Four Hartlepool people to be given Freedom of the Borough in celebration of their contribution to its communities

Four Hartlepool heroes are to be given the Freedom of the Borough in recognition of their work to make the town a better place to be.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 5:23 pm

Hartlepool Borough Council has confirmed the historic titles will be awarded to four people for making “a sustained and significant contribution” to the area.

The title of Honorary Freeman or Freewoman of the Borough of Hartlepool is the highest honour the authority can bestow.

The council has confirmed the title will be awarded to Lesley Gibson, the chief executive of Harbour, which provides assistance to families and individuals affected by domestic abuse.

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Hartlepool Borough Council will award the Freedom of the Borough to Lesley Gibson, top left, Sian Cameron, top right, Chris Musgrave OBE bottom left, and Ray Martin-Wells, bottom right.
Hartlepool Borough Council will award the Freedom of the Borough to Lesley Gibson, top left, Sian Cameron, top right, Chris Musgrave OBE bottom left, and Ray Martin-Wells, bottom right.

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The charity has been working for more than 40 years to support those families and individuals affected by domestic abuse.

Ms Gibson has worked with the organisation for more than 30 years.

It will also be given to Sian Cameron, the Poppy Appeal organiser for Hartlepool, after she took over the task from her father Ian, who sadly suddenly passed away in 2010 and had run the Cameron Taxis firm.

She has continued his legacy by helping to collect tens of thousands of pounds to help the Royal British Legion in its work to offer financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants.

Chris Musgrave, who was also appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in The Queen’s 2019 Birthday Honours for services to business and the community, has also been lined up for the accolade.

The businessman is a commercial property entrepreneur, starting out through a network of fruit and veg shops in his hometown before developing his first company, branching out to win a contract from the Ministry of Defence to dispose of all British Armed Forces’ equipment in the Far East in the 1990s and then going on to pioneer the development of Wynyard Park.

Alice House Hospice and Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation have been among the projects to benefit from his support.

Ray Martin-Wells, who stood down as a Hartlepool borough councillor in 2018 and as chairman of the audit of the governance committee, is the fourth person to be chosen for the honour, with his support for maintaining maternity and fertility services in Hartlepool noted by the council.

The council is planning a civic ceremony in due course.

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