Flourishing firm backs campaign to find the Best of Wearside - and they can't wait to see the winners in the annual awards

A flourishing company has joined the search to find Sunderland and County Durham’s community champions.

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 11:35 am
Darren Sutherland, chief executive at Utility Alliance.
Darren Sutherland, chief executive at Utility Alliance.

Utility Alliance is a sponsor for this year’s Best of Wearside Awards and they are perfect sponsors to have on board.

They will be supporting the Sunderland Echo in our search to find everyone from sports heroes to top fundraisers, and from children of courage to green champions.

Darren Sutherland, Chief Executive at Utility Alliance, said: “We have sponsored various local causes over the last few years, and to be in a position to be able to give something back to the community is something that as a company we are extremely proud of.

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The Best of Wearside Awards 2020.

“We have been involved with awards ceremonies like this with the Echo’s sister title the Hartlepool Mail, and they have always been very enjoyable but at the same time often very emotional.

“This is one night of the year where all of the success stories in Sunderland, from all walks of life, gather under one roof to be recognised and it is always very humbling to listen to some of the stories from the different categories.

“Sunderland is a very proud city with so much to shout about, and it is only right that is celebrated. The Utility Alliance team is looking forward to what is sure to be a tremendous evening.”

Utility Alliance is now recognised as one of the fastest-growing companies within the utilities sector, and has been named in The Sunday Times Top 100 Best Places To Work in the UK.

The firm set up in February 2015 at Queens Meadow business park in Hartlepool with just a handful of staff, but now has a workforce in excess of 400 at its offices in Hartlepool, Newcastle and Sheffield.

The company is heavily involved in various projects across the town, and as well as being an official patron of Alice House Hospice and a supporter of several other good causes, Utility Alliance played a significant role in keeping Hartlepool United afloat when the club hit financial difficulties and was on the brink of collapse two years ago.

A continuous recruitment drive has created in excess of 150 jobs for people in Hartlepool over the last two years.

This year’s competition has backing from headline sponsor BGL, partner sponsor Utility Alliance, partner sponsor Gentoo, and category sponsor Marelli.

We thank them all for getting on board, and now comes your turn to get involved.

We hope you will inundate us with entries and make the job of the judges that much harder.

Take a look at the categories, read the entry instructions, and your favourite cause will be a step closer to hopefully winning a Best of Wearside title.


:: Community Group of the Year.

:: Student of the Year.

:: Green Champion of the Year.

:: Child of Courage.

:: Child of Achievement.

:: Young Voice of Wearside.

:: Fundraiser of the Year.

:: Volunteer of the Year.

:: Sporting Achievement of the Year.

::Community Champion Award.


To nominate, just send your name, address and telephone number, as well as your email address, if applicable. Remember to include the category you are putting your nominated cause into.

Also send the name of the person you wish to nominate, along with their address, telephone number and email (if known).

Send all of that to Lynn Wild by no later than March 2. Judging of all the entries will be held that same week with the finale at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday, April 1.

There are three ways to nominate.

l Email those entries to [email protected]

l Post them to Lynn Wild, North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), Wearfield Enterprise Park East, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR5 2TA.

l Visit the website at https://www.bestofwearside.co.uk.