Community champions honoured

Hartlepool winners of the Vela Awards
Hartlepool winners of the Vela Awards

FOUR deserving groups and individuals from Hartlepool have been honoured at a special awards ceremony which recognises community spirit and personal achievement.

The Vela Housing Group – which is made up of Housing Hartlepool and Tristar Homes – invited its customers to nominate neighbours and friends who have made a difference to the wider community.

The nominations, from Hartlepool and Stockton, went into four categories which were, Good Neighbour, Young Achiever, Community Achievement, and Resident of the Year.

Charmaine Twidale won the Resident of the Year award which acknowledges a significant contribution to the development and success of the community.

Charmaine won the award for her voluntary work in a charity shop, on the panel of the Hartlepool Grant Givers, and Hartlepool Youth Parliament.

The student is also a mentor for young people with Central Correctors youth group.

Malcolm Jones, from the Bungalow Stores, in Stratford Road, Hartlepool, won the Good Neighbour Award which is given to someone who goes the extra mile for their neighbours or reaches out to someone who is in need of help.

Malcolm shows a keen interest in the store’s elderly and vulnerable customers, and makes sure they are all healthy and safe during periods of bad weather.

Hartlepool Young Carers Group won the Young Achiever Award which celebrates the achievements of those under the age of 21.

The town organisation supports young people, who have a caring role looking after someone in their family who has an illness, a disability, or a mental health or substance misuse issue.

None-profit organisation Kev’s Club scooped the Community Achievement Award for going beyond the call of duty in helping others, whether that be the young, old or disabled people or who have improved the area in which they live.

The seven-year-old group help young people over 17 years old with special needs, and their family members, while giving advice on healthy eating, benefits and lifestyle choices, as well as fun, social and educational activities.

Tracey Rix-Mason, head of customer involvement for the Vela Group, said: “Our Vela customer award winners are a reflection of how community spirit is thriving in both Hartlepool and Stockton.

“They have all demonstrated outstanding care and support and helped improve the lives of others or have overcome obstacles in their own lives.

“As part of our commitment to shaping places, creating communities and changing lives, we truly value the fantastic work of our customers to help others within our neighbourhoods.”

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