Meet the latest sponsor to lend their support to the Best of Hartlepool Awards

Darren Sutherland, chief executive at Utility Alliance.
Darren Sutherland, chief executive at Utility Alliance.

A leading energy firm has said it is delighted to come on board and back the Mail’s Best of Hartlepool Awards once again.

Utility Alliance has lent its support to the Child of Courage accolade in this year’s awards.

The award looks to recognise children who have shown exceptional courage in their lives.

In the three years after Utility Alliance was created in the town, the business has seen huge growth. It is based on Hartlepool Marina and has premises in Newcastle and Sheffield.

And this summer it went international, opening the doors of a fourth office, in South Africa.

Darren Sutherland, chief executive at Utility Alliance, said: “We were involved in last year’s event at Hardwick Hall and there were some amazing stories in all of the categories.

The Child of Courage award always seems to be the toughest one to judge, because every single child that gets nominated is a worthy winner in their own right.

Darren Sutherland

“But the Child of Courage award always seems to be the toughest one to judge, because every single child that gets nominated is a worthy winner in their own right.

“I can assure everyone that it’s not an easy category to try and pick a winner out of.

“We’re delighted to be involved again for the second year in succession, and we’re looking forward to the night and hearing once again just what makes Hartlepool a fantastic town which we’re all very proud of.”

It’s thanks to our sponsors that the awards are such a success.

Stagecoach, the Northern School of Art, Hart Biologicals, Joel D. Kerr Funeral Services, Utility Alliance Ltd, Tilly Baily and Irvine, the Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group, and English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College are the backers in this year’s competition and we thank them all.

The closing date has now passed for entries to the competition and the next stage is for the panel of judges to meet and come up with a competition shortlist.

They will scrutinise the entries in each section before choosing the best to progress to the next stage.

Once that process has been completed, it is on to the grand finale which will be held at Hardwick Hall in Sedgefield on Thursday, November 22.

That’s when we shall be revealing the winners in each of the hotly contested categories.

Watch out for continued coverage of the competition - including the details of the shortlist once it is chosen - in the days to come.