IT was no easy task for a top panel of judges when they met to choose the winners in this year’s Pride of Hartlepool Awards.
An outstanding field of almost 50 candidates entered the awards in which ten categories were keenly fought.
But the shortlists have now been drawn up and the winners will be revealed on a finals night which promises to be full of emotion on Thursday, March 21.
Judges met at the Hartlepool Sixth Form College - which will also be the scene of the awards night - to whittle down the field in categories such as Local Hero, Sporting Hero, Emergency Services, Community Champion and Performer of the Year.
The judging panel consisted of Hartlepool Mail editor Joy Yates, Niramax sales and marketing manager Gemma Borthwick, Northumbrian Water communications and PR manager Alistair Baker, and Weatherproof Windows director Eddie Bone.
At the end of a detailed judging session, Joy said: “This goes to show how many fantastic people there are in our community.
“It was no easy task to pick winners in any of the categories and that was down to the strength of entries across the board. That really is a testament to the people of our town.”
Gemma agreed and said: “There were some very difficult decisions to make, some super stories and this is proof of all that is good in Hartlepool.”
Alistair said: “We have seen some worthy winners and I think there are probably a lot more individuals and groups out there that were not nominated, but could be encouraged to come forward for next year’s competition.”
Eddie praised the “good people of Hartlepool” for the excellent work they do and added: “There are a lot of good people in this town and they are doing a lot of good work for this town.”
The Hartlepool Mail will be there to cover the awards night in full detail with stories and photographs.
And watch out for a 12-page supplement filled with all the news from the ceremony to be published on March 27.