On Monday 19th June 2023, Bishop Auckland Town Council hosted their ‘Youth Awards’ where they had the pleasure of issuing 26 awards to deserving young people as their achievements, selfless determination and dedication were celebrated.
The award winners were met on the red carpet at the iconic Bishop Auckland Town Hall by Mayor Sam Zair and the Town Clerk, Sarah Harris. The event commenced with a fabulous ‘afternoon tea’ where winners were joined by the local dignitaries and business representatives who kindly sponsored some of the awards.
Mayor Sam Zair said: “Often young people get a bad rap, however I know that there is some fantastic young people in Bishop Auckland and it testament to this that we were able to celebrate some of them on Monday. It was a wonderful evening filled with both heart-breaking and heart-warming stories of these exceptional young people. Common themes amongst the nominations were about how selfless, brave, determined and inspirational these young people are. Therefore we are very grateful and give thanks to those who took the time to complete the nomination forms, as we know that youth workers, teachers, sports clubs etc are facing pressures like never before and to those from the business community who kindly sponsored some of the categories, as they have helped make the evening even more special.”
The compare for the evening was Channy Thompson, a TikTok influencer, singer/ songwriter, ambassador for NR Youth and Girl Guiding, from Newcastle Upon Tyne who introduced the awards and closed the event with a couple of songs.
Maxine Jordan, Youth Worker at Auckland Youth and Community Centre said: “It was a wonderful evening where young people from Bishop Auckland were given recognition for their accomplishments, as many of them don’t realise how special some of the things that the do are. This celebration showcases our young people in a positive way, and it has helped them to recognise not only their own achievements but those of others. They are able to take inspiration from the evening so that they can continue to grow and strive for great things all whilst flying the flag for Bishop Auckland.”
A range of achievements from acts of bravery, to those who have overcome personal challenges in face of adversity, to those who provide inspiration to others, to dedicated young carers, to environment campaigners and many more were all honoured. Each winner received a certificate, trophy and gift voucher.
Chris King, father of Macinlay King, one of the winners of the Young Carer Award said: “Tonight the young people have been treat like royalty and their needs were the foundation of the whole evening. There were lots of tears and moments of true pride. It was definitely evening our son and others will treasure and remember for a long time. Thank you to everyone involved.”
A special Thank You to each of the Award Sponsors:
- The Gaming Hideaway
- The Auckland Project
- Smith Roddam Solicitors
- Hidden Story
- Teescraft Engineering
- BTL Timber Toronto
- Wilsons Veterinary Group
- Durham Constabulary
Young Volunteer – This award recognises two young people who have taken pride in volunteering, have demonstrated accountability to making a difference to people within the community.
Overcoming Personal Difficulties – This award recognises two young people who have overcome or striving to overcome a life altering situation whether this be personal or a direct impact on the young person due to a family circumstance.
Young Carer – This award recognises two young people who have showed selfless dedication, achievements and on a regular basis contributed to looking after a family member or friend who has a physical or mental health condition.
Young Person Act of Bravery – two awards were issued to a duo and an individual. The remit for this award is to recognise young people who have shown great strength and bravery to overcome a barrier or situation in their life. This could be by speaking out against others, standing up for themselves or a peer or something similar.
Inspirational Young Person Award – Two awards were issued. The award recognises someone who has been involved in social education and peer support for others. The have helped inspire others to grow and develop in a new skill. They have helped make a difference to another individual or groups lives.
Inspirational Peer Supporter – One award was issued. Similar to the last category we have the inspirational peer award, which recognises someone who has been involved peer support for others, despite facing challenge themselves.
Young Achiever – Two awards were issued. This award is recognising young people with outstanding self-belief in all aspects of their life. People who have overcome social barriers to go on and excel in their life whether it be social, academic or personal. They have a positive outlook and inspire others.
Green Award – One award was issued. This award recognises someone who has gone above and beyond to try and promote or demonstrate the requirements for greener living.
Positive Attitude – Two awards were issued. This category is to recognised two young people who remain positive and strong despite what is happening in their own lives.
Nic Cooper Award – Nic was a worthy winner of the Inspirational Young Person Award back in 2019. Nick fought hard to battle his illness but he sadly passed a short time later. Therefore the Town Council have named an award in his memory.
Team of the Year – Two teams were recognised. This award recognises a group of young people who have come together and made a difference, be in in sport, through social action, through art or culture projects, etc.
Making a Difference – Although these next two groups didn’t win team of the year they did inspire the judges and therefore are being recognised for making a difference.
Special Contribution to Volunteering – Whilst not winners in their category they were originally nominated in, the Town Council wanted to recognise 3 young people who have made a significant contribution to volunteering.
Special Achievement Awards – These were the final award of the evening, and it is a special achievement award, as when the Town Council reviewed the nominations, the council felt that the two young people needed special recognitions for what they achieve.