THE unsung heroes of Stockton-on-Tees have been thanked by the Borough’s Mayor for the positive difference they make to local communities.
Now in their seventh year, the Civic Awards highlight individuals and groups who set an inspiring example to others through their effort and determination.
In his final engagement the outgoing Mayor, Councillor Maurice Perry, presented the winners of each of the seven categories with their awards at the Council’s Annual General Meeting.
He said: “There has been such a high standard of nominations that we have introduced some joint winners and special awards this year.
“It was humbling to meet all of these amazing people who do so much to help and support our communities in all manner of ways.
“We are very lucky to have such a strong community spirit across Stockton-on-Tees – it is what makes our Borough very special.”
The worthy winners were:
Director of Wynyard Park, Chris Musgrave – Special Business Award
Chris (pictured left) was recognised for his success in transforming the fortunes of the business park, which he bought after electronics company Samsung closed its Wynyard factory in 2004.
Under Chris’ management the 700,000 sq ft park has gone from strength to strength, attracting millions of pounds of private investment and creating hundreds of jobs.
Savannah Hounsome – The Young Person’s Award
Savannah, 18, provides support and inspiration to looked after young people, those leaving care, and fostered young people across the Borough. She has worked hard to raise young people’s views and helped to shape council services.
John Christie – Service to the Community – Individual Award
A pioneer of the micro-pub revolution in Stockton town centre, John has been integral in boosting the night time economy. As owner and landlord of the Golden Smog and Hope and Union, he has created two popular venues and has also raised thousands of pounds for local charities.
Soroptimists International, Stockton-on-Tees – Service to the Community Award – Groups and Organisations
This determined group of women work tirelessly to raise money and support organisations across the Borough including local women’s refuges, homeless projects, dementia awareness groups and The Butterwick Hospice, among others.
St Mary’s Advent Calendar Team – Service to the Community Award – Groups and Organisations
This exciting community project saw a dynamic team of people from across Norton come together to create a bespoke Advent trail. Local schools designed and created advent windows which were displayed in local businesses and illuminated each day in the run up to Christmas.
Jacobs Engineering – Service to the Community – Business Award
Jacobs Engineering is a global technical and management consultancy company. In 2017 the company rolled out a detailed work placement programme for young people across the Tees Valley which gave students a taste of jobs within the engineering sector, helped build their confidence and taught them new skills.
Wilton Engineering Services Ltd – Bill Scott – Service to the Community – Business Award
On its 50 acre Port Clarence site, Wilton Engineering Services Ltd provides a wide range of services for the onshore and offshore energy industry. The company has close ties with the community and encouraging local schools to visit its facility to learn about industry. The company has also raised thousands of pounds for charity, mentored smaller businesses and has even built a reindeer sleigh which makes sure that Santa visits Port Clarence every Christmas!
Members of Clarences’ Horticultural Centre and Community Gardens – The Green Award
In just a few years this group has transformed allotments in Port Clarence from a waste ground into a wonderful, award-winning, horticultural centre of excellence. A classroom environment has enabled residents, young and old, to learn about gardening and growing food. Apprentices have been able to gain valuable skills such as building raised beds.
Dave Munt – The Health and Wellbeing Award
Billingham resident, Dave Munt, is a passionate angler and has spent 50 years promoting this sport as a way to improve health and wellbeing. He best known for the work he has done to improve access to the sport for vulnerable people or those with disabilities – including coaching looked after children and veterans with complex physical and mental health needs.
Kathleen Mitchell, Sheila Branson, Trish and Kenny Leishman – The Carer/Foster Carer Award
These joint winnersare recognised for providing a stable, loving home to many local children and young peopleover many years as foster carers. Kathleen Mitchell has looked after 50 children over her 21 years as a foster carer. Sheila Branson has fostered 20 young people since becoming a single carer 23 years ago. And Trish and Kenny Leishman have fostered for 24 years, caring for babies and toddlers.
Ivy Lee – Special Carer Award
Seven-year-old Ivy Lee (pictured right) shares her parents, Simon and Emily, with children who have not been able to live with their birth families. Although it is not always easy, Ivy has tried all at times to be a compassionate and positive role model to support her parents in their fostering role.