Accolades handed out to Morpeth’s unsung community heroes

From left, Morpeth Town club captain Chris Jewels, Morpeth Mayor Alison Byard, Morpeth Town chairman Ken Beattie and Dave Hunt of  Schweppes Abbey Well. Picture by Bob Robertson.

From left, Morpeth Town club captain Chris Jewels, Morpeth Mayor Alison Byard, Morpeth Town chairman Ken Beattie and Dave Hunt of Schweppes Abbey Well. Picture by Bob Robertson.

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The pride of Morpeth has been rewarded for their hard work and services to the community at an evening ceremony.

Morpeth Town Council presented the Civic Awards during its Annual Assembly last week to recognise people, businesses and community groups who have worked to enhance the area.

Laura Coel with Morpeth Mayor Alison Byard. Picture by Bob Robertson.

Laura Coel with Morpeth Mayor Alison Byard. Picture by Bob Robertson.

Mayor Alison Byard handed out the honours at Morpeth Town Hall.

Prizes were awarded in a range of categories and the special Mayor’s Award for Bravery or Courage was presented to Laura Coel.

She was sexually abused by her former stepfather for long periods of her childhood and she told her story to the Herald in 2012, which also highlighted the work she was doing to support survivors of this abuse – for example by setting up a Break the Silence Facebook page.

In 2014, she met her abuser through the Restorative Justice Council and she said this enabled a weight to be lifted from her shoulders.

Laura spoke about what happened on the BBC Victoria Derbyshire programme.

She said: “I’ve started friendships with quite a few of those who have contacted me for advise after going through something similar and now we support each other.

“I’m really honoured that my work has been recognised with an award from the town council.”

The winner of the Sport Award (sponsored by Schweppes Abbey Well) was Ken Beattie and Morpeth Town FC.

Morpeth Town have enjoyed an excellent season. They finished fourth in Northern League Division One and will play in the final of the FA Vase, a national competition, at Wembley on Sunday.

The other nominees were Morpeth Harriers and the senior men’s team and Daniel Dixon.

See our two other web stories for the other Civic Awards winners.