The 2016 Morpeth Civic Awards were presented at The Annual Assembly on Wednesday 11th May in Morpeth Town Hall.
The Awards are sponsored by Morpeth Town Council, The Mayor of Morpeth, Rutherfords & Co Ltd, Schweppes Abbey Well, Sanderson Arcade, Heighley Gate Garden Centre and Morpeth Lions.
The Award Winners are:
Townsperson of Morpeth – Katie Harrison
Katie is a 16 year old Sergeant in the RAF cadets, which she joined in 2012. Katie is a ‘beacon of expertise’ now training younger cadets in first aid and academic training in aviation She also volunteers at the Pegasus Riding Centre which she started in 2013 for the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.
In 2014, Katie started volunteering at the Cancer Research Shop for the Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award. She has also continued to volunteer for both while volunteering to assist in the school art department and working for a Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Katie has been nominated by the squadron for Lord Lieutenant’s cadet for 2017 (best cadet in Northumberland).
Young Townsperson of Morpeth – Katie Cook
Katie is 15 years old and profoundly deaf. She wears a hearing aid and has a cochlear implant. She attends KEVI and with help and support (does not sign and communicates orally), she is achieving well.
Katie loves swimming and trains with Morpeth ASC Squad. She teaches the younger members of the club to improve their swimming techniques. In 2011 she received the Swimmer of the Year Award and last year she was nominated for the NPFA Silver Salver Sportability Award, which she won.
Katie has also represented the school in netball and plays the steel pans. She completed the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award last year and is now doing the Silver as a member of the Explorer Scouts.
Mayor’s Award – Laura Coel
Laura is a successful singer. In October 2015 Laura allowed The Journal to publish her story of child abuse. She has faced her abuser, her stepfather, through the Restorative Justice Council Scheme and this was the first time this had happened through this scheme.
Laura waived her anonymity to help others take similar steps. To face someone you trusted, and indeed, loved, with their abuse and to reveal the dreadful consequences of bulimia, anorexia, self harming and attempted suicide is an action that requires great bravery but which serves as an inspiration and encouragement to other victims. Laura has come through all that and is a strong person, in a good relationship with her two young children.
Achievement Award – Mike Bateman
Mike has been the Secretary of the Morpeth Harriers since 1974, practically a full time job, dealing with 400 members of all ages and a turnover of £20k in subscriptions.
Mike organises teams and handles entry forms in individual races, championships etc. He is a great organiser and coach and was himself a good runner to international level.
Morpeth Harriers has an excellent reputation as a club and is very well know, bringing sporting recognition to the town. Mike has made a great contribution to the club over many years.
Sport Award – Ken Beattie & Morpeth Town AFC
Morpeth Town AFC were established in 1894.
In the 2014-15 season, Morpeth Town AFC won through tot he 5th round of the FA vase which was their most successful run in the competition to that date. In the current (2015-16) season, they won the final at Wembley on 22nd May 2016.
The team have raised the profile of the town nationally and that is why they merit consideration for the Sports Award.
Leisure & Culture Award – Simon Foley
Simon has served Morpeth for many years in various capacities. He is generally quiet but very actively involved without any great acknowledgement and never seeks recognition or acclaim.
Simon is the Chairman of Hunter Memorial Homes, the Music Society and a talking newspaper. For a long period, he was involved in the running of the Citizens Advice Bureau and served as a caseworker.
He has previously been the president of the Rotary Club of Morpeth and is still an ongoing active member. Simon is also an energetic committee member of the Mid Northumberland U3A and a leader of various activities.
Business Award – Layla Welsh, French Grey Tales
Layla Welsh set up upcycling, crafts and vintage business in Bedlington and then relocated to Morpeth. The shop provides a hub for crafting workshops and has built up a supportive network of customers and enthusiasts. It comprises of four paid staff, three workshop tutors and at least two volunteers.
The business is now attracting visitors to Morpeth and with the branding of the shops in Chantry Place and the Chantry itself as the Chantry Creative Quarter, is an example of how Layla is using her marketing expertise to promote Morpeth, not just her own business.
In 2015, Layla accepted the role of Ambassador of the Northumberland Be Digital Women and Broadband Challenge, part of a national programme of support for women in business and returning to work, funded by the Government Equalities Office and run by Northumberland County Council.