Gemma Hirst

Journalism student set on path to success

An aspiring reporter is on the path to success after completing a unique partnership scheme aimed at giving journalism students a better taste of the industry. Gemma Hirst, 20, is the first student to complete Johnston Press North East’s summer placement programme as part of a link-up between the company and the University of Sunderland. Gemma worked alongside reporters to produce stories, videos and live coverage for the Sunderland Echo and sister titles the Hartlepool Mail and the Shields Ga

Fears for a weekend washout after wealth of warm weather

If you haven’t made the most of the warmer weather this week, you could be in for a disappointing weekend. Today was set to be the hottest day of the month, with temperatures reaching a maximum of 25 degrees around the North East. Tonight is forecast stay mostly dry with a few thick clouds with light rain in the early hours of Saturday morning. Saturday as a whole is predicted to be less clement than the rest of the week, starting with cloudy skies, turning to rain which will become heavier l

Metro passenger numbers fastest growing outside London

The Metro system has the fastest growing passenger numbers outside of London, new figures have revealed. A report by the Department for Transport has shown that the Metro has seen better passenger growth than any other similar transport systems in the UK. The Tyne & Wear light rail systems figures were bettered only by the Docklands Light Railway in London. Raymond Johnstone, director of rail and infrastructure for Nexus, said: “The Metro system is vital for getting people to places of employ

Sunderland sweethearts celebrate 70 years of wedded bliss

Teenage sweethearts who fell in love during the turmoil of the Second World War have reached an amazing 70 years of married bliss. Harry and Eleanor Heskett, who are both 93 years old, met when they were both 17, through Eleanor’s brother Bob Parker. Harry and Bob were apprentices at James Laing Shipbuilders in the city. Harry lived in Charles Street, Monkwearmouth, he was invited to Bob’s house in Perth Road, Plains Farm, one afternoon where he saw Eleanor for the first time. After Eleanor’

Warmer weather for North East – but don’t put away the waterproofs

After the spells of rain we had over the weekend. Mother nature is going to be nice to the North East this week, with warmer weather set to kick in. It may be time to rock those crocs and bring out those Bermuda shorts that have been hiding away in the cupboard. Starting from today, we will see bright sunny spells. Feeling warmer towards the coast,the weather will be better than last weekend. Tonight will be a little cooler with a few thick clouds over the sky in the evening. Though we may

Mixed reaction online to new £13million Hebburn Central

Leisure centre users have had their say on a new £13million complex. The new Hebburn Central community and leisure hub has been met with mixed reactions after it launched earlier this month. Labelled an “absolute shambles” by resident Adam Naylor, who started a petition for the design of the hub to be changed, the centre was this week defended by Mayor if South Tyneside Richard Porthouse. Now readers have had their say on the Shields Gazette Facebook page. Andrea Beckett said: “Walked in, wa

Hartlepool groups offered chance to apply for technology grants

Community and voluntary organisations are being reminded they have the chance to apply for a technology grant. Hartlepool Borough Council and Northgate Public Services (NPS) are working together for a seven-year contract to serve the community. This has resulted in NPS creating its Regional Business Centre in the former Bryan Hanson House building, securing 235 jobs in the town. The Northgate Community Fund provides a £40,000 pot each year to enhance IT skills. The £30,000 grant, from the No

Hartlepool Asda manager picks up warehouse award

A woman from Hartlepool has won the national warehousing category in the FTA everywoman in Transport & Logistics Awards. Joanne Harrison, who is a warehouse shift manager at Asda has been working for the supermarket chain for 20 years. Started on the delicatessen counter and studying at the same time, after her degree she went to work in Asda’s head office in Leeds as a store analyst. Working her way up in the retail ladder, Joanne was promoted to a store manager. Deciding this wasn’t for her

Hartlepool pupils get first-hand experience of engineering industry

Hartlepool school girls got a hands on experience in the engineering industry. Year 9 and 10 pupils from Dyke House Sports & Technology Academy, English Martyrs RC School, St Hilds Church of England VA Secondary School, Manor College of Technology and High Tunstall College of Science got first-hand experience of engineering during a special event. The NETA training programme, which offers hands on training for the modern industry, staged the event to encourage girls to show an interest in gett

WATCH: Sunderland as you’ve never seen it before, as seen by one man and his drone

Sorry, we're having problems with our video player at the moment, but are working to fix it as soon as we can Glenn Greenhalgh, from Sunderland, has always had a interest in photography. Wanting to take it up as a hobby, he decided to buy a Quadcopter and take to the skies to create picturesque images of the North East. He said: “I took the photo of Sunderland on the footbridge behind B&Q and, using my remote control, I was able to fly the drone over the centre to take the image.” Practicing

Cancer survivor hits the road to help charity which helped him run again

A cancer survivor is hitting the road for the charity that gave him the ability to run again. Aaron Henderson, 25, of John Williamson Street, South Shields, was left unable to walk because of a tumour in his spine. Three years after learning to walk again, he is limbering up to do the 13.1-mile Great North Run. Web developer Aaron is running in the half-marathon race from Newcastle to South Shields in September for CLIC Sargent, the charity that supported him and his family through his illnes

Nine places to take your dad on Father’s Day

Stuck for ideas? Here’s nine places you can treat your dad on Sunday: A chance to view the North East from atop one of its most iconic landmarks. Tours start from 10am-5pm, Tickets cost £5 and are free for National Trust members. Perfect for all those football-mad dads. Have a three course meal in the Montgomery Suite or Riverview Brasserie. £18.95 per person. Call 0871 911 1555 to book. If your dad’s of the other persuasion, Newcastle is also offering two or three-course Father’s Day lunches

Terry Deary limbers up to his 19th Great North Run

Author Terry Deary will celebrate what he plans to be his penultimate Great North Run by helping out a respite centre on Wearside. The famous face will once again be raising money for Grace House charity, which is set to provide respite care for children and young people with complex medical conditions in Southwick, Sunderland. A number of places to run the world’s biggest half marathon for Grace House are still available, with the deadline for entries next week. Terry, who is famous for penn

Sunderland World Cup star torn between missing kids – and not wanting to come home

Sunderland World Cup star Jill Scott has revealed she’s missing her sons – but also isn’t in a rush to come home. The Lionness, 28, who plays for Manchester City women’s team, played a pivotal role in England’s 2-1 victory over Norway this week. The team are now gearing up for their first World Cup quarter final against the hosts Canada in Vancouver on Saturday. Tweeting a picture of her children from her @JillScott12 account, she said: “Feels like I haven’t seen the boys for ages. Planning o