An amazing achievement for one Sunderland family - could you follow in their footsteps?

It was a night that one Wearside family will never forget.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 1:08 pm
Luna Petrucci with her Best of Wearside Award.

In the space of a few minutes, a husband and wife collected one trophy at the Best of Wearside Awards – and minutes later, their daughter did the same.

Emma and Sergio won the Fundraiser of the Year Award after raising thousands of pounds for the Children’s Heart Unit (CHUF) at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Sergio said: “The awards night was a great evening. It was lovely to be recognised for the work that we do with Red Sky Ball.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Emma (left) and Sergio (right) Petrucci receive their Best of Wearside Award from Emily Downes (centre) Regional CSR Specialist - The North Group Communications at the BGL Group.

“I would thoroughly recommend that people should nominate if they think of someone they know who deserves it.”

Sergio reflected on the awards evening and said: “It was marvellous. There are so many good causes out there who deserve the recognition for what they give back to the community.”

Their daughter Luna, now six, was born with two congenital heart defects and underwent lifesaving treatment just before her second birthday.

To thank hospital staff, the family launched a fundraising drive through events including the Red Sky Ball, raising more than £250,000.

The Best of Wearside Awards.

The funds buy lifesaving equipment for children with heart problems to make treatment easier.

Luna, who won a Child of Courage honour at the awards night, is now ‘doing fantastic,’ said Sergio.

The search is now on for entries to this year’s Best of Wearside Awards.

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.


l Community Group of the Year.

l Student of the Year.

l Green Champion of the Year.

l Child of Courage.

l Child of Achievement.

l Young Voice of Wearside.

l Fundraiser of the Year.

l Volunteer of the Year.

l Sporting Achievement of the Year.

l 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