They're the champions! Meet the Best of Hartlepool Awards winners

An unforgettable night of high emotion saw more than 20 amazing heroes pick up deserved awards.

Wednesday, 22nd November 2017, 8:07 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 5:58 am
Winners at the Best of Hartlepool Awards 2017 at Hardwick Hall, Sedgefield, last night.

Outstanding fundraisers, local sporting stars, courageous children and community champions all collected honours at the Best of Hartlepool Awards.

A packed audience of more than 200 people heard incredible stories of achievement. There were tears, cheers and lots of smiles on a night when Hartlepool honoured its elite.

Highlights included all four finalists in the Children of Courage category picking up trophies. They were;

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Ten-year-old Alfie Smith who has cerebral palsy and who is making amazing progress towards his dream of walking unaided and painfree.

Toni Rogerson, 17, who was just 15 when her dad took his own life. She and her older sister Emma created a film to raise awareness of the high risk of suicide among middle aged men to prevent similar tragedies.

Luke Allison, 13, who battled back from two operations on his brain to fundraise for charity.

Ewan Stoddart, a year five pupil who faces a daily battle with a rare genetic disorder called Ichthyosis which causes his skin to be continuously scaly, affecting the whole body.

But the brave lad doesn’t let it get him down and even raises funds and awareness for the charity Genetic Disorders UK.

They all got standing ovations at the Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield and so did Edith Harrison who won the Lifetime Achievement Award for almost 80 years of devotion to dance.

Bradley Lowery, the little boy who touched all our hearts, was remembered in a moving tribute and his story and legacy won the Special Award.

Singing sisters Olivia Crawford and Georgia Fletcher - who perform as LIV’n’G - got the Judges Choice award for the way they fundraised for Bradley.

And who could forget the incredible efforts of super athletes Matt Turnbull (Role Model of the Year) and Lee Dodgson (Fundraiser of the Year and Sport Excellence).

For seven days in a row, Matt did ironman events to raise money for charity.

And Lee amazed the people of Hartlepool by running the length of the UK to raise £40,000 for Alice House Hospice.

Other winners included PC Mick Johnson (Emergency Services Award); Pansies (Community Group); Lauren Heckles (Student of the Year); Kath Trelfall (Volunteer of the Year); Faye Moran-Hutchinson (Carer of the Year); Neil McAvoy (Green Champion); Pauline Robinson (Community Champion); Courtney Hadwin (Child of Achievement - winner); Leah Wintersgill (Highly Commended); Hartlepool Ladies (Sports Team of the Year); Lilly Cadwallender (Performer of the Year); Archie Pugh and Logan Stokes (Local Hero); and Families First (Special Recognition Award).

Congratulations to them all.

Watch out for interviews and more photographs from the night in a supplement in the Hartlepool Mail on Wednesday, November 29.