The 18 winners of the Best of Hartlepool awards

There wasn't a dry eye in the house when Hartlepool honoured its community champions with a night of celebration.

Wednesday, 27th April 2016, 7:27 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th April 2016, 8:28 am
Award winners celebrate their achievement following the Best of Hartlepool Awards at the Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield Picture: DAVID WOOD

The Best of Hartlepool awards came to a emotional finale last night when the town’s unsung heroes gathered for the awards ceremony.

The competition was sponsored by Niramax, with Specsavers, Stagecoach North East, EDF Energy and Hart Biologicals as category sponsors.

Award winner Jeff Stelling with Joy Yates, Editorial Director of Johnston North East during the Best of Hartlepool Awards at the Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield Picture: DAVID WOOD

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Guests gave a standing ovation when the youngsters received their Child of Courage awards.

Guests at The Hardwick Hall Hotel hailed little Evie McCabe whose fight for life began almost as soon as she was born. Doctors told her family she would only live for a matter of hours, but she proved them wrong and has continued to battle back to health against the odds.

Elly Mae Waugh was hailed for her bravery and positivity as she battles leukaemia.

Four year old Oliver Lee Smart suffers from neroublastoma and is paralysed from the waist down, but won’t let it stop him enjoying life.

Award winner Val Armstrong with Hartlepool Mail Managing Editor Gavin Foster during the Best of Hartlepool Awards at the Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield Picture: DAVID WOOD

Keisha Watson hasd shown tremendous courage during her fight against the cancer.

Little fighters Harley Garthwaite and Archie Garthwaite battled back from being born 17 weeks early, weighing less than 2lb each.

Archie who weighed just 1lb 4oz and Harley at 1lb 6oz, clung to life despite both having holes in their tiny hearts. Archie is bravely battling cerebral palsy.

Leyton Anderson who suffers from leukaemia is a shining example of a youngster who is taking everything in his stride.

Award winner Jeff Stelling following the Best of Hartlepool Awards at the Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield Picture: DAVID WOOD

Other stars on the night included Sky sports presenter Jeff Stelling who picked up the special recognition award for his work to raise awareness of prostate cancer. The former Hartlepool Mail journalist who hails from the town walked 10 marathons in 10 days earlier this year for Prostate Cancer UK.

Val Armstrong was presented with the lifetime contribution award for 34 years of commitment to performing arts.

Rick Snowdon was role model of the year for slimming down from 26 stone to 13 stone and then wowing the nation by reaching the knockout stages of The Voice on BBC1.

Other winners on the night were; Patch who received the community group award; Katie Laybourn who picked up the sporting excellence award; Stephen Picton who got the community champion accolade; Kevin Hill for fundraiser of the year; child of achievement was Ellie Griffiths; green champion went to Friends of Hartlepool’s Wild Green Spaces;volunteer of the year went to Lesley Hornsby; performer of the year was Courtney Hadwin.

Award winner Jeff Stelling with Joy Yates, Editorial Director of Johnston North East during the Best of Hartlepool Awards at the Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield Picture: DAVID WOOD

The winners

Here is the full list of winners in the Best of Hartlepool Awards

•Community Group- Patch

•Sporting Excellence -Katie Laybourn

•Community Champion- Stephen Picton

•Fundraiser of the Year- Kevin Hill

Award winner Val Armstrong with Hartlepool Mail Managing Editor Gavin Foster during the Best of Hartlepool Awards at the Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield Picture: DAVID WOOD

•Child of Achievement- Ellie Griffiths

•Child of Courage - Evie McCabe

•Child of Courage - Elly Mae Waugh

•Child of Courage - Oliver Lee Smart

•Child of Courage - Keisha Watson

•Child of Courage - Harley Garthwaite

•Child of Courage - Archie Garthwaite

•Child of Courage - Leyton Anderson

•Green Champion - Friends of Hartlepool’s Wild Green Spaces

•Role Model- Rick Snowdon

•Volunteer of the year - Lesley Hornsby

•Performer of the Year - Courtney Hadwin

•Special Recognition - Jeff Stelling

•Lifetime Contribution - Val Armstrong

Award winner Jeff Stelling following the Best of Hartlepool Awards at the Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield Picture: DAVID WOOD