Pride of Wearside shortlist announced

Kian Armstrong of Castletown, pictured with Sunderland Echo Editor John Szymanski to help launch the Sunderland Echo Pride of Wearside awards
Kian Armstrong of Castletown, pictured with Sunderland Echo Editor John Szymanski to help launch the Sunderland Echo Pride of Wearside awards
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AFTER hundreds of entries, judges have faced the tough task of choosing the shortlist for this year’s Pride of Wearside.

From toddlers who have shown bravery beyond their years to pensioners who are helping to change their community for the better, all have been recognised in this year’s awards.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday.

Echo editor John Szymanski whittled down the entries with fellow judges Yvonne Ewington, partnership engagement officer from Sunderland Partnership, Jackie Pitt, customer involvement officer from Gentoo, and Lynn Wild, from the Echo.

John said: “We had so many entries this year and the judges faced an extremely tough task as they all were all such a high calibre.

“There were so many shining examples of initiative, community spirit, determination and bravery – in short, strong candidates for Pride awards.

“I am sure that Wednesday will be an emotional night as their stories are told and the winners are revealed.”

Among those nominated is Kian Armstrong, four, from Castletown.

The inspirational youngster, who is fighting cancer, has touched the hearts of Wearside by smiling through his illness.

So much so, that last year he was named as one of our Children of Courage winners.

After being diagnosed with neuroblastoma 18 months ago, the Castletown Primary School pupil has undergone a catalogue of gruelling treatment including high-intensity chemotherapy, a seven-and-half hour operation to remove a tumour in his stomach, a six-month course of immunotherapy treatment to wipe out his immune system and build it up again, stem cell harvesting and more.

His family had hoped he’d beaten the disease when his treatment finished this summer, but further tests revealed that a 6mm growth still remains. Kian is now in the middle of radiotherapy treatment in the hope of finally ridding his body of the disease.

The Shortlist

Child Of Achievement:

•Benjamin Hodgson

•Lewis Hair

•Sadie Newby

•Kian Armstrong

Community Champion:

•Jackie Smith

•William Leach

•Joanne Fearn

•Carol Birch

Child Of Courage:

•Frankie Mould and Kayne Mould

•Heather Smith

•Layla Davis

•Bryant Hackett

•Bradley Lowery

Safer Community:

•Sunderland Street Pastors

•Angela Noble

•Connor Rowntree

•ICOS

Sporting Achievement:

•Kez Greenwood

•Kirk Goodings

•Jamie O’Donnell

•Glenn Foot

Community Group:

•Sunderland Cardiac Support Group

•Town End Residents’ Association

•The Box Youth Project

•Staff at Barnwell School

Fundraiser Of The Year:

•Laura Jayne Smith

•Deano Franciosy

•Julie Reay

•Grace Kemp

Local Hero / Role Model:

•Bobby Turnbull

•John Lee Lydon

•Stephen Devlin and Matthew Gardener

•Pat Burn

•Toni-Beth Purvis

Green Champion:

•Zoe Jones, Victoria Lamb, Ellie Clark, Samantha Harris

•Houghton Kepier Academy

•The Little Treasures

Student Of The Year:

•Lorna Maddison

•William Revill

•Lauren Waine

•Rebecca Stubbs