This person will be truly a Local Hero who has touched the lives of others, (this category will go out to a public vote).

l Emergency Services Hero: This award recognises individuals who have demonstrated either outstanding achievement and bravery while going about their day-to-day duties or perhaps in a life-threatening situation, Or someone who has simply gone above and beyond their call of duty.

l Green Champion: This award recognises a person or group of people who actively work, live and promote green issues and green living to the benefit of the community. It could include individuals or a group who have made a conscious decision to live or work “greener” or a person within an organisation or work place who has improved the living or working environment by promoting green practice. It could also be a school/college/group or initiative that has had a positive impact.

The sponsors:

NORTHUMBRIAN WATER will once again sponsor our Child of Courage category. Spokesman Alistair Baker said: “Northumbrian Water is much more than just the company that treats waste water in Hartlepool so what remains can be safely returned to the environment.

“It is also more than just the company that delivers top quality drinking water as well as treating waste water in the east of County Durham. Northumbrian Water is a regional company that recognises how important it is to support its local communities.

“The water company is literally immersed in community life. And at the heart of communities are the children who hold the future in their hands.

“Northumbrian Water works with youngsters in many ways from the classroom to the sports field and into the community. Judging people nominated for all of the Pride of Hartlepool awards is always difficult. Often all those put forward for the honours deserve to win.

“In the case of the Child of Courage category that decision is one that pulls achingly at the heart strings making that choice even more difficult.

“All those youngsters, whose battle against adversity is an example to us all, should have their bravery, long suffering and determination rewarded.

“As we reflect on how fortunate those of us are who don’t face such challenging family circumstances, we will honour those young ones who just get on with it and make the most of life.”

TOWN firm GUS ROBINSON will sponsor the Student of the Year category.

Financial director Jeanette Henderson said: “We are delighted to once again support the Hartlepool Mail’s Pride of Hartlepool 2013 Awards.

“This is our third year supporting the Student of the Year Award and we chose this category due to the fact that as a company we continually strive to support young people across a range of diverse backgrounds through education and training and ultimately, onto the pathway to successful careers.

“We recognize that it is important to reward students for their commitment and demonstrated success. We wish all entrants the very best of luck.”

23 TAXIS will sponsor the Local Hero category. Company owner Dave Hudson said: “We are delighted to be a category sponsor for the Hartlepool Mail Pride of Hartlepool awards 2013.

“We are the longest serving private hire operator in Hartlepool and are proud to be part of this community event.

“We are sponsoring the Local Hero award as this recognises individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and bravery. An achievement to be proud off. We wish the nominations good luck.”

TFM RADIO will sponsor the Fundraiser of the Year category.

The compere:

TFM Radio breakfast show presenter Wayne Allen will once again compere the awards ceremony.

He admits he was moved to tears at last year’s event and is bracing himself for another evening of raw emotion.

The popular presenter said he felt honoured to be involved again this year.

Wayne, who is a also a Mail columnist and spends a lot of time working with schools and community initiatives in the town, is expecting another tear-jerker of an evening when he takes to the stage to host the awards in March.

He said: “The Pride of Hartlepool Awards is a night to celebrate the amazing people in our region. I could use the words ‘unsung heroes’ but the people at the awards do not think they are special, they just do what they do day to day from caring for people, showing immense bravery or creating jobs in the region.

“The night is guaranteed to bring a tear to every eye and warm the hearts of anyone in the room or the reader that catches up with the emotion of the event in the Mail. They are our true local ambassadors that we are proud of and it’s my utmost pleasure to host it again.”

Inspirational stories of past winners:

HARTLEPOOL RNLI crew scooped our Emergency Services Award last year and went on to be crowned the Pride of Britain.

And now they are about to pick up yet another gong for their dramatic beach rescue that saved the life of a teenager.

And crew boss Mike Craddy says it’s all down the Mail’s Pride awards for highlighting the rescue.

He said: “We never seek recognition for what we do but it is nice for the crew members, who are mostly volunteers, to be honoured in such away.

“The Pride of Hartlepool Awards was a wonderful night and acted as springboard for the crew last year which saw them win a Pride of Britain Award.

“But even though we were honoured in Hartlepool, it was so humbling also to see so many worthy causes and stories of achievement and heartache. I would urge people to nominate again this year.”

The image of the dramatic beach rescue at Seaton Carew of Peterlee teenager Neil Robson was beamed around the world and the story of crew members risking their own lives to save another captured plaudits from across the UK.

Later this month, the crew will receive a Flame Award at another glittering ceremony in Manchester which recognises achievement of emergency services.

Another winner last year was battling seven-year-old Isaac Atyeo who picked up a child of Courage Award for his bravery in dealing with chronic lung disease and a catalogue of allergies which blight his life.

Despite taking 18 tablets a day, constant hospital visits, and severe allergies which could claim his life, he battles on with a smile and even joined a theatre group.

The St Theresa’s Primary School pupil recently added potatoes to his list of allergies – as well as animal fur, bananas, kiwi fruit, salmon, eggs, strawberries, wheat, gluten and nuts.

But he and his family take it all in their stride and his Pride of Hartlepool Award is his prize possession.

Isaac lives with his mum Clare Atyeo, 35, and her partner Paul Norris, 35, a bio-medical student and her other children, Jacob Atyeo, 14, Tegan Ateyo, 12, Hannah Ateyo, 11, Henry Norris, two, and one-year-old Matilda Norris, in Masefield Road, Hartlepool.

Full-time degree student Clare said: “Isaac always takes things in his stride. He was thrilled when he won the award.

“He looks at it all the time and says ‘That’s mine isn’t it mam?’ He is so proud of it and we are so proud of him and his brothers and sisters who take care of him.

“The Pride of Hartlepool Awards are truly special.

“It was great for Isaac to be nominated and win, but to be among so many inspirational people really made you proud of the town.”