COMMUNITY heroes have received awards from the Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees in recognition of the contribution they make to the Borough.

Now in their sixth year, the Civic Awards highlight both individuals and groups who set an inspiring example to others through their effort and determination.

In his final engagement the outgoing Mayor, Councillor Ken Dixon, presented the winners of each of the eight categories with their awards at yesterday’s Council’s Annual Meeting at Billingham Forum.

He said: “Every day across the Borough there are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. We are very lucky to have such a strong community spirit in Stockton-on-Tees and it’s something we should never take for granted.

“It was a pleasure and a privilege to recognise these truly remarkable people, who contribute so much, and to say a huge thank you on behalf of the residents of our wonderful Borough.”

The winners of each category – including two winners jointly awarded the Service to the Community – Individual Award – are as follows:

The Young Person’s Award

Liana, 15, from Stockton-on-Tees provides support, guidance and inspiration to looked after young people and those leaving care. Through her sheer drive and determination she has raised young people’s views and helped shape council services. She is an excellent role model for other young people and takes the time to provide support and mentoring to others who lack confidence.

Service to Community Award – groups and organisations

Bloodrun Emergency Voluntary Service (EVS) ferries essential blood supplies by motorcycle between North East NHS hospitals and trusts, saving the NHS money and providing a free, professional and reliable service. The volunteers work out of hours, giving up their evenings and weekends for the sake of others. The team regularly covers 1,500 miles a week and responds to more than 3,000 callouts per year.

Service to Community – Individual Award

Martin Dixon was a volunteer for the Bloodrun EVS when he was involved in a road traffic accident in Hartlepool in November 2016.  Sadly Martin passed away – losing his own life whilst helping to save others – and was later described as ‘the embodiment of the unsung hero’. This award is in dedication to his memory and was received by his wife, Tina, and son, Martin(pictured).

Service to Community – Individual Award

Victor Manejero is known within the Borough’s Filipino community and beyond for his leadership, kindness and generosity. He was nominated by ten people for this award for serving his community through the church but also for providing practical help and support to those in need. A welcoming figure to new residents, members of the Filipino community call Victor ‘Kuya’ meaning ‘brother’ because of all he does.

Service to Community – Business Award

Borough-based business, Axiom Engineering Associates Ltd, is a leading light in championing engineering and SME companies across the Tees Valley. Keen to raise the profile of engineering and boost the local economy, they have bought equipment for Stockton Borough schools and actively recruit graduates from Teesside University.

The Green Award

The Billingham Beck Country Park Ranger volunteers meet weekly and in all weathers throughout the year to keep the much-loved park looking pristine. In the past year they have built nest boxes, planted trees, and laid hedges, while also maintaining the wildflower meadow, foothpaths, the pond and planted areas.

The Health and Wellbeing Award

Green Links is a Thornaby-based community project which provides a programme of outdoor activities for people living with dementia. From practising gardening skills to growing their own produce, the programme is a lifeline for many residents because it provides a link with the outdoors. Volunteers at Green Links work tirelessly to ensure that people living with dementia can live well.

The Carer/Foster Carer Award

Lisa and Damon Zadrozny have been foster carers since 2012 and have provided excellent care for seven children. With the help of their three daughters, the Zadrozny family are currently caring for a young child with extremely complex health and developmental needs, and have now made an application for adoption.

If you would like to nominate an individual, group or business for next year’s Civic Awards visit