Awards will once again celebrate Teesdale's unsung heroes
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
SOME 27 individuals and groups have be shortlisted for this year’s Pride of Teesdale Awards.
The annual awards, organised by the Teesdale Mercury in conjunction with Durham County Council, aim to recognise the unsung heroes of the dale.
Categories range from contribution to sport and the arts to volunteering and fundraising. Public service and young achievers will also be recognised.
Judges Julie Barnfather, from Durham County Council, along with Carolyn Vane and Sue Campbell, from the Teesdale Mercury, had a tough time last week drawing up the shortlist from more than 60 nominations.
Explaining the rationale behind the awards Ms Campbell said: “We have an incredible number of amazing people and projects across the dale, with many unsung heroes who quietly go about helping others in the community for no reward.
“We feel it’s important for the dale's own local paper to recognise those achievements and efforts.”
The finalists will be announced in the coming weeks after which residents can vote for who they believe is most deserving of an award in each of the categories.
The categories are: Volunteer of the Year, Good Neighbour, Contribution to Sport, Public Service, Young Achievement, Community Project of the Year, School of the Year, Contribution to the Arts and Charity Fundraiser of the Year.
An award for Inspirational Person(s) of the Year will also be made when the winners are announced during a ceremony at The Witham, in Barnard Castle, later this year.
Ms Barnfather said: “We are very proud to be sponsoring the Teesdale Mercury Community Pride Awards.
“It’s very clear from the nominations that there are many people in the area who are going above and beyond to help others in their community and its fantastic to be able to play a part in recognising their achievements.”
Fellow judge, Mercury director Carolyn Vane, added: “Once again it has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to be involved in judging the awards.
“Every year we are amazed at the awe-inspiring stories of how dales people have supported our local communities.
“We have had some tough decisions to make in choosing the finalists, as so many deserving and inspirational people and groups have been nominated.
“Across all categories, which include volunteer of the year, contribution to sport, project of the year and charity fund raiser there are many truly amazing people whose selfless acts make an enormous difference to the lives of others.”