More than 200 people were nominated for a Star Award at last night’s prestigious awards night.

Compered by TV presenter and journalist Peter Barron, the movie-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 from a limo as they arrived, a hot meal and many more special moments throughout the night.

A particular highlight was finding out Tom Smith, from Adult Residential, took the top prize on the night, the Chairman’ Award. Not one for the limelight Tom and his team accepted the prize together, which also came with a luxury hotel stay, thanks to generosity of sponsors who made the evening possible.

Star Awards 2017

This year we also had a new award – The People’s Choice – added to the list of accolades. A chance for family members, service users and professionals who have worked with NEAS staff to nominate teams or individual staff members who they feel have made a lasting and significant difference to their lives, this award drew in nominations from across the region. Family Development lead Kerrie Highcock took top honours proudly receiving her trophy and luxury prize.

Other winners on the night were Aycliffe School (Commitment to Excellence: Education), Braemar Gardens, and Budleigh Road and Daisy Hill jointly winning Commitment to Excellence; Care. Julie Lowery from Head Office received the Commitment to Excellence: Support Services prize and Lee Miller from Cedar House was recognised as an Exceptional Team Member. Inspirational Volunteer went to Josh Edwards and Verity Graham from Meldan was our Newcomer / Rising Star. Julie Dunlop from children’s services was recognised for Outstanding Leadership and Catherine Campbell from Thornhill Park School was our Unsung Hero. The Working Together award went to the PPS team.

Prize winners were presented with their awards by judges, senior managers, trustees and guests all to a backdrop of iconic movie soundtracks.

There was also a sense of fun running through the evening and it came from the top. Chief Executive John Phillipson is a passionate Newcastle United fan. Chairman Gavin Bestford is equally devoted to Sunderland. During a game of “stand-up bingo”, it was announced – without their knowledge – that John would be photographed in a Sunderland shirt and Gavin in the Magpies’ colours if everyone chucked in a small donation.

We're happy to report that they went ahead with the forfeit, albeit with strained faces and raised £120, which will go towards the capital appeal for the new Adult Short Break lodges.

Chairman, Gavin Best and CEO, John Phillipson