WATCH: We Can Do It Awards celebrate the people who help make life better

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VOLUNTEERS, teachers and others who have dedicated their time to helping people have been thanked for their commitment.

At The News’ We Can Do It awards last night – which was sponsored by Colas – people gathered in the Portsmouth Guildhall to receive their awards.

The News We Can Do It award winners 2017 pictured at the awards ceremony in the Lord Mayor's Parlour at Portsmouth Guildhall Picture:Vernon Nash

The News We Can Do It award winners 2017 pictured at the awards ceremony in the Lord Mayor's Parlour at Portsmouth Guildhall Picture:Vernon Nash

The event, was hosted by the editor of The News. Mark Waldron, saw awards presented by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Ken Ellcome, leader of Portsmouth City Council Cllr Donna Jones, Linzi Stean from Colas and special guest David Williamson, who received an award last year.

Speaking at the awards, Mr Waldron said: ‘The We Can Do It campaign was set up to highlight positive, heart-warming stories of good deeds and kindness.

‘We want to ensure that good news is not overlooked and that the people behind these feelgood stories are recognised throughout the year.

‘Each year the generosity of spirit that people show is heartwarming.

‘It is an honour to shine a spotlight on those who give so much in their communities and expect nothing in return.’

One of the people who received an award last night was Julian Brown.

Mr Brown won the Service With A Smile award for his 35 years of teaching at Horndean Technology College.

According to teachers and students at the college, Mr Brown will ‘go down in history’ as one of the school’s best teachers – and despite retiring, he still pops in as a supply teacher and to referee some of the sports games.

He said: ‘The last 35 years felt like 15 years because it was so enjoyable.

‘A lot has changed in that time – and I have been able to do a lot at the school.

‘There’s a lot of good kids and great staff at that school, which made it a joy to work there.

‘To the students, I would say this – enjoy your time at Horndean Technology College, because it is one of the best, if not, the best, school around.’

The award for Best Street went to Queen Street, Portsmouth, after the Portsea Event Group helped to organise the inaugural Portsea Carnival earlier this year.

Amie Phillips from Portsea Event Group said: ‘We live in a really good community anyway, and we just wanted a day that was ours.

‘It was something that we saw happening when we were younger, and now right across the city, and wanted to help create some precious memories for our children and bring the community together.

‘To win the award felt amazing – we couldn’t quite believe it at first.

‘We always knew we lived in the best street around, but now we actually have an award to back that up, which is simply fantastic.

‘We now have a nativity coming up and already have the carnival booked for next year, which we’re really excited about.’

Full details of each winner will be printed in The News from tomorrow – telling the stories of incredible people throughout the region.