Callum and Bradley are first entries for Mail’s Pride of Hartlepool contest

Callum Smith pictured by Hannah Liddle
Callum Smith pictured by Hannah Liddle

WHAT an inspiration.

That’s Callum Smith and Bradley Lowery who today became the first entrants in this year’s Pride of Hartlepool awards.

Our ever-popular competition is off to a fantastic start in this year’s search for the most inspiring people in the area.

But we need more entries for the contest which gets into full swing from today.

Don’t delay.

Once again, we aim celebrate the town’s unsung heroes in our competition which has the fantastic backing of main sponsors Niramax.

We are calling on our readers to nominate that special person or people who have done something that you believe deserves recognition.

From 999 heroes to community champions – help us celebrate those who have done their town proud.

Two young people who inspired us in 2013 are nominated for an awards.

Brave Callum and Bradley are in the running in the Child of Courage category for the way they have each kept on smiling in the face of adversity.

Callum Smith stole our hearts with his battle against a string of conditions.

He has epilepsy, reflux problems, dystonia, hypertonia,problems with swallowing, visual impairment, an inability to hold his airways open, secretion problems and global developmental delay which means he can not hold his head up.

He has spent more than a quarter of his life in hospital but he has never stopped battling.

His story was so inspirational that the people of Hartlepool raised £12,000 for him and made sure he could have a sensory room in his home.

Callum’s proud mum Zoe Neesam could not believe her two-year-old son was in the running for an honour. “I am speechless,” the Laird Road mum told the Mail.

“He is such an inspiration to his mum and dad. It is lovely to know he is the same to other people in Hartlepool,” added Zoe who is Callum’s full-time carer.

“He is full of courage, He is so brave and I believe he deserves to be nominated.”

wo-year-old Bradley Lowery, from Blackhall, is battling rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma. A fundraising target of £500,000 has been set for treatment overseas, should he suffer a relapse.

Mum Gemma Lowery, 30, who works as an NHS health trainer at Healthworks in Easington Colliery, said: “I’m thrilled to find out Bradley has been nominated.

“In my eyes he deserves it but it is brilliant to know other people think this too. Thank you to everyone who nominated and supporting Bradley’s fight”.

They’re two worthy candidates. We’re sure there are hundreds more out there.

Get those names in either by filling in the nomination form in the Hartlepool Mail today, or online at this website.

We will be taking entries until Friday, March 7.

Days later, the judges will scrutinise all the forms to choose the finalists.

And then it all comes down to the finals night towards the end of March. It promises to be another emotionally-charged evening, full of inspirational stories.

But first, we need to hear from you.

Get those entries in. And let’s honour the true heroes of Hartlepool.