The first ever Mayor of Neath Port Talbot Citizen Awards have taken place in the elegant surroundings of The Orangery at Port Talbot’s Margam Country Park.

The awards were an opportunity to recognise the unsung heroes from across Neath Port Talbot who make a real difference to our communities.

The event was held in association with Swansea Bay Radio and supported by Trade Centre Wales and sponsors including Ministry of Furniture, Port Talbot Council for Voluntary Services, FPS Wales, NPTC Group of Colleges, Aspire 2B, The Gwyn Hall, Neath, Direct Nursing Services, Unison (Neath Port Talbot) and Pump Supplies Ltd.

The glitzy ceremony on Wednesday evening, which included a video message from Hollywood star Michael Sheen, heard a host of inspiring stories with the judges having gone through a tough time during the shortlisting process with more than 150 nominations received across all categories.

Winners announced by hosts including singing star Connie Fisher and rugby expert Sean Holley included Child of Courage Adele Taylor, the brave young carer whose selfless behaviour prompted her mother Victoria to write a book based on her daughter’s remarkable life.

Others included Port Talbot’s quirky fund raising “super hero” Captain Beany who picked up the Contribution to Charity Award, anti-litter champion Janice Jenkins of Baglan who got the Commitment to the Environment Award and Sports Star of the Year Bethany Moule, the teenage javelin throwing sensation who was the youngest Welsh athlete to compete in the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas.

The Mayor Neath Port Talbot, Councillor Dennis Keogh, said: “During my year in office I’ve met some exceptional people in our county borough, both young and old, from all walks of life – people who give selflessly and go to extraordinary lengths to improve the lives of others; often to their own detriment and without seeking reward.

“The number and calibre of nominations we received are testament to the community pride and citizenship that very much prevails in our county borough.”

During the evening, talented youth choir Crescendo gave an outstanding performance of Calon Lan and Gruffydd Wyn - who wowed the judges as a finalist on Britain’s Got Talent last year - impressed with his classic cross-over vocals.

Our local hero winners were:

Commitment to the Environment Award with Ministry of Furniture:

Janice Jenkins

Contribution to Charity Award with Trade Centre Wales:

Captain Beany

Volunteer of the Year with Neath Port Talbot Council for Voluntary Services:

Leonard Preece

Good Neighbour Award with FPS Wales – Hydraulic Pneumatic Specialists:

Emma Knight

Community Champion with NPTC Group of Colleges:

Leonard Lawrence

Child of Courage Award with Aspire 2B – The Learning Technology Company:

Adèle Taylor

Performing Arts Award with The Gwyn Hall, Neath:

Awen Medi Jones

Health & Wellbeing Award with Direct Nursing Services:

Selena Booth

Neath Port Talbot Council Staff Award with Unison Neath Port Talbot Branch:

Derek Jones

Sport Star of the Year with Pump Supplies Ltd:

Bethany Moule

The Special Recognition Award:

Malcolm Emerson