Three very special bus drivers have been recognised for going ‘above and beyond’ to help members of the public – including two incidents where lives were saved as a result of their actions.

Bus drivers, Steven Tomkins, Cheryl Lawson and Andy Cameron were all awarded Special Commendation accolades at Go North East’s employee awards ceremony.

Cheryl Lawson, 41, from Lemington in Newcastle, received rapturous applause from the audience at the awards event as they heard about an incident in January 2016 when she saved a young girl’s life.

Cheryl was driving the no. 85 to Washington late at night in January this year when she saw cars pulled-up on the road side with their hazard warning lights on. She soon realised that there was a lady under a blanket on the ground so she stopped to see if she could help.

Cheryl did some basic medical checks on the woman and was waiting for an ambulance when the lady suddenly stopped breathing. Cheryl performed CPR and managed to get the woman breathing again.

Cheryl was also praised for being such a popular member of her driving team and for regularly receiving customer commendations for brilliant customer service.

She said: “I’m just glad I was there and could help that lady. It’s really flattering winning this award and having customers write in to say I’m doing a good job – I couldn’t be happier. I never got any of this in my last job and I was there nearly 14 years so this recognition is really lovely.

“I honestly just enjoy my job and customers obviously respond well to that, I wish I’d become a bus driver a lot sooner. I just love being around people and that having that one-to-one contact with people, I always have.”

Steven Tomkins, 57, from South Shields, was also celebrated for his actions on a difficult day in March 2016 when he too, saved a young girl’s life after she suffered an asthma attack on his bus and stopped breathing and fell unconscious. Thanks to his calm approach and brave actions, the passenger made a full recovery.

Andy Cameron’s empathy and support towards a disabled passenger was also singled out for praise. Andy, 21, from Stanley, came to a customer’s aid when their wheelchair broke, leaving them unable to move. He took the time and trouble to take the passenger to hospital to get the problem fixed and the man involved was incredibly grateful.

Go North East finance director Colin McPherson said:

“To hear these stories of how three brilliant people made such a difference is truly heart-warming and to say we are proud to have them working for us and representing our company is an understatement.”

Go North East’s Washington depot manager, Sophie Moorby, and bus station manager, John Gordon, were also awarded Special Commendations for their success, hard work and star quality