The sparkling dust has settled on another incredible North East Autism Society Star Awards – and what a night it was!

The corporate-sponsored event was its usual blend of fun, recognition and celebration with a few surprises thrown in to the gold-themed evening.

Compered by former editor of the Northern Echo and NEAS ambassador, Peter Barron, the gold-themed night saw hundreds of NEAS staff celebrate the achievements of Education, Care and Support services as well as individuals who exemplified Society values.

Attendees enjoyed some sweet treats, live music, a photo booth, a chance to walk the red carpet, a hot meal and many more special moments throughout the night.

There was also had surprise messages from Anne Hegarty from the Chase, Casualty and Emmerdale’s Chelsea Halfpenny and Andrea McLean from Loose Women.

A particular highlight was finding out Sharon Robinson, from Belford children's residential home, took the most prestigious award of the night, the Martin Morey Lifetime Achievement Award, named in memory of our former Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Sharon emotionally accepted the prize and was surprised with a well done video from her colleagues and people she has supported over the years. 

Margaret Morey and Alice, Martin's wife and daughter, presented Sharon with the award. Margaret said: 

It was a magical evening. It was wonderful to see the enthusiasm of everyone who works for NEAS. There was a marvellous mix of fun and seriousness.

 My children and I are very honoured that the award was made in memory of Martin. As Alice said in her impromptu speech, he would have been thrilled to see the way the society has grown, because of the dedication of all the staff and the innovative way John Phillipson has developed the provision, so that NEAS has stayed afloat in very challenging times, and has managed to reach and help so many more families.

The debt that I and my family owe the society is huge. 

2019 Star Awards winners:
Unsung Hero: joint winners - Vincent Ash, IT Manager, Central Services and Robyn Beecroft, Team Leader, North of Tyne Family Support
Inspirational Leader: Lee Miller, Cedar House, Registered Manager
Chairman’s Award – Going the Extra Mile: joint winners - Jessica Greer, PA to the CEO, Central Services and Michael Ross, Registered Manager, Inverthorne / Moorpine/ The Court
Newcomer / Rising Star: Andrew Hunt, Quality Analyst, Central Services
Making a Difference Award: Paul Davis, Care Support Assistant, Meldan
Team of the Year: joint winners - Aycliffe School and Central Services
The People’s Choice Award: Anthony Richardson, Residential Child Carer, Braemar
Martin Morey Lifetime Achievement Award: Sharon Robinson, Registered Manager, Belford

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Special thanks to our event sponsors; Activa and Stadium of Light, the judges who took on the difficult task of selecting this years winners, our trustees, corporate sponsors, Margaret Morey, and guests, and to those who continue to support our amazing North East Autism Society Star Awards.