Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Trickiest Task Is to Pick the Best Entry

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Trickiest Task Is to Pick the Best Entry

Article excerpt

Byline: Elaine Blackburne

When Dame Tanni Grey Thompson was asked to judge the Evening Gazette Mum of the Year awards she was delighted to say yes.

The athlete and mother to five-year-old Carys knows only too well how hard it can be to juggle a family life and career.

But she also knows of the hardships faced by many families through both her charity work and as a judge of last year's awards.

She said: "It was a huge pleasure to be involved in the judging process last year. It was really amazing and humbling to see what some of the mothers had dealt with in their lives and how they had supported their families through it all.

"I found the process really challenging, and it was so hard to pick the shortlisted mums. When I read the nominations I actually spent most of the time crying. What was amazing was that most of the mums didn't realise how special they were, they all just said that they were doing their job.

"So many of them were nominated by their children, some really young, and seeing what they had written about their mothers was fantastic. We found out that most of the children had never told their mums to their face what they thought of them, but had written it down in such an emotional way.

"I think that the awards are a great way of people being able to say thank you."

Evening Gazette editor Darren Thwaites, who is also a judge, is married to Debbie and is dad to Casey, five, and Adam, four. .

He said: "We were absolutely amazed at the number of nominations last year and deeply touched by so many stories.

"We had some beautifully written tributes from sons and daughters of all ages, who all recognised the sacrifices their mums made.

"We had mums fighting serious illness but still devoting so much energy to their families. We had mums who had helped their children through difficult times, providing unbelievable support. And we had mums who had built loving family homes in very difficult circumstances.

"With so many wonderful, moving stories, it was the most difficult judging panel I've ever sat on.

"What shone through in all the nominations was how our mums sit right at the heart of loving families. …

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