Hartlepool’s unsung heroes deserve to be recognised and highlighted at a prestigious awards night in the town, insists PFC Trust founder Frances Connolly.
That is the strong and emotive message from Frances - the EuroMillions lottery winner who set up the charity with her husband Patrick two-and-a-half years ago - following last week’s launch of Hartlepool Heroes.
Nominations have already been made for the 11 categories of awards that will be presented at a special night at the Borough Hall on Thursday, July 7th 2022.
There is a little over three weeks until the Friday, June 10th deadline for nominations when judges will then look to create a shortlist of three for each of the awards.
Hartlepool Heroes aims to reward and raise awareness of those within the community who go the extra mile to help others.
The search for Heroes is being led by the PFC Trust with the support of Hartlepool Borough Council, Jill Mortimer MP, HartlePower, Poolie Time Exchange, Carers UK and media partner Hartlepool Life.
Frances said: “I am proud of the response already, the generosity and spirit of people nominating friends, family members and people who have helped others.
“It’s early days and we are spreading the word to get involved - we want people to think of those who deserve this the most.
“Hartlepool Heroes follows a long line of those countless people before us who have held similar events. We felt celebrating in this way is worthwhile. This can happen again and again if the people want it.”
Frances, originally from Northern Ireland, has lived in Hartlepool for more than 30 years and has helped the town in a variety of ways since winning the lottery in 2019.
What is not as commonly known is that she was doing lots to help within the area long before that - and she thinks the town’s incredible people deserve support.
She said: “I have been a part of that volunteer group during the time I have lived here. I won a council award for volunteering when I was running St Francis Juniors Football Club.
“I was also working with old people, taking them to the shops. I helped the 2012 Olympics Committee in Hartlepool.
“I know the people of the town are amazing and since I have had the PFC Trust, we have seen everything else what is going on. It’s amazing.
“What inspires me is that Hartlepool people are always willing to help someone else. We wanted to acknowledge that especially after Covid – and lots of people and groups have come together to launch Hartlepool Heroes.”
There are sponsorship opportunities available for Hartlepool Heroes (more on those will be revealed in the coming weeks).
Hartlepool Life are proudly partnered with the event too.
Life’s sales director Paul Healey said: “It is a fantastic project for Hartlepool Life to be involved in. It is going to be such a fantastic community celebration and to hear all of the stories and help tell those will be special for everyone.”
The 11 Hartlepool Heroes award categories will find a Community Champion, Sports Initiative, Volunteer of the Year, Carer of the Year, Young Adult Carer of the Year, Young Carer of the Year, Green Community Champion, Healthcare Hero, Teacher of the Year, Lifetime Achievement and a People’s Choice winner.