UNSUNG heroes have been given the recognition they deserve at a special awards ceremony.

One of most moving moments at the Stockton Borough Council’s award ceremony at Billingham Forum was when a popular couple who foster children was given an award.

Martin and Ellen Wright, both in their 50s, have fostered 13 children since 2002 as well as having three children of their own.

Their son-in-law, John Wright, said of the Billingham couple: “We were all so pleased for them. It’s thoroughly deserved. We made a giant cake with an ‘edible photograph’ on with all the children they have helped. They’ve looked after children with disabilities and learning difficulties. They’re really special people.”

Other winners at last Wednesday’s ceremony were:

• David Kitchen, Chairman of Teesside Environmental Trust, won the Green Award for his work to develop RSPB Saltholme into an exceptional nature reserve.

• Seven year old Grace Franklin from Billingham scooped the Young Person’s Award for her fundraising efforts.

• Kubra Aziz won the Service to the Community Award - Individual. For more than 35 years Kubra has been an enthusiastic volunteer in the community and was one of the founding members of Stockton’s Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) Network • Kathleen Morgan and Ronald Nichols also won the Service to the Community Award – Individual, for their volunteer work at Stockton Council’s Mental Health Day Service.

• Special Needs Activities with Parents Support (SNAPS) secured the Service to the Community – Organisations Award.

• Service to the Community – Business Award went to Mike Matthews of NIFCO. Mr Matthews has turned NIFCO into a highly successful, profitable, UK division of a Japanese owned global company which employs 450 local people.