Emotional night as community heroes receive awards

A total of 17 individuals and groups received recognition at the annual Mayor’s Community Achievement Awards held at the Civic Centre in Redcar at a packed event.

Winners included a fighter against knife crime, a six-year-old girl who tirelessly goes litter picking, a gold medal-winning 16-year-old boxer and a lady in her 80s who has continued campaigning for the community despite the recent sad death of her recent fellow campaigner and friend of many years.

The Mayor, Cllr Stuart Smith, was even called upon to give an award to his own parents Sheena and Peter Smith who were nominated by another councillor. Music was provided by local choir The Local Vocals.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland Cllr Smith said:

These awards recognise the hard work and dedication of voluntary groups or individuals, working in the community of Redcar and Cleveland, whose efforts go largely unnoticed and unsung and it’s great to see so many people from the community here tonight.

“I would like to stress that this is not a competition with winners and runners-up. Everybody here tonight is a winner and will receive an Award, but the biggest winners are the residents of Redcar and Cleveland. They are the ones who benefit from what you all put back into your local area.”


The winners, all nominated by councillors, were:


Keira Bowden of Brotton

Keira is 16 years old and has been boxing from the age of 8.  She has won the England Boxing Championship, won gold for England at the Tri National Boxing tournament as well as many other awards. She is a great ambassador for the area and someone who the young people of the area look up to with her hard work, determination and discipline. Nominated by Cllrs Barry Hunt, Graham Cutler and Martin Fletcher.


Debbie Green of Coatham

Debbie has been a volunteer for 23 years at the Grenfell Club, which is for children, young people and adults with learning and physical disabilities. She works tirelessly to support with her fundraising and dedication, always going above and beyond. Thank you, Debbie, on behalf of the families, the Grenfell club staff & all the young people who use the facilities and our community here in Coatham and Redcar and Cleveland. Nominated by Cllr Carl Quartermain.


Paula Lowe of Dormanstown

For her lifelong dedication to the children of Redcar giving up her spare time to promote football with the youngsters and being a great ambassador for ladies football in the area. Nominated by Cllr Alec Brown.


Claire Read and Harley Rule of Dormanstown

Claire together with her 6 year old daughter Harley, go out together litter picking in Dormanstown every Saturday, they make a big difference to where they live and at six years old Harley helps to make the environment better around her. Nominated by Cllr Ceri Cawley.


The Grangetown Remembers group

The group of residents, got together to organise the planning of the Remembrance Sunday parade and service in Grangetown, which had dwindled in attendance over the years.  The group have ignited community spirit and brought the whole community together to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. On behalf of Grangetown, I sincerely thank them for their hard work and dedication. Nominated by Cllr Adam Brook.


Grangetown Amateur Boxing Club

The Club opened its doors in 2022, within eight months thanks to a lot of hard work the club passed a rigorous inspection by the ABA officials.  The nine volunteer coaches have worked so hard to achieve the standards required, they train up to 50 Children and Young people from aged six years and upwards. Not only are they becoming boxers, fitter, confident and more resilient, feedback from Parents and Schools is that behaviour is improving. Thank you for your amazing dedication. Nominated by Cllr Lyn Pallister.


Ed Hamilton-Trewhitt of Guisborough

Ed opened the Brickyard Bakery in Guisborough a welcome business to the town and has also opened the Brickyard Academy sharing his skills with others, and the lounge upstairs in the bakery as a warm space for people to keep warm.  He has introduced the initiative of providing all Year 6 pupils from Chaloner School with a healthy breakfast during their exams week.  Also collecting donations for the Turkey and Syria Earthquake disaster fund. Nominated by Cllr Shelagh Holyoake.


Theresa Cave of Kirkleatham ward, near Redcar

Theresa set up the Chris Cave Foundation after the tragic death of her son. The Foundation has been educating young people for over 18 years against knife crime and other related violent acts, it provides education and outreach to communities affected by violent crime.  It was also successful in ensuring the ‘Knife Angel’ sculpture came to the area recently. Theresa is nationally recognised as an authority on educating young people about the tragedy of knife crime and fully deserves recognition for all her work. Nominated by Cllr Mike Lockwood.


The Friends of Kirkleatham Churchyard

Over the last three years the group has worked hard under very difficult circumstances, carrying out works to Kirkleatham Churchyard on a purely voluntary basis. They have created a safe environment within the boundaries of the churchyard and are maintaining it to a standard that helps bring solace to the families.  Nominated by Cllrs Leah Quartermain and Mike Lockwood.


The Committee of Charlton’s Community Centre in East Cleveland

The Committee, by hard work and dedication, has turned the Community Centre round, both inside and out. Inside, everything is beautifully presented with an historical theme, outside, there’s a new roof, together with a well-kept garden. The star attraction is the Miners’ Bath House as it has the reputation for being haunted and the Centre recently appeared on the TV show ‘Help! My House Is Haunted’. They have done great things for the community of Charltons.  Nominated by Cllr Steve Kay.


Sheena and Peter Smith of Lockwood ward in East Cleveland

For decades the pair have been stalwarts of the community of Moorsholm, especially with their service on Moorsholm Memorial Hall committee, where Sheena was the secretary for many years and Peter is Chairman.  Sheena is also an active member of Moorsholm Women’s Institute. both have been an energetic member of Moorsholm in Bloom since its inception, helping it to national awards, both still help to keep the village pristine.  Nominated by Cllr Steve Kay.


Mark and Carole Cowling from Loftus

They have worked tirelessly throughout covid and to the present day to organise and run events to raise funds for the Liverton Mines community group, which was set up to raise funds for a play park after a fire.  With Mark and Carole’s effort the group raised well over the total amount which helped with other projects. The couple richly deserve recognition for their remarkable efforts.  Nominated by Cllr Tim Gray.


Nicky Graham of Newcomen

Nicky, as well as being a mother of five and grandmother of two is a busy volunteer in the community. As a member of ‘Ladies of the Lakes’ she has been volunteering and creating community events since 2018. She is creative and had the ideas for a Christmas funfair we held this year, she is a wonderful lady with time to help anyone in need and is the real heart of the community.  Nominated by Cllr Carrie Richardson.


Saltburn Skatepark and Sport CIC Committee

The committee was formed in 2021 to design, raise funds and manage a free outdoor skate park for skaters, BMX riders, scooters and all wheeled sports to practice their sport and have fun in Saltburn. The committee are all volunteers with a broad range of expertise and skills. They have raised £206K to date a fantastic achievement and the skatepark is now under construction with a planned opening in June.  Nominated by Cllrs Stuart Smith and Craig Hannaway.


Friends of the Lower Path Gardens Volunteers in Saltburn

The group have worked to transform the neglected area of Hazel Grove over a three-year period into a wonderful garden, which has become a major feature of Saltburn for the residents and visitors and is a project of significant achievement. Nominated by Cllrs Stuart Smith and Philip Thomson.


Ian Tyas of Saltburn

Ian has provided a remarkable community service to Saltburn and indeed East Cleveland with his dedication in producing a monthly community magazine, which has been published by him for 21 years to the highest of standards and great acclaim. Nominated by Cllr Philip Thomson.


Tony Chapman of East Skelton

Tony runs North Skelton post office which provides a vital community service, due to lack of facilities in the village he also has an area with everything you could imagine for the residents to use and the village could not manage without him.  Nominated by Cllrs Julie Craig and Cliff Foggo.


The Volunteers of Senses Wellbeing CIC in East Skelton

An amazing group of individuals that are essential to the running of the Centre. They run many aspects of the centre and support in many ways including tea & coffee making, fund raising, running some aspects of the sessions available. Nominated by Cllrs Julie Craig and Cliff Foggo.


Joyce White of West Skelton ward

For continuous outstanding voluntary dedication to the village of Skelton helping and supporting the community.  Nominated by Cllrs Lee and Craig Holmes.


The PAD Foundation in West Skelton

For the supplying and fitting of life saving defibrillators in many communities around East Cleveland.  Nominated by Cllrs Lee and Craig Holmes.


Edith Cockerill of Marske

Edith is in her 80s but it has not stopped her volunteering, together with her good friend Kay, nothing is ever too much trouble.  They were making masks during the pandemic, raising money for people in Australia caught in the bush fires, fundraising for Ukraine and so much more. Edith and Kay have always volunteered so willingly, unfortunately Kay recently passed away and will be sadly missed.  Nominated by Cllrs Karen King, Debbie Dowson and Margaret Wilson.


Steve Richardson of Marske

Steve has volunteered at Marske Hall Care Home for years, after doing a Karaoke event for the residents he signed up to be a volunteer driver, entertainer and all round support for the home.  Even though he lives miles away, he still goes to the home twice a month to put on a Karaoke for the residents, staff and families. He is very much part of the Marske Hall family, and a huge asset. Nominated by Cllrs Karen King, Debbie Dowson and Margaret Wilson.


Paula Odell

Paula has also supported Marske Hall for many years. She regularly takes her choir to entertain the residents and their families and is a keen supporter of their fundraising events, bringing choirs and her singers to ensure that the Summer Fair is always brilliant. Paula is well loved by all the residents she is very much a part of the care home and community.  Nominated by Cllrs Karen King, Debbie Dowson and Margaret Wilson.


The South Bank Savings & Credit Union

Has successfully delivered community banking to residents for nearly 34 years, it is managed and controlled by a dedicated voluntary board of management delivering low-cost savings & loans.  One lady Jackie Conlin has volunteered her time daily for the past 36 years incorporating the 2 years training required to manage this vital service.  Nominated by Cllr Sandra Smith.


St John’s Church, South Bank Baptist Church and Saabat Gallery

All for providing a safe warm space for the community of South Bank during these difficult economic times.  Nominated by Cllr Sue Jeffrey.


Normanby United FC Volunteers

In recognition of the hard work of all the volunteers who help to ensure the club runs smoothly.  With multiple boys and girls junior teams of all ages this involves a lot of work.  Nominated by Cllr Vince Smith.


The Peter Rabbit Baby Remembrance Garden Planning Group in Normanby

The group has worked so hard in fund raising and in partnership with the Council, working on all the stages of setting up a remembrance garden for young babies, so families have a private place to remember their loved ones.  Nominated by Cllrs Mary Ovens and Malcolm Head.


Les Holmes, Zetland Ward in Redcar

Les is a member of the Friends of Zetland Park and has worked throughout the year to make sure that the park always looks its best.  Les is willing to turn his hand to anything, helping with general park maintenance and his dedication and commitment makes the park a better place.  Nominated by Cllrs Louise Westbury and Alison Barnes.


Ann Milne, Zetland Ward in Redcar

Ann is also a vital part of Friends of Zetland Park, where she is willing to do any required task, from litter picking to cutting back, ready to muck in every week.  Ann also volunteers in the community grocery, she likes to help others and keep busy and we would like to acknowledge her hard work.  Nominated by Cllrs Louise Westbury and Alison Barnes.


John Wilson, Zetland Ward in Redcar

During the pandemic helped support the initiative of providing laptops for children being taught on-line and helped to refurbish old laptops which were due to be thrown away.  More computers have been donated since then and in total he has ‘saved’ over 120 computers from the skip and given them free to local charity groups.  Nominated by Cllrs Louise Westbury and Alison Barnes.