Two community champions from Teesside were among those from across the country invited to a reception at 10 Downing Street last week.

Stockton South Conservative MP Matt Vickers nominated Deborah Gale and Cheryl Scollay, to attend the event.

Deborah led a campaign for new public defibrillators in Ingleby Barwick, after the use of the only community access public defibrillator (CAPD) in the area saved a life.

Along with a group of residents, Deborah continues to push for a CAPD available to all households within 500m in Ingleby Barwick.

Cheryl is the chair of Yarm Wellness Centre, which gives charities a safe space to deliver their support.

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Motivated by the isolation witnessed during the Covid-19 pandemic, she has worked alongside charities and businesses to establish the support point without the use of public funding. The centres hosts events such as breakfasts for veterans, and afternoon teas with dementia support.

Mr Vickers said: “I am honoured to have welcomed Deborah and Cheryl to Westminster for the day.

“Yarm Wellness Hub is so valued in bringing the community together and supporting our veterans. The defibs in Ingleby Barwick are already saving lives, having been dispatched 51 times. I knew they both deserved a nomination.

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“The energy Cheryl and Deborah have put into their projects is truly inspiring. It is the work of them and other volunteers that is helping to change the narrative surrounding accessibility to wellness support in Stockton South.

“It is crucial that we acknowledge and celebrate those giving so much of their own time, energy and resource into making our communities safer places to live, work and thrive.

“I hope they enjoyed their time in Parliament and of course meeting Rishi, the Prime Minister. A day to remember.”

The community champions programme was created to celebrate community members who volunteer to promote health and wellbeing or improve conditions in their local community.