Last year's winners
Last year's winners

THE Teesdale Mercury is again celebrating the unsung heroes who make our area so special.

The Teesdale Mercury Community Pride Awards 2018 will be held at a ceremony at The Witham, in Barnard Castle, in November.

The aim is to applaud the efforts of the best, brightest and bravest stars of our dale.

The ceremony is being sponsored by Durham County Council, with individual awards kindly backed by companies across Teesdale.

Editor Trevor Brookes said: “We will be again turning the spotlight on some of the unsung heroes – individuals and groups – in our community who have been nominated for these awards for their good deeds, kindnesses and determination.

“There are always some great stories to tell and it is a reminder of what an amazing part of the world we live in and what wonderful people live here.

“The Pride of Teesdale Awards are becoming a big highlight in our calendar and we are proud to host them.”

There were few dry eyes at last year’s event when Butterknowle’s Tommy Lowther

was named inspirational person of the year for overcoming depression and post traumatic stress to create Sporting Force, which helps ex-servicemen and women.

The many other nominees and award winners included Scout leader Vince Sewell, sports coach Paul Davis, photographer Amanda Ainsley and care worker Julia Coulthard.

Mr Brookes said: “It was a joy to present last year’s awards and hail some of the area’s heroes and we can’t wait to do it again on Wednesday, November 7.”

This year’s categories are Charity Fundraiser of the Year, Public Service Award, Contribution to Sport Award, Award for Young Achievement,

Good Neighbour Award, Volunteer of the Year Award, Community Group Award, School of the Year and Photography. We will also again select a special award for Inspirational Person of the Year for someone who has transformed people’s lives.

This category is being specifically supported by Durham County Council. Lorraine O’Donnell, Durham County Council’s director of transformation and partnerships, said: “I am very much looking forward to attending the Pride of Teesdale Awards again this year. It’s always a fantastic evening celebrating some truly amazing people.

“All over the dale there are individuals and groups who do extraordinary deeds, from going the extra mile to help others to overcoming hardships and challenges.

“These awards are the perfect way of recognising their achievements and saying thank you.

“The Inspirational Person of the Year Award will honour an individual whose efforts have transformed the lives of others so it’s going to be a real honour to present the award to the winner.”

New this year is a Contribution to the Arts award for the individual or group to have enhanced the cultural or artistic life of the dale.

The nominees will be based on our coverage and knowledge, and a panel of judges will select a shortlist.

Readers will then vote for the winner from each category and they will be announced on the big night.


WE are seeking nominations for the category of Teesdale Photographer of the Year – of any age.

“There is no shortage of camera enthusiasts in Teesdale and their work is often jaw-dropping,” said Mr Brookes.

All pictures must have been taken in the past 12 months and we are ideally looking for photos that celebrate Teesdale – the place or the people who live here. Landscape or portrait formats will be accepted and pictures can be of any subject – on digital, film or smartphone, or even via a drone.

A maximum of three entries per person. Sorry, no photographs taken by professional photographers (ie someone who considers their photography to be their business).

Include your name, address, and picture caption. Please let us know your age if you are under 16. Deadline for entries is noon on Monday, September 3.

Send them to us via email to Please title your email “Pride of Teesdale Photography Award”.