Flush with success

A toilet attendant who brightens up everyone’s day was the winner of the Community Champion Award.

Michelle Stewart, 47, from Pegswood, works in the busy bus station toilets in Morpeth. She works seven days a week and is held in high esteem by all who visit.

Pride of Northumberland awards night at Linden Hall, Morpeth-Community Champion award.'REF 1209137808

Pride of Northumberland awards night at Linden Hall, Morpeth-Community Champion award.'REF 1209137808

Her comments book is a testament to her hard work and dedication in keeping the toilets spotless.

She has featured on BBC Look North and has won numerous national awards for the cleanest and best-kept toilets in the country.

At the end of the year, any tip money she receives goes in to decorating the toilets as well providing customers with a welcome Christmas drink and sweets for the children.

Michelle recently shaved her head for charity and raised £1,000 through customers alone. In her nomination, she was described as ‘a kind-hearted individual who would do anything for anyone.’

On receiving her award Michelle said: “I can’t believe I have won this. My knees are shaking and my heart is racing. It is just absolutely unreal.

“I just love my job and now I have an award for doing what I love. I’ll be putting it up in the toilets so everyone can see it.”

Also shortlisted were Jolene Byers, from Astley, who runs two football clubs, Astley and Ponteland Juniors, as well as being a full-time teacher; Alan Stothart, 56, of Widdrington, was put forward for his volunteering work with Guide Dogs for the Blind and travels hundreds of miles to take dogs to specialist vets and says that ‘the dog’s health comes first’, andJackie Long, 49, of Blyth, who was nominated for her work at Silx Teen Bar in the town. She has worked there for 16 years, leading a team of youth workers and has supported thousands of marginalised and disadvantaged young people and parents.