Flood hero calls for community champions to come forward for recognition in Best of Hartlepool Awards

Lesley collects her 2016 Best of Hartlepool Award from Janine Fowley, Operations Manager for Stagecoach North East.
Lesley collects her 2016 Best of Hartlepool Award from Janine Fowley, Operations Manager for Stagecoach North East.

A grandmother who went on four mercy missions to help flood victims has urged people to nominate their own community heroes for honours.

Town woman Lesley Hornsby won the Volunteer of the Year trophy at last year’s Best of Hartlepool Awards.

Hartlepool Lesley Hornsby with some of the donated goods which were destined for the flood victims of Yorkshire.

Hartlepool Lesley Hornsby with some of the donated goods which were destined for the flood victims of Yorkshire.

And she called on Hartlepool Mail readers to enter people into this year’s competition.

Lesley was ecstatic yet stunned when she won a trophy at the 2016 awards at the Hardwick Hall Hotel.

It came after competition judges heard how she delivered thousands of items to the hard-hit people of Yorkshire who had been devastated by floods.

Hartlepool resident Lesley Hornsby and her team of helpers made repeated visits and in the end, stacked up four trips in a matter of days.

I was totally shocked when I found out I had won. I really did not expect that at all

Lesley Hornsby

She took everything from microwaves to kettles, vacuum cleaners to toys, and clothes to DVD players on her trip to Elland Bridge.

By the end, there was so many goods to deliver, she had to take two mini buses laden with contributions.

Relucant hero Lesley was quick to pass on the praise at the time and said it was the people of Hartlepool who had been fantastic.

But at the awards, it was the judges who decided Lesley had been worthy of praise herself.

She told the Hartlepool mail: “I was totally shocked when I found out I had won. I really did not expect that at all.”

She described the awards night as “a lovely evening” and said: “I would definitely encourage people to put in nominations this year.”

Mother-of-three and grandmother-of-four Lesley was a winner last year. Could it be you this time?

We want you to complete the nomination form and post it to Lynn Wild, Sunderland Echo, Alexander House, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland. DH4 5RA.

Alternatively, you can email lynn.wild@jpress.co.uk

The deadline for entries is October 23.

Next comes the Young Performer of the Year night when all of the entries in that category will get to compete in their own big event in front of a live audience.

That will happen on October 30 at Hartlepool Sixth Form College and the top three from the evening of great entertainment will go on to compete at the grand finale of the overall awards.

After the young performer’s night, the judges will meet to draw up a shortlist for all the categories in early November.

And then comes the grand finale which will be held at Hardwick Hall on Tuesday, November 21.

Thanks go to our sponsors who are Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees NHS Clinical Commissioning Group; Specsavers; Hartlepool Sixth Form College; Utility Alliance Ltd; Hart Biologicals; and Stagecoach North East.

We are indebted to them all for their help.

Now all we need is lots of nominations before the deadline of Monday, October 23.

That means there’s plenty of time for you to put forward your favourites for a possible award – so come on, get nominating!

Here are the categories to choose from;

Young Performer of the Year (Under 21).

Green Champion;

Student of the Year;

Fundraiser of the Year;

Volunteer of the year;

Sporting Excellence;

Community Group;

Community Champion;

Child of Courage;

Child of Achievement;

Emergency services award;

Carer of the Year;

Neighbour of the Year;

Sports team of the year;

Role model of the Year;

Lifetime Achievement award.