WINNERS TOGETHER: Those who won an award for their efforts gather on the stage of The Witham on Wednesday night
WINNERS TOGETHER: Those who won an award for their efforts gather on the stage of The Witham on Wednesday night

THE best of the dale and its most inspirational people have been celebrated at this year’s Teesdale Mercury Community Pride Awards.

Now in its third year, a packed audience at The Witham, in Barnard Castle, last night, heard stories of true heroism and sheer determination.

Categories for the event, which was sponsored by Durham County Council, included everything from charity fundraiser of the year to an award for young achievement.

Killerby’s Dr Satinder Sanghera was crowned Inspirational Person of the Year for her work helping people with physical and mental disabilities through a unique gardening therapy. In announcing the award Michelle Atkinson, head of communications for Durham County Council, described how Dr Sanghera suffered a stroke as a medical student aged 20, but went on to qualify as a doctor.

Ms Atkinson added: “She later developed an interest in horticulture and the benefits she gained from gardening have inspired Satinder to embark on a truly inspirational retirement project.

“The mum of two has converted her 12 acre garden in Killerby, near Ingleton, into a horticultural haven where people with long term conditions can also feel the benefits of the great outdoors.

“Satinder has refused to let her disability to define her and she is helping other people to do the same. She is truly transforming people’s lives.”


Charity Fundraiser of the Year, sponsored by John Blenkiron Funeral Directors: Mark Hobson

Public Service Award, sponsored by Barnard Castle School: Friends of Richardson Hospital

Contribution to Sport, sponsored by Tilly, Bailey and Irvine: Dave Garth

The Award for Young Achievement, sponsored by Redworth Furniture: India Oates

Good Neighbour Award, sponsored by McGarry and Co Solicitors: Donna Dobson

Volunteer of the Year award, sponsored by S and A Builders Merchants: TODYS

Contribution to the Arts, sponsored by Northumbria Water: Mickleton Village Hall Committee

Teesdale Photographer of the Year, sponsored by the Old Well Inn: Amanda Ainsley

Community Project of the Year award, sponsored by Enterprise House: Startforth Community Centre

Teesdale School of the Year, sponsored by the Morritt Hotel and Garage Spa: Teesdale School

Inspirational Person of the Year: Satinder Sanghera