LOOKING back to the week that was June 10 to 16, 15 years ago...

A NINE-YEAR-OLD girl who overcame bullying with the help of a martial art was chosen to go on a professional training camp in the Far East, in June 2009.

Charlotte Murray was set to travel to Thailand, with members of her martial arts academy in Darlington, to train and learn about the culture and history of Thai boxing.

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Charlotte, then a pupil of Springfield School at Darlington's Education Village, had to move schools because of bullying.

She joined the Darlington Boxing and Martial Arts Academy, run by Paul Hamilton, in an effort increase her self-confidence.

She became so good at the sport that she was heading to the island of Koh Samui, to take part in the training camp. She was the youngest member of the 39-strong party of youngsters and adults from Darlington.

An animal lover who had taken in strays for more than 40 years said receiving an honour was an unexpected surprise, in June 2009.

Veronica Broderick, 76, was nominated for an MBE for her services to rescuing abused animals.

For more than four decades, she nursed hundreds of abandoned pets back to health in her own home despite receiving no funding for her work.

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Mrs Broderick, from Middlesbrough, said she had loved animals since she was a child.

"I prefer them to people - they don't let you down, " she said.

For many years, she has helped care for the array of breeds, especially the birds, at Middlesbrough's Stewart's Park.

"I am thrilled to be receiving the honour. I have no idea who nominated me, so it is completely unexpected, but has made me very happy, " she added.

A church was set to undergo a £780,000 facelift which the congregation hoped will put it at the heart of its community.

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Middleton-in-Teesdale Methodist Church – a former Wesleyan Chapel built in 1870 – was in dire need of repairs in 2009.

"Raising the money to pay for this remedial work won't really address our objectives for being at the heart of the community, " said minister of the church Keith Pearce.

"We want to take the bull by the horns and reconfigure the premises to allow us to be flexible in our mission and outreach work."