Ev­ery one of you is a win­ner ....


The Chronicle - - Front Page - By TOM EDEN Re­porter tom.eden@ncj­me­dia.co.uk @TomE­den11

THEY are the in­spi­ra­tional peo­ple who em­body the very best of the North East.

Meet the win­ners of the Chron­i­cle Cham­pion Awards 2017.

These are our neigh­bours, our friends, our teach­ers, our par­ents – and we cel­e­brated them dur­ing a spe­cial cer­e­mony at the Hil­ton in Gateshead on Thurs­day.

Our cham­pi­ons in­clude young­sters who have over­come re­mark­able ad­ver­sity, tire­less cam­paign­ers who have made our re­gion a bet­ter place, emer­gency ser­vices he­roes who have gone be­yond the call of duty, and some truly coura­geous life-savers.

One of many high­lights from the night saw the par­ents of Bradley Low­ery – the young boy whose smile and brav­ery cap­tured the hearts of the na­tion – wel­comed on stage to rap­tur­ous ap­plause.

With barely a dry eye in the room, Gemma and Carl Low­ery re­ceived a spe­cial recog­ni­tion award for their de­ter­mi­na­tion in car­ry­ing on their adored son’s legacy, en­sur­ing many more chil­dren go­ing through dif­fi­cult times will re­ceive the help they need.

An­other hugely-pop­u­lar cat­e­gory saw six young­sters crowned Child of Courage Cham­pi­ons, from Chanel Mur­rish, three, the record-break­ing lit­tle princess born with half a heart, to Kian Mus­grove five, whose fight against cancer has shown the gen­eros­ity of our re­gion in help­ing him make the vi­tal trips to the USA for treat­ment.

More young bat­tlers were cel­e­brated at the awards, with Jac Shel­don, nine, recog­nised af­ter spend­ing the past three months in a ‘bub­ble’ af­ter a bone mar­row trans­plant and Lewis Smith, six, who had en­dured daily chemo­ther­apy with a smile on his face.

Wor­thy win­ners Jack Sundin, 10, and Ryan Waites, six, have both faced lifethreat­en­ing heart prob­lems and have over­come count­less hor­rors that life has thrown their way.

The first award of the night, the Com­mu­nity Cham­pion, went to Lynne Davis and Ch­eryl Mc­Don­ald of Com­mu­nity Cor­ner — a mother and daugh­ter team who have raised over £130,000 for good causes in South Ty­ne­side.

This was fol­lowed by the sec­ond win­ner in this cat­e­gory, New­cas­tle’s West End food­bank. Alan Purdy, 44, who sailed 2,000 miles around the UK af­ter a dev­as­tat­ing brain in­jury while on duty with the House­hold Cavalry, was named the Armed Forces Cham­pion.

Mini-marathon hero Joe Denny, seven, was crowned Cham­pion Fundraiser. Reece Group was named this year’s Cham­pion Busi­ness, and the Good Sa­mar­i­tan award went to four life savers who res­cued a man dan­gling from the Tyne Bridge – Ash­ley Rawl­ings, Abbie Mott, An­drew Fair­lamb and Sgt Jamie Bell.

As the evening pro­gressed, yet more of the North East’s young peo­ple claimed awards, in­clud­ing broth­ers Wil­fred and Ted Chaf­fey, who took this year’s Green Cham­pi­ons award.

The award for Out­stand­ing Act of Brav­ery went to nine-year-old school­boy Blake Stephen­son, who saved an­other child’s life while on hol­i­day in France.

Three awards were handed out for our re­gion’s Young Role Mod­els – to Danny Mur­phy, Al­fie Matfin and Jack Thomp­son.

The Cham­pion Teacher award was pre­sented to Eileen Race, of Ken­ton School. Foot­ball coach Justin Lai­dler won the Un­sung Sport­ing Hero ti­tle for his work run­ning three dis­abil­ity teams.

Mum and Dad of the year cat­e­gory was won by He­len Mor­gan and David Ferry, par­ents to 16-year-old twins Thomas and Jack, who are both dis­abled and re­quire round-the-clock care.

Thomas has set his sights on a Par­a­lympic ca­reer in boc­cia, a ball sport sim­i­lar to bowls, with his mum and dad tak­ing him to na­tional com­pe­ti­tions all over the coun­try. The other win­ner was Jean Telford, who man­aged to stay calm and save the life of her son when his artery burst while driv­ing. Jean’s 50 years of nurs­ing ex­pe­ri­ence kicked in as Shane lay bleed­ing from his groin on the road­side. Her ac­tions, with the help of po­lice of­fi­cers Tony Barker and David Tay­lor who hap­pened to be pass­ing un­doubt­edly saved Shane’s life.

Bradley Low­ery’s mum Gemma at last night’s event, at which she had hus­band Carl re­ceived a spe­cial recog­ni­tion award TOM BANKS

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