Brandon Boxing Club collect their High Sheriff award

At the Durham High Sheriff Awards ’22, some wonderful youth groups took home £1,000 awards.

Durham Association Boys and Girls Clubs 

Durham Association Boys & Girls Clubs reaches 9,000 young people living in disadvantaged city or rural communities and was the only local organisation in 2021 to receive a Queen’s Voluntary Service Award – the equivalent of an MBE for a group.  

Last year the project launched five wellbeing programmes across the region and relaunched a host of physical activities for young people to find their feet again post pandemic.  

The Association remains focused on offering opportunity to young people that they might not otherwise get, so they can lead richer, more skilled lives. After winning £1,000 at the awards, the club plans to use the money to fund further group activities for their young people.  

Cheesy Waffles Youth Project 

Cheesy Waffles supports young people with additional needs and has a long-held reputation for going the extra mile with a wide range of activities and events to embed young people in their communities and build confidence and skills.  

At the start of 2021, many young people who attend the project felt their mental health had suffered because of the isolation caused by three lockdowns. Over the past year the project team have put their heart and soul into reversing this, arranging trips, visits and projects to bring young people together and create happy memories once again. The money awarded to this wonderful group will be invested in offsite learning visits. 

Brandon Boxing Club 

Brandon Boxing Club is about so much more than boxing and is often praised for its family atmosphere. Inclusion is at the heart of everything and children of all abilities and backgrounds work and grow together, learning discipline and fitness skills from dedicated local instructors.  

The club has become a byword for ‘the right path’ and has helped many children keep their lives focused and positive, knowing they have trusted adults to talk to if they are struggling with their mental health.  

Their well-deserved award will help replace kit that has worn out through use. 

Bright Minds Big Futures

Bright Minds Big Futures was founded to make sure Stockton is a great place for young people to grow up, and young people are at the heart of everything they do. In the past year alone the young people supported their peers with positive messages through the pandemic, worked with the Amal project to welcome young people newly arrived from Afghanistan, delivered workshops in local schools about the importance of democracy, worked with Tees Credit Union to offer their peers help with financial education and made the team allotment a great place for young people to gather.  

This incredible group plans to use their award to offer training to their young people around first aid, fundraising and food hygiene. 

1409 (Consett) Squadron Air Training Corps​ 

1409 (Consett) Squadron Air Training Corps is a hub for a remarkable team of young people. Despite the pandemic having an impact on numbers, the squadron is working hard to encourage new faces to join in and learn how to be upstanding citizens.  

Recently, the young people raised an incredible £5,000 for the children’s cancer ward at the RVI Hospital. While the squadron’s flight simulator travelled from Land’s End to John O’ Groats, the cadets and volunteer instructors cycled the same distance on an exercise bike – beating the plane by 20 minutes.  

The award will go towards new computer equipment so that these outstanding young people can have their own STEM project. 

Durham City Youth Project 

Durham City Youth Project formed in 2017 to provide great experiences and opportunities and help local young people thrive. The project’s youth council arranged and fundraised for a ‘reverse’ trick or treat event for children to dress up and collect activities and treats from the community centre; and then sent Christmas cards and small treats to boost spirits for older people living in the community.  

The project has become a real safe space for young people, offering peer support, professional counselling, and a safe space to be for children who might otherwise have nowhere positive to go.  

Read more about the awards