The shortlist for the Gateshead Awards 2013 has been finalised and we would like you to vote for your winners.
The Gateshead Award recognises the hard work and dedication of volunteers, carers, and everyone else who goes out of their way to make the borough a better place to live, work or visit.
Now in its fourth year, the award rewards those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in one of ten categories ranging from young carer of the year to sports coach of the year.
The closing date for votes is Friday 11October 2013.
Volunteer of the Year
Jimmy Rennison has volunteered for Renew North East for a number of years, helping with deliveries, installations and repairs and he is passing on his knowledge by constantly working with volunteer trainees and unemployed people who are sent to Renew to gain work experience.
Peter Crawley is the Gateshead Division Scout Leader and has volunteered for over 20 years running the Scouts, the Beavers and Explorers which have helped many children to learn new skills.
Chris Hulme has volunteered in a variety of ways – he is the treasurer of Gateshead Youth Council, a founder member of Gateshead Youth Assembly, he developed Trust Youth and sits on the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council.
Alan Lockey is over 80 years old andgives his time to helping people who live in his sheltered housing scheme and his neighbourhood. He does shopping and runs errands for people who are ill and helps to fix things in their homes at all times of the day.
Elizabeth Craig has developed lots of new skills through her volunteering at an after school club at Edberts House, helping at Kibblesworth allotment and she has completed a shoe box appeal for young people leaving care. Elizabeth has a learning disability but has developed her confidence through her volunteering.
Voluntary Organisation of the Year
Gateshead Foodbank has provided crisis food parcels for over 1,000 Gateshead residents in less than one year. The organisation involves a large number of volunteers who collect/distribute food and who negotiate with local supermarkets to arrange food collection events.
Gateshead Supported Volunteers Project supports people with a learning difficulty to volunteer independently in their community by using a ‘Buddy’ to support the volunteer. During the scheme the volunteers gain a level one accredited qualification.
Cornerstone is a small charitable group which offers a community café, a thrift shop, a quiet space and a place for voluntary groups to offer support. All of the money raised is given to their nominated charity of the year. So far they have donated more than £21,000 to different charities.
Sports Club of the Year
Blaydon Rugby Club finished third in their league last season making them the 27th club in the country.Also all four senior sides won their Durham County Cup competitions and they have a thriving junior section with over 250 members. The club also operates a franchised gym with over 1,000 members.
Blaydon Youth Community Football Club was set up by three volunteers and has 10 teams from under 6’s to under 14’s. Training takes place each night during the week and matches are on a weekend. Training sessions are also arranged for the closed season so the young people have something to do all year round.
North East Athletic was set up in 2012 to support people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction and to encourage them to engage in sporting activities. It now has over 100 members. Although football has been the primary sport the club has branched out into other sports including boxing, rugby, judo and orienteering.
Gateshead Storm Community Rugby League Club has strong links with the local community and this year has added three age groups to the teams in their junior section. 11 of their players will be part of the under 15 scholarship programme which has a squad of only 18 players. A number of their players are also part of their international teams.
Whickham Fellside Youth Football Club was established in 1980 and is one of the largest youth football groups in the area. It has 25 teams from under 7’s to under 18’s and over 350 members. The club also has a girls team, a senior womens team and a development group which offers an introduction for reception and year 1 pupils
Young Achiever of the Year
Michaela Jones has been part of Gateshead Storm for over 5 years. She helps with fund raising, she is a qualified masseur and this year, despite having not been well, she has started to coach the under 10’s while also helping out with the girls coaching. She has also just started to run her own team which the young people really enjoy.
Emily Jane O’Regan studied A-levels at Newcastle Sixth Form College and has been accepted to study at Bangor University where she plans to read zoology conservation. In 2012 she was awarded a Nuffield Science Grant to work at the Washington Wildfowl centre and earlier this year she was awarded the title of ‘UK Young Scientist of the Year’. She has also been to Mexico as a North East Student volunteer on a turtle conservation project.
Sarah Gascoigne is a Northumbria Police cadet, a member of the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services, a Gateshead Reading Activist with Gateshead Libraries, a member of the North East Youth Network with the Regional Youth Work Unit, she runs the Fairtrade stall at school and tutors a younger student in maths.
Sports Coach of the Year
Kevin Lamb has coached football to young people for a number of years despite falling down a lift shaft a few years ago and being severely injured. He also raises money to ensure all children can take part in their local club.
Graham Bell played for Gateshead Hockey Club however he lost both of his legs due to illness so decided to coach at the club. He has coached hundreds of children in the Gateshead area over the last 23 years to County, Divisional and National level and travels the country to give them the opportunity to compete.
Kevin Pattison has practised judo since the age of 7 at Crawcrook Judo Club. He was the first mobile judo coach taking the sport into schools and for the last 10 years has dedicated 1 day a week coaching children with special needs. He is now head coach at Crawcrook and having added more sessions the membership has grown to over 65 players aged between five and forty years old.
Debra Kennedy supports Leam Lane Boxing Club and has passed her assistant coaching course and the full coaching course this year despite having suffered health problems and being a full time carer for her mother. She travels the country attending boxing shows and takes the young people on weekend trips.
Stephen Gair encourages young people to take part in show-jumping by coaching at Bowes Manor Equestrian Centre. He has taught young people from the age of 8 to 23 years to compete and he travels with them offering coaching whilst at the competitions. He has offered free lessons to a local school and recently donated a pony to a little girl with terminal cancer.
Young Carer of the Year
Cory & Khayl Carney both care for their mum who has no other family support. They cook, clean, do the shopping and help to look after each other. Both boys play sport and Cory is hoping to make the Falcon academy this year while studying for his a-levels.
Amanda Forsythe is part of the Gateshead Crossroads Young Carer Project. She cared for her mother who sadly died in 2007 and continues to provide support at home for her father. Amanda has raised awareness of young carer issues locally and raises money at school for charities.
Maureen Chaplin Young Sports Achiever of the Year
Adam Herczeg volunteers at least 16 hours a week to his local football club Gateshead Redheugh Youth FC. At 15 he became involved in The FA Football Futures Programme and, having become a newly qualified referee, is now coach and manager of the under 11 and under 15 boys team as well as the Youth Development Officer for the club. He looks after the clubs social media and website and organises events for the club.
Dan Turland plays for Gateshead Storm Rugby League team and this year he was a member of the Scotland Student World Cup team. Scotland reached the semi-finals of the competition and Dan played in every game. Dan helps out with the coaching and community programme when he isn’t away at university.