A host of organisations supporting young people were recognised during an awards ceremony.
The event saw them handed a share of a £13,000 pot at the prestigious awards event.
It was the biggest sum ever handed out in the history of the High Sheriff Youth Awards.
Awards were handed out to 12 organisations by this year’s High Sheriff of Durham, Caroline Peacock, who described it as “a fabulous occasion”.
The ceremony took place at Wynyard Hall and was organised by County Durham Community Foundation (CDCF), in partnership with the Sir James Knott Trust.
It had the support of Brewin Dolphin, Durham Constabulary, and the Office of the Police, Crime and Victim’s Commissioner, Ron Hogg.
The event was attended by a host of civic dignitaries, including the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Sue Snowdon, CDCF president Sir Paul Nicholson, High Sheriff for 2018-19 Dr Stephen Cronin, and many local mayors.
Michelle Cooper, chief executive of CDCF, said: “We are lucky to have so many brilliant organisations supporting young people, helping to keep our communities safe, and giving them an opportunity to demonstrate the confidence these awards give them has been fantastic.”
Among the groups to be recognised were:
• Karen Liddle School of Dance – inclusive not-for-profit community-orientated dance and fitness studio based in Hartlepool and running for almost 30 years;
• Exhibit Art t/a Spectrum Cultural Hub – based in East Durham and engaging people from all backgrounds in art and learning opportunities;
• North Eastern Prison After Care Service – a regional charity promoting a positive future for prisoners, offenders, and their relatives by supporting family ties throughout the criminal justice system;
• Durham Fire Station Young Firefighters Association - providing young people with the opportunity to learn the values of the fire and rescue service;
• Durham Association of Boys and Girls Clubs – primarily working with young people from deprived inner cities and rural areas. Produced 52 national sporting champions over the past year.
A host of other orgaisation were also recognised during the ceremony.
Grants of up to £2,500 were up for grabs in the awards, which focused on youth groups that support young people affected by mental health issues, help young offenders to turn their lives around, support young people to be upstanding citizens and deter them from criminal activities.