BADMINTON England has just announced Roger Cook from Stockton as their Volunteer of the Year.

Mr Cook has served as treasurer, secretary, administrator, coach, welfare officer, community advisor and driver for badminton clubs across Teesside for many years.

David Knights, chairman of Teesside Badminton Performance Centre said: “We do not know of anyone who is more passionate and has put more into the game than Roger.”

FREE PARKING: Middlesbrough’s experiment in allowing free parking for two hours is due to begin tomorrow, Monday, February 18. Mayor Ray Mallon announced the plan, which could cost the council £300,000, earlier this month. The idea is to encourage more shoppers in to the town.

VOLUNTEERS PRAISED: Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner has praised the work of a group set up to support asylum seekers and refugees in Hartlepool. Barry Coppinger spoke out after visiting the Asylum Seekers and Refugees Group which holds drop-in sessions every Monday from 11.30am-2pm in St Joseph’s Church Hall in Hutton Avenue.

COMMUNITY TEENAGERS: Teenagers in Billingham have been urged to take part in a new project designed to improve their community. An open evening will held on Tuesday, February 26 for 11 to 18-year-olds. More information is available by contacting, Lauren Seaman on 01642 551171, email