Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)


Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)


Article excerpt

Today we honour the unsung heroes of the Tees Valley who won awards - and hearts - at the Evening Gazette's glittering Community Champions 2006 ceremony.

It was a night of tears and joy as their stories unfolded.

All 30 finalists were champions in their own right but only ten could win.

Disabled teenager Jamie Jeffrey won the Outstanding Act of Bravery award and shared the Champion Child of Courage.

Born without a femur or hip joint, Jamie is a judo champion who won gold after fighting with a broken arm. Jamie, 15, from Middlesbrough, said: "I'm really happy. It's been a brilliant night."

Cheers-aswell as some tears

The stars of our communities took their place in the limelight last night when they were honoured as Community Champions.

The Evening Gazette awards recognised those individuals whose bravery, commitment and selflessness make them true stars of our communities.

Tears rolled down the cheeks of the audience as the stories were told of children who have achieved success in the face of adversity.

And cheers rang out for those volunteers whose decades of quiet commitment to their communities were rightfully recognised.

June Costello could not help but cry as her two children Jake and Chloe Costello took to the stage to receive the Young Community Champion Award.

Jake and Chloe's dad David died of leukaemia in 2004 aged 45.

But the youngsters, from Bishopsgarth, Stockton, proved an inspiration when they raised money to build a garden at the University Hospital of North Tees.

Mum June said: "I'm absolutely elated. They both worked really hard. It means a lot for them. They have gone through an awful lot in the past few years."

Another youngster who made good come out of bad is Jamie Jeffrey. Born without a femur or hip joint, he's never let it hinder him. A judo champion with a heart of a lion Jamie stands on one leg to compete against people with two.

Jamie won the Outstanding Act of Bravery and shared the Champion Child of Courage award with Charlotte Abercrombie and Francis Peter Pape. …

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