When you need someone to fight your corner, you know you can rely on the Hartlepool Mail.
This is Local Newspaper Week, the annual celebration of the part local newspapers and their partner websites play in keeping their communities reliably informed with the latest news, sport and adverts.
This year’s theme is Making a Difference, highlighting the role your local paper plays in reporting the news that matters to you and your family.
Part of that means campaigning for the issues that matter most to you.
We follow stories for weeks, months and even years at a time, ensuring you remain informed about the big stories.
We have closely followed developments at the University Hospital of Hartlepool and the campaign to restore its accident and emergency unit.
Last month saw the relocation of urgent care and minor injuries services, which have moved from the One Life Hartlepool centre.
Hundreds of patients used the new urgent care facility in its first weekend and Gary Wright, the Clinical Commissioning Group’s Assistant Director of Transformation said: “As a trust we are very excited about the new service and the benefits for patients.”
We have also provided a forum for campaigners fighting to save the town’s fertility unit and highlighted the borough council’s efforts to protect the service.
A former pioneering fertility consultant has spoken of his sadness after it was confirmed that licensed treatments are to move out of Hartlepool.
Council chiefs last month confirmed they had exhausted all avenues to try to keep treatments such as IVF at the town’s Assisted Reproduction Unit, including asking health commissioners to re-run a process to find a new provider.
Dr Mohamed Menabawey, 71, who helped to launch the successful service at Hartlepool hospital in the 1980s, shared his feelings with the Mail and said: “It’s obviously very sad.
“It is one of the most successful clinics in the whole of the northern region, higher than James Cook and way above the average for national standards.
“This will be the very first time in the UK that a successful clinic surrenders its licence because the management doesn’t want it.”
Some of our campaigns have touched hearts far beyond the North East - we brought you the story of little Bradley Lowery when the Blackhall youngster was first diagnosed with neuroblastoma.
We shared the joy of his family when he was given the all-clear - and their despair with news the disease had returned.
And we have followed every step of the campaign to raise enough money to pay for pioneering treatment and his developing friendship with Sunderland AFC and England star Jermain Defoe.
Hundreds of local papers taking part in campaign
Local Newspaper Week celebrates the role of trusted local newspapers in their communities and, through Making a Difference, their unique ability to campaign for real change which improves people’s lives.
The annual campaign sees hundreds of local newspapers across the UK join forces to shout about the industry’s unique strengths.
Political leaders Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron have all lent their support and their messages celebrate the industry’s essential democratic role in the lead up to the general election on June 8.
Local newspapers, which are read in print and on-line by 40 million people each week, allow people to access trustworthy information and make well-informed decisions.
By investing in high quality local journalism, which holds power to account, local newspapers help to underpin democracy.
This year, Local Newspaper Week follows directly on from the local media industry’s Fighting Fake News campaign, which saw hundreds of local press titles - including the Hartlepool Mail - join forces to highlight how local papers fight fake news through their investment in highly trusted local media journalism.
The campaign highlighted how local news brands, in print and online, offers readers and advertisers a highly-trusted environment free from the risks associated with other platforms.
Friday saw the industry held a Trusted News Day, with local papers across the UK opening up their newsrooms to readers through interactive initiatives such as live blogs and Q&As, to show how their trusted content is produced.