BOLTON’S best and brightest were honoured at a glitzy awards ceremony which saw the town’s unsung heroes under the spotlight.

More than 100 supporters flocked to Mecca Bingo in Bolton town centre to be a part of the 2013 Mecca Bingo Awards Powered by The Best of Bolton on Friday.

There was laughter, tears and uplifting music, courtesy of X Factor finalist Christopher Maloney, who dazzled fans.

Each year, award organisers, including The Bolton News, asks the borough’s residents to nominate contenders in 10 categories, including best teacher, local hero and personal achievement of the year.

Mecca Bingo’s membership manager William Clarke said: “It has been a fabulous night and we are pleased that so many people have joined us to enjoy it.”

The first award, for Bolton’s best place to eat was presented to staff and bosses from the Olympus Fish and Chip Restaurant in Great Moor Street. Owner Tasos Pattichis said: “It is an honour just to be nominated, but to win is fantastic.”

Three friends who started their own charity, Breaking Barriers, were honoured with the Charity of the Year award.

Steph Sherratt, Catia Soeiro and Jacqui Byland launched the organisation a year ago to form a support network for parents with children who have communication difficulties.

Mrs Sherratt, a mum-of-two, has a boy with autism, while Mrs Byland has a disabled child and Mrs Soerio has a daughter with Asperger’s Syndrome. The support group meets at Smithills and Heaton Conservative Club in Chorley Old Road and a children’s play group at Wacky Warehouse in Salford Road, Over Hulton.

Mrs Sherratt said: “To win this award is phenomenal. When we started out, we didn’t realise we would achieve so much in so little time, but this recognition is another example of the contribution we have made to the community of Bolton.”

Voters chose The Capitol, in Churchgate, Bolton, as the town’s Best Place to Drink.

Bar manager Maxine Griffiths said: “We are really proud of the bar and always try to go that extra mile to ensure our customers are well catered for. “We won this award last year too so it’s nice that we’ve been chosen again.” Next, The Holiday Inn was voted Bolton’s Best Place to Work.

The hotel’s human resources manager Linda Mcgahon said: “Our staff work really hard day in, day out and it’s really good to be appreciated with this award.”

The cast and crew at Bolton Little Theatre are used to taking to the stage, but it was an extra specialappearance when they were presented with the Bolton’s Best Night Out award.

The venue’s board chairman Elizabeth Tatman said: “The theatre means so much to so many people.

“We like to think that we offer a good value night out and it is wonderful that people have voted for us for this award.”

The Middlebrook Retail Park was voted as Bolton’s Best Day Out.

Centre manager Robert Hallworth said: “We’re very proud to have won.

“The site opened in 1998 and we are still adding new businesses. What we strive for is a variety of offerings that attract people of all ages.”

Picking up the Best Teacher award was Sherrie Charlton, a private tutor.

Mrs Charlton became a tutor 16 years ago and works with 77 students up to GCSE level based at her office in Higher Bridge Street, Bolton.

She said: “My students and their parents say they like my teaching methods because I care about their studies.

“I like that I can work with small groups and get to know each student’s needs and abilities.”

Christopher Maloney said: “It’s been great to be in Bolton and the audience were a right laugh.”