Sisters Sara and Helen Johnson picked up first prize at the North-East Shell Livewire Young Entrepreneurs of the Year 2006 awards.

The pair will automatically be entered in the national final, with a chance of winning £10,000. The young women run an innovative crafts company, Crafter's Companion, at Coundon, Bishop Auckland. For information, visit

SAFETY AWARD: Nearly 30 organisations across the North-East have been acknowledged for their workplace safety records in the annual RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards. Winners include GlaxoSmithKline, Heerema, Amec, Mech Tool Engineering, 3M UK and Allied Bakeries.

TEACHER ACCOLADE: Lynda Dixon, of Fyndoune Community College, in Sacriston, County Durham, has reached the regional final of the Teacher of the Year Award for Enterprise. She has inspired students to get involved in two major enterprise projects - the waterworks project and the future business magnates project, as featured in The Northern Echo.

DOUBLE WIN: Beaverbrooks the Jewellers has been named the best retailer to work for in the UK. Shireen Swinney, pictured left, manager of the Eldon Square branch of Beaverbrooks, in Newcastle, also took home the trophy for manager of the year for the North-East.

THIRD AWARD: Chartered accountants Horwath Clark Whitehill (HCW), which has an office in Hartlepool, has won the Pension Scheme Accountants of the Year award for the third time. The firm won the accolade at the annual UK Pensions Awards, beating competition from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst and Young, Deloitte and Baker Tilly.

OUTSOURCING AWARD: Newcastle Savings Management Limited (NSML) has won a Financial Services Technology (FST) award. NSML, which is a subsidiary of Newcastle Building Society, won the FST award for the best outsourcing partnership of the year. It beat competition from Lloyds TSB and Citigroup to secure the award, which recognises excellence and innovation in the field of information technology in the UK financial sector.

APPRENTICE SCHEME: A North-East caravan and motorhome manufacturer has been recognised for helpign youngsters into work. The Explorer Group, based in Consett, has won acclaim from its local authority through supporting the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund (NRF), after employing and training three young apprentices. Explorer employs the apprentices, aged between 16 and 20, as trainee electricians, joiners and gas and maintenance fitters.

DISABILITY AWARD: Customer management group NewLogic has been recognised for its commitment to employing people with disabilities. The company, which is based at the Boldon Business Park, South Tyneside, and has offices in Washington, Wearside, has been awarded the Disability Symbol - signalling to prospective employees that the company is a considerate employer and positive about disabled people.

CAMPAIGN SILVER: The Creative Services Team at 96.6TFM has taken a Silver Award at the Fresh National Grand Prix Final for their campaign for a local window company. It follows their Gold Award for Best Radio Campaign at the Nepa Fresh Creative Awards. The Fresh awards celebrate the best creative talent in the regions, including radio, TV, newspaper and outdoor advertising.