Sister act is a winner ...

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SIBLING loyalty has helped a woman to win an award in a Hartlepool Mail-backed competition.

Melissa Middleton has picked up a title as part of the If we can, you can challenge which asks people to vote for the best in entrepreneurial talent.

But as well as that competition, an award is also given to the person who the judges feel has offered the best support to the entrants in the competition.

This year, the title in that category went to Melissa for the backing she gave to challenge entrant Kris Middleton, who is her brother.

The Hartlepool Mail Supporter of the Year title is in recognition of the guidance, inspiration and support Melissa has given Kris and his business, The Legend of Skippy, a multimedia company.

Kris nominated Melissa, who works for enterprise development consultancy, PNE Group, because of her unwavering support and advice she offered in helping him make the right business decisions.

Melissa said: “I have been working as a business advisor for the last few years, so I help people set up businesses for a living.

“I gave some really good advice to Kris and I was able to teach him about the grass roots of setting up a business including financial organisation, VAT registration and developing his business plan.

“He is very talented and I know he will go far.”

Kris said: “Without Mel’s constant pep talks and brilliant advice I don’t think I would have ever got the business off the ground.”