Civic awards honor Stockton’s local heroes

THE unsung heroes of Stockton borough have been thanked for the positive difference they make to local communities.

The Mayor’s 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, Councilor Kevin Faulks, celebrated the winners of each of the seven award categories.

Cllr Faulks said: “We are so fortunate to have many generous and dedicated people who go out of their way to help improve the lives of others across the borough. The quality of nominations we received just goes to show the impact that community spirit and kindness can have on people locally.”

The awards and their citations are:

Alex Matthews—Young Person Award: As a young person with autism, 19-year-old Alex always goes the extra mile to champion and support others with disabilities, particularly hidden special educational needs (SEN). He joined Stockton Council’s Bright Minds Big Futures (BMBF) panel in 2018 and has since raised funds for the mayor’s charity, delivered school workshops and played a vital role in organizing BMBF’s Secret Sound festival for young people to enjoy live music in a safe and secure environment. Alex is also head of SEN on the Big Committee where he ensures young people have the opportunity to have their say and influence decision-making.

Gail Walker – Service to the Community, individual award: A volunteer at Teesside Dementia Link Services, Gail works round the clock to support people with dementia as well as their families and carers. Throughout the pandemic Gail went shopping for care home residents, collected prescriptions, provided welfare care packs, took people to hospital appointments and even made a weekly fish and chip delivery. She has supported bereaved families and is always on hand to offer emotional or practical advice.

Gail Walker was presented with the Service to the Community, individual award

The Amal Project – Service to the Community, groups and organizations award: The Amal Project was launched by Sahida Ditta during the pandemic to provide vital tailored food hampers which meet the dietary requirements of Stockton borough’s BAME community. The charity works closely with schools to identify and support families in need and has partnered up with Sprouts Community Food Charity to set up a Community EcoShop at Arlington Park, Stockton, where people can purchase affordable food and home products donated by local businesses, organizations and Individuals, as well as enjoy community events such as cooking workshops and football matches.

Sahida Ditta, left, of The Amal Project, and her dad, with the Service to the Community, groups and organizations award

Sahida Ditta, left, of The Amal Project, and her dad, with the Service to the Community, groups and organizations award

The Silver Cod – Service to the Community, business award: Gurjit and Satveer Kaur Singh who own The Silver Cod fish and chip shop in Norton regularly support their local community. From giving fish and chips to key workers during the pandemic, to organizing free school holiday and Christmas events, the couple always bring positivity and boost community morale.

Gurjit, left, and Satveer, right Kaur Singh of The Silver Cod were presented with the Service to the Community, business award

Gurjit, left, and Satveer, right Kaur Singh of The Silver Cod were presented with the Service to the Community, business award

Alfie Bailey—Health and Wellbeing Awards: Across the borough Alfie offers invaluable support to parents and their child’s development through her Jungle Journey activity classes for babies and toddlers. More recently she set up a breastfeeding support group offering a safe space for mums to socialize and receive specialist breastfeeding support. During the school holidays Alfie helps to ensure children have hot, healthy meals and can enjoy activities such as Air Trail and ice skating. She was also involved in setting up Yarm Wellness Center for the wider community and where older and vulnerable people can go to socialize.

Thornaby Community Litter Project – Green Award: As leader of the Thornaby Litter Project, Winnie Cammish Cleasby and the group’s 50 volunteers take great pride in their work to keep Thornaby a clean and safe place to visit, live and work. As well as litter picking, they have brightened up areas of Thornaby with seed planting and now have a social meet-up bringing everyone together at the end of their events to make friends. The group have contributed to other events such as the Big Cleanup and have forged relationships with businesses, supported litter picks in commercial areas and encouraged businesses to keep their outside spaces clean.

Winnie Cammish Cleasby, left, and Matthew Ford-Huggins, right, of the Thornaby Community Litter Project, won the Green Award

Winnie Cammish Cleasby, left, and Matthew Ford-Huggins, right, of the Thornaby Community Litter Project, won the Green Award

Joyce and Peter Roscoe – Carer/Foster Carer Award: Long-standing foster carers Joyce and Peter Roscoe have cared for more than 100 children since 2003, supporting their growth and helping them to thrive in education and employment as well as supporting them into adulthood. They are always willing to take on emergency placements when required and show exceptional care, patience and kindness to every child who shares their home. Joyce and Peter continue to keep in touch with their fostered children when they have moved on and the majority still continue to visit. They usually spend Christmas together as a family – which often means about 30 people sitting round the table.

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