Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Civic Awards Icon

Civic awards

The Civic Awards will celebrate and recognise the individuals and organisations who make Middlesbrough such a great place to live. These new awards - incorporating the prestigious and long-running Citizen of the Year Award - will honour those who make fantastic contributions to day-to-day life in the borough.

The shortlist highlights individuals, community organisations and businesses who have made a real difference to the residents of Middlesbrough. These are our unsung heroes and we want to let them know how important they are.

Our winners


Improving Employment Opportunities for Residents (community) – sponsored by Stagecoach NE

Actes is a charity which supports local people into, or closer to, employment through innovative, peer-led delivery models. Since its inception in 2001, Actes has worked with over 20,000 people, many with multiple barriers such as low educational attainment, learning difficulties, issues with substance misuse, or with little financial capability.

Actes’ point of difference lies in its engagement mechanics which ensure that its tailored support is accessible to those furthest from the labour market and with deeply entrenched personal barriers, including hidden NEETS. Actes is also unique in the way it adapts its support solutions to help people progress towards their goals and to improve their life chances.

Actes’ strengths lie in employment support with associated money management advice, training and life coaching. It also provides volunteering opportunities to help support people in building their skills and confidence. Actes looks for enterprising solutions to problems and isn’t afraid to try something different.

Hardwick House

Improving Employment Opportunities for Residents (business) – sponsored by Faithful & Gould

Part of The Riverside Group, Hardwick House is a unique service providing accommodation and support for single homeless veterans in Middlesbrough. The service works with ex-servicemen and -women for up to 18 months, supporting them to make a successful transition into permanent housing and employment.

Consisting of 20 modern, self-contained, furnished apartments set in a safe and secure environment, Hardwick House also provides a range of complementary facilities including; an IT suite, training kitchen, and quiet spaces. Staffed 24/7, 365 days a year, Hardwick House is of national importance while working locally with a range of partner organisations to secure a brighter future for all our veterans.

By addressing issues around housing, health and wellbeing, and training for employment, Hardwick House reduces the risk of homelessness and rough sleeping for all its service users. Since opening its doors just over two years ago, Hardwick House has supported 60 veterans to move on into independent living, training, and employment, enabling them to reconnect with family, friends, and loved ones.

Feast of Fun

Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Residents (community) – sponsored by Gleesons

Feast of Fun is a grassroots project that offers support for the many families who struggle during the summer holidays. With the children at home 24/7 and no free school meals, the weekly budget has to stretch further for food and there is little left for activities and treats.

Starting in 2014 with 6 communities, this year Feast of Fun will be operating in over 20 venues across Middlesbrough, working with at least 1,000 children and families.

The project is a fantastic partnership of local churches, community groups, and schools which provide holiday activities in local communities, with healthy food, a wide range of fun activities, trips, and outings.

We are so grateful to the hundreds of volunteers across Middlesbrough that help to make Feast of Fun happen.

Recovery Connections

Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Residents (business) – sponsored by Everyone Active

Recovery Connections delivers residential and community support for people on a recovery journey out of addiction. Rated Outstanding by CQC, Recovery Connections are proud to support individuals and families achieve their potential and contribute to the local community.

Education should be accessible and achievable to all, and through the support provided by Abigail Henderson, college and university is a reality for those who previously thought it wasn’t. The Recovery on Campus project has successfully supported 6 people to achieve their dreams since September 2018.

Locardia Chidanyika

Helping People to Improve their Educational and Vocational Capability (community) – sponsored by Middlesbrough College

Locardia Chidanyika is an entrepreneur, mentor, life coach and leader. She is the founder and director of women’s organisation called ‘Women Today’ and the assistant director of 'Virtuous Women' at Victory Christian Ministries International. She invigorates women everywhere by speaking life, promoting wellness, and encouraging wholeness.

She is also the principal of an organisation that caters for under-privileged girls in Africa called ‘Locardia’s Girls Santuary’, where she provides oversight, guidance, and vision. She also serves as a Deacon in her churches and also seats in the board of leadership.

Locardia is a champion of womankind, a supporter, and an advocate, inspiring women everywhere to do the work to be physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. She also has a Bachelor’s in public health from Teesside University.

Bungalow Partnership

Helping People to Improve their Educational and Vocational Capability (business) – sponsored by Teesside University

The Bungalow Partnership is a local charity offering therapeutic support to children, young people and families across Teesside. They believe that all children and young people deserve to be heard and therefore use a wide range of creative approaches to help children communicate in their own unique way.

They use play, drama, art and music to help children and young people express themselves, gain confidence and heal from their experiences. They also believe that children and young people achieve better outcomes when their parents/carers/families are also supported, so they also offer a range of family-based support and therapies.

They are a little charity with a big heart - working hard to improve the emotional wellbeing of the local community.

Claire Higgins 

Making People Happier (community) – sponsored by Holiday Inn Express

Claire is an amazing 'bundle of energy' who is just so full of life despite its challenges. She knows everyone and everyone knows Claire.

She volunteers two days a week, one at the hospital and the other at the Community Hub at Newport Settlement. She fills her life with activity. She loves babies, teddy bears, Disney, ABBA, action movies, and strawberry daiquiris! She enjoys getting dressed up and going out for dinner and cocktails, and it's not unusual for Claire to turn up with pink hair. She isn't afraid to try new foods or new cocktails.

She has been interviewed by ITV about public health's campaign to get more ladies with learning disabilities to take up the smear tests, and is an advocate for having a healthy lifestyle.

On top of all this she has an astonishing ability to make people happy. Everyone who meets her 'loves her to bits'.

Off the Ground

Making People Happier (business) – sponsored by Ramsdens

Off the Ground is a speciality coffee shop and social enterprise which hosts a range of community activities and is run by Dan, Josh, and Imogen. Off the Ground is a sustainable and environmentally friendly business providing ethically-sourced stock.

They are looking at working on the issue of food poverty and food waste and holding events for people with addiction issues. They also source their baked goods from other local businesses and support the local economy.

From a soup kitchen to networking groups, and recovery workshops to mental health support groups, their range of events is always changing.

They are a great little local business with a social conscience.

Hemlington Angling Club

Making Physical Improvements to our Neighbourhoods (community) – sponsored by Logic Architecture Ltd.

From the vision of three angling enthusiasts to a fishing club that now boasts 86 members, Hemlington Angling Club was formed in November 2018 and has quickly established itself within the community.

As well as the enjoyment of fishing, Hemlington Angling Club is responsible for the management and upkeep of Hemlington Lake, and on a monthly basis the organisation carries out a clean-up operation of the lake and surrounding areas. The organisation also works alongside other voluntary litter picking groups with an enthusiasm to tidy up the wider area.

The Club also have ambitions to increase its membership and are working alongside Middlesbrough Council’s Linx organisation to encourage young people to get into fishing by establishing a junior anglers section of the club.


Making Physical Improvements to our Neighbourhoods (business) – sponsored by Ashall Projects Ltd.

North Ormesby Neighbourhood Development Trust (NONDET) is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity. Their aim is to improve the quality of life in the community through housing, childcare, and personal and social development. They encourage local residents to become involved in the running of the organisation and to set the policies which direct the work of the organisation projects.

Their projects consist of a community land trust housing project, Pavilion Playgroup, community shop, The Market, Info Point and a community broadband scheme.

NONDET has been working in partnership with Big Local, Middlesbrough Council, Thirteen, Mental Health Matters, and other statutory and local organisations to benefit the inhabitants of North Ormesby, to relieve poverty, advance education, and provide or assist in the provision of facilities for recreation or leisure time occupation, with the object of improving the conditions of life for local residents.

Maggie Lan

Citizen of the Year Award – sponsored by M&S

Maggie Lan set up a charity named Possibilities Made BeLievable whose aim is to make a difference to the lives of people within the community. Maggie is aware there is a growing need within the community and they aim to make a difference to people’s lives as much as they can.

They work in the community, with the community, by gathering food, children’s clothing, footwear, prams, pushchairs, highchairs, cots, bedding, towels, etc. and deliver them to families that need them. In 2018 Maggie and the other volunteers saw over 70 deliveries to families. This included 18 deliveries of five days of food to families at Christmas. Ball gowns and suits for three young people to enable them to attend their prom were also donated. This year Maggie has nine suits and 29 ball gowns to donate to young people.

Maggie and Possibilities Made BeLievable are continually evolving to the need within the community; as the need grows, they grow.


The Civic Community Awards are kindly supported by: