Truly incredible - meet the amazing winners of this year's Best of Hartlepool Awards

A ‘visionary' who campaigned tirelessly to help Hartlepool's disabled children has been honoured with an award - just months after he passed away.

Thursday, 5th December 2019, 3:42 pm

The family of Alan Chapman, 67, received a standing ovation as they collected a Best of Hartlepool Award in his memory.

He was awarded a posthumous special recognition trophy for the way he was devoted to giving young people with disabilities and additional needs the best education and opportunities in life.

The award for Mr Chapman - CEO of the Hartlepool Aspire Trust, which runs Catcote Academy, Catcote Futures and Catcote Sixth Form - was one of many highlights on a night of drama and tears at the Best of Hartlepool Awards finale.

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The Best of Hartlepool Awards winners line up with their trophies.
The Best of Hartlepool Awards winners line up with their trophies.

Five courageous children, a hero who tackled a shoplifter, and a man who has been a true ambassador for the town were also among the winners.

There was not a dry eye in the house as the audience heard how all five of the shortlisted Child of Courage nominees had been chosen as winners.They were;

l Avalee George who had heart surgery when she was just 16 months old. She's 6 now and loves dancing.

l Ava Oram, now 2, who has suffered up to 50 epileptic seizures a day since she was three weeks old.

The family of Alan Chapman collect the Special Recognition Award in his memory from Gavin Foster, right, head of print and curation for the Hartlepool Mail.

l Josh Dawson, 11, who was diagnosed with a type of brain tumour that affects just 450 people in the UK each year.

l Lyla O'Donovan who was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was 3. She's now six and still finds the time to raise awareness for childhood brain tumours.

l Kristin Creamer, 3, who has a number of conditions and had open heart surgery just last year but those who know him say he is 'so polite and kind'.

The amazing stories of incredible people and their deeds just kept on coming.

Lifetime Achievement Award winner Alby Pattison receives his trophy from Bob Moore of Utility Alliance (right).

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Alby Pattison who spearheads the Hartlepool-based international company Hart Biologicals, was Hartlepool's Business Leader of the Year in 2016, was awarded the MBE for his services to international trade in 2018 and was recently awarded the Freedom of the Borough from Hartlepool council.

Our thanks go to the sponsors: Utility Alliance, Stagecoach North East, Specsavers, English Martyrs, Hartlepool Sixth Form and Northern School of Arts.

Watch out for more coverage of the awards including interviews and photographs of the winners in a supplement in the Hartlepool Mail next Wednesday.

This year's Local Hero was Mark Cantwell who was out on a shopping trip when he apprehended a shoplifter who had attacked a security guard.

The 2019 Children of Courage are pictured with their awards.

The Judges Choice Award winner was Hartlepool man Paul Beddow whose amazing police service had included tackling a bank robber and leading 15 terrified holidaymakers to safety through the smoke-filled corridors of a Turkish hotel.

The Outstanding Achievement Award went to the VA Juniors dance team which achieved glory at the Dance World Cup despite one team member breaking her elbow.

The fantastic winner of the Young Performer of the Year Award was Erin Frances and the Sports Team of the Year was Hartlepool Youth Athletics, with Hartlepool Golf Club highly commended.

PC Geoff Coggin won the Emergency Services Award going far beyond his duties as a police officer to spend valuable time with people of all ages and always with a smile on his face.

This year's Community Champion was Joanne Morton-Lake who ensures the Hartlepool Baby Bereavement group continues to run its vital service.

Miles for Men won the Community Group of the Year for its continued incredible support for worthy causes, and Steve Wilkinson from West Hartlepool RFC was the Volunteer of the Year for his work doing everything from organising the huge junior section of the club to cooking breakfasts for volunteers.

Elizabeth Fletcher, who volunteers for Miles for Men despite health issues includinga triple heart bypass, was highly commended in the Volunteer of the Year category.

Sonny Sweeting took the Sporting Excellence Award after the kick boxer won 56 championship titles including 13 British, 8 International, 5 European, 5 North of England, and 6 English Nationals.

Oliver Lawton from Hartlepool Sixth Form College was Student of the Year for his amazing A level results and he's now heading to the University of Cambridge to study Natural Science.

Carer of the Year is Christine Fewster who has dedicated her whole life to care and still found time to help run the charity 1 Hart 1 Mind 1 Future.

Fundraiser of the Year is David Smith who has been responsible for over £35,000 raised for the Soldiers Charity - and it's just one example of the charity work he has done.

Child of Achievement is Tilly Parker 10, who swims for Hartlepool Swimming Club, plays football for Pools Youth (girls) under 12, plays rugby for Rovers women, and cricket for Hartlepool CC.

And highly commended in the same category was Vaughan Kelly who got to the semi-final of the Junior Bake-Off competition on Channel 4.

The Green Champions are the Friends of North Cemetery who undertake tasks such as gravestone recording, tree planting, bulb planting, litter picking, and headstone history walks.

Hollie Sorelle, from the Val Armstrong School of Performing Arts, led a team of more than 50 performers to Braga to participate in the Dance World Cup.

That team came home with more than 50 world champion titles, 250 medals and scholarship awards and Hollie won the Role Model of the Year competition.

Hartlepool singer Michael Rice, who performed on Eurovision in front of millions of viewers in the song contest in Tel Aviv, was highly commended in that category.

Our thanks go to the sponsors who helped to make the awards possible. They are Utility Alliance, Stagecoach North East, Specsavers, English Martyrs, Hartlepool Sixth Form and Northern School of Arts.

Watch out for more coverage of the awards including interviews and photographs of the winners in a supplement in the Hartlepool Mail next Wednesday.

SCROLL OF HONOUR.

Role Model of the Year (sponsored by the Hartlepool Mail).

Winner - Hollie Sorelle. Highly commended - Michael Rice.

Green Champion (sponsored by Stagecoach).

Friends of North Cemetery.

Child of Achievement (sponsored by Hartlepool Sixth Form).

Winner - Tilly Parker. Highly commended - Vaughan Kelly.

Fundraiser of the Year (sponsored by English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College).

Winner - David Smith.

Student of the Year (sponsored by Northern School of Arts).

Winner - Oliver Lawton.

Sporting Excellence (sponsored by Specsavers).

Winner - Sonny Sweeting.

Volunteer of the Year (sponsored by Hartlepool Mail).

Winner - Steve Wilkinson. Highly commended - Elizabeth Fletcher.

Community Group of the Year (sponsored by Hartlepool Mail).

Miles for Men.

Community Champion (sponsored by Hartlepool Mail).

Winner - Joanne Morton-Lake.

Child of Courage (sponsored by Utility Alliance).

Avalee George.

Ava Oram.

Josh Dawson.

Lyla O'Donovan.

Kristin Creamer.

Carer of the Year (sponsored by the Hartlepool Mail).

Winner – Christine Fewster.

Sports Team of the Year (sponsored by Specsavers).

Winner - Hartlepool Youth Athletics Club. Highly commended - Hartlepool Golf Club.

Young Performer of the Year (sponsored by Utility Alliance).

Winner - Erin Frances.

Outstanding Achievement Award (sponsored by Utility Alliance).

Winner - VA Juniors.

Emergency Services Award (sponsored by the Hartlepool Mail).

Winner – Pc Geoff Coggin.

Local Hero (sponsored by the Hartlepool Mail).

Winner - Mark Cantwell.

Judges Choice Award (sponsored by the Hartlepool Mail).

Winner - Paul Beddow.

Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by Utility Alliance).

Winner - Alby Pattison.

Special Recognition Award - posthumous - (sponsored by the Hartlepool Mail).

Winner - Alan Chapman.