Heroes honoured

WITH PRIDE: All the winners
WITH PRIDE: All the winners
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Every emotion was on display as the Mail hosted its first Pride Of Hartlepool Awards.

Young and old alike attended an emotional presentation evening at Hartlepool College of Further Education where the town’s unsung heroes were publicly honoured.

Fifteen awards were handed out to toddlers, pensioners and individuals and groups who have shown courage, bravery and good old-fashioned community values.

The awards went to youngsters from the age of two right through to pensioners with individuals and groups alike being applauded.

A standing ovation was given for devoted dad Ian Richardson who lost his wife and daughter in a tragic car smash. The 38-year-old couldn’t attend the ceremony but his award was collected by his mum, Lynn, who wiped away tears while picking up his Award For Inspiration from TFM Radio breakfast show presenter Wayne Allen who compered the evening.

Red Dreams founders Dawn and Ian McManus also shed a tear after winning the Local Hero award which was voted for by Mail readers.

Scores of entries were submitted for the inaugural awards which were launched to showcase, highlight and applaud the community spirit that often goes unnoticed.

More than 150 guests witnessed tales of bravery, courage, devotion and dedication at the emotive ceremony.

Those who were shortlisted warmly applauded and cheered the eventual winners in a show of genuine respect.

Ritchie Humphreys, Hartlepool United’s Player of the Century, attended the awards in what is a busy testimonial year for him and was the recipient of a Sporting Legend Award.

He admitted afterwards he had been moved by the sheer emotion of the ceremony and was “proud and honoured” to have been invited.

Mail editor Joy Yates said: “Award ceremonies such as this reflect the courage, commitment and community spirit that exists in Hartlepool.

“It was humbling to be in the company of such a wide range of people who have shown themselves to be so special.

“Everything they do and achieve is without any thought of reward or recompense and everyone who was nominated for an award was a true winner.

“I have no doubt these awards will become an important annual event and help to showcase and celebrate what is special about the town and its people.”

The awards were warmly embraced by local and regional businesses who supported them from day one.

More than a dozen companies backed the awards with recyclying firm Niramax a main sponsor of them.

Niramax sales and marketing manager Jemma Borthwick said: “We are proud to have been a primary backer of these amazing awards which have highlighted the fantastic community spirit that exists in Hartlepool. It was a fantastic evening of celebration.

“We are passionate about Hartlepool and the people of the town and it was brilliant to be involved in helping to showcase and highlight their amazing achievements and tales of courage.

“The Mail should be applauded for launching the first Pride of Hartlepool Awards which have been a massive success.”

l See tomorrow’s Mail for a two-page round-up of the awards with more pictures from last night’s ceremony.

l A special 12-page keepsake supplement will be published with your Mail on Wednesday, March 30.

Roll of honour

COMMUNITY CHAMPION

Tony Cooke - winner

Sylvia Johnson

Dorothy Clarke

COMMUNITY GROUP

Neighbourhoodies - winner

Joan Spoors (Hartlepool Stroke Support Group)

Hartlepool Round Table

SAFER COMMUNITY

Cath and Liz Torley - winner

Belle Vue Youth Club

Rachael Anderson

GREEN CHAMPION

Josh Cooper - winner

Samual Maiden

David Clark

GREEN GROUP

High Tunstall College of Science - winner

Rossmere Allotment Association

Friends of Seaton Station

STUDENT OF THE YEAR

Vicky Bown - winner

Scott Cooper

Jennifer Matthews

SPORTING ACHIEVEMENT

Shirley Black - winner

Christopher Atkins

Jaz Bradley

INTERNATIONAL SPORTING ACHIEVEMENT

Savannah Marshall - winner

Jemma Lowe

Lindsay Johnson

Amanda Coulson

FUNDRAISER OF THE YEAR

Stephen Picton - winner

Jim Croll

Mark Rycraft and Hartlepool Round Table

LOCAL FORCES HERO

Tony Green - winner

John Barron

Julie Dobson

CHILD OF ACHIEVEMENT

Alice Skinner - winner

Amy Cross

Christopher Smith

LOCAL HERO

Red Dreams - winner

Sophie Kenny

Hartlepool Hospice volunteers

CHILD OF COURAGE

Klaudia Robinson

Mitchell Spencer

Talia Foster

James Fewster-Smith

SPORTING LEGEND

Ritchie Humphreys

AWARD FOR INSPIRATION

Ian Richardson