Shining Stars handed awards

TOP PRIZE: Elsie Grint is named Resident of the Year by Cath Purdy, Vela Group chief executive
TOP PRIZE: Elsie Grint is named Resident of the Year by Cath Purdy, Vela Group chief executive

THE jewels in a community’s crown have been recognised at an awards ceremony – including a woman who has worked tirelessly for her area’s elderly people.

Elsie Grint, 94, scooped the Resident of the Year prize at Housing Hartlepool’s annual Shining Stars awards for her work on several panels and groups where she represents the views of older people, helping shape services, care and support on their behalf.

Also as a member of the Extra Care Steering Group, she played an instrumental part in the creation of Laurel Gardens, in Swinburne Road, which specialises in independent living for over-55s.

Jan Weedall, Housing Hartlepool’s supported housing manager, said: “Elsie has worked very hard with a lot of compassion and energy. She has made a huge contribution to helping us develop older people’s services.”

Another winner, who was handed the Good Neighbour prize, was Michelle Simpson, a mother-of-six who cares for an elderly neighbour with cancer, is a volunteer at after-school and breakfast clubs and also is involved with play schemes and outings for local children.

Cath and Liz Torley won the Community Champions award, for being renowned as figureheads for the Central Estate where they live, acting for residents and working constructively with a range of bodies to improve peoples’ lives and the surrounding area.

Jude Ikena scooped the Equality Champion prize, David Maiden, was awarded the Young Person accolade, and Housing Hartlepool employee Andy Elvidge was given the best Customer Service award.

The housing association – which is part of the Vela Group and has 7,000 properties throughout Hartlepool – invited its customers to nominate neighbours and friends who have demonstrated outstanding neighbourliness, community spirit and personal achievement.

Cath Purdy, Vela Group chief executive, said the winners are a reflection of how community spirit is thriving in Hartlepool.