Inspirational residents declared Borough Heroes

Published: 26 April 2024

Image shows Simon White, the Mayor of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, is pictured left, along with winners, from left to right, Vera Bloor, Luisa Mackey, Dr Michael Salt and Declan Mason. Mayoress Tanya Morgan is to the right.
Simon White, the Mayor of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, is pictured left, along with winners, from left to right, Vera Bloor, Luisa Mackey, Dr Michael Salt and Declan Mason. Mayoress Tanya Morgan is to the right.

Inspirational residents who have achieved great things are celebrating after being recognised for their selfless dedication, commitment and excellence.

The four main winners of the Council’s second Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Heroes Awards were unveiled last night at a ceremony held at Castle House.

The annual event – launched last year as part of the borough’s 850th anniversary celebrations – shines the spotlight on unsuspecting residents from Newcastle-under-Lyme whose efforts and contributions make the borough a nicer place to live.

A “sporting hero” category is included for the first time this year alongside community champion, young hero and lifetime achievement.

A doctor instrumental in campaigning against the odours from Walleys Quarry, a shy scout who has blossomed into a confident young leader and someone who has made a huge difference in Audley are among those who emerged victorious while the Lifetime Achievement Award went to a former long-standing police officer who is now serving the scouting community in an exemplary fashion.

Simon Tagg, Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said: “The Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Heroes Awards, a fantastic legacy from the borough’s year-long 850th anniversary celebrations in 2023, is a brilliant way to thank unsung heroes for their outstanding commitment to the borough.

“Once again, we received lots of worthy nominations which is fantastic to see as it shows that there are lots of people making a really positive difference in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Each story was inspiring in its own way, making the judging process really difficult, so everyone who entered should feel very proud of their achievements.

“Special congratulations go to the winners, and the highly commended entries, as they really do go the extra mile for the people around them. The awards ceremony, which was streamed live, was the perfect opportunity to shine the spotlight on their brilliance. Everyone had a wonderful time.”

The winners are:

Community Champion Award – sponsored by TMT First

Dr. Michael Salt, known as “The Doc”, has been a tireless advocate for clean air in Newcastle since 2019. Joining the campaign against the odours from Walleys Quarry, he used his expertise to compile a substantial portfolio of evidence for legal battles. Representing the community in court, he skilfully presented facts to avoid fines or imprisonment. Dr. Salt is still investigating and gathering evidence, keeping information meticulously organised and accessible. Beyond his activism, he volunteers at Apedale Valley Light Railway, showcasing his selfless dedication to community welfare and environmental causes.

Young Hero Award – sponsored by Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG)

Declan Mason’s journey in Scouting is a testament to his remarkable growth and dedication. Starting as a shy newcomer, he has blossomed into a confident, enthusiastic and committed young leader. Declan’s caring nature and dedication shines through as he actively supports the youngest sections, Squirrels and Beavers. His pivotal role in establishing the Squirrels section demonstrates his initiative and leadership. Whether helping adult leaders or interacting with members, Declan’s reliability and positive impact on the Scout Group are undeniable.

Sporting Hero Award – sponsored by Staffordshire University

Luisa Mackey has been the driving force behind Audley Striders since its inception in 2018, serving as chair and spearheading its growth into a thriving community organisation. Under her leadership, the group has expanded to include a walking club and couch to 5K program, alongside organising successful events such as the Audley festive 5K. Luisa’s dedication has not only enhanced the village’s vibrancy but also contributed to building a strong sense of community spirit. Her efforts have raised significant funds for charitable causes, demonstrating her commitment to both fitness and philanthropy.

Lifetime Achievement Award – sponsored by Keele University

Vera Bloor’s illustrious career spans 30 years in the police force, culminating in her role as Chief Inspector. Upon retirement, she transitioned seamlessly into serving as a magistrate and District Commissioner for Newcastle District Scouts, exhibiting unwavering dedication for the past decade. Vera’s leadership has been instrumental in shaping scouting programs, fostering valuable skills, social cohesion and community engagement. She spearheaded the "850 Acts of Kindness" challenge, embodying the scouting ethos of selflessness and community service. Her exemplary service sets a standard for others.