Congratulations to all of our 2021 High Sheriff winners – and thanks to all who joined County Durham Community Foundation on Facebook to celebrate. We are currently compiling all of the videos and entertainment from the evening into one single video, which we will share with you soon.

Thank you also to our wonderful sponsors and supporters: Sir James Knott Trust, Durham Constabulary, the Durham Office of the Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, UK Steel Enterprise and Durham Shopping Extravaganza. Without their kind support, it would not be possible to award £16,000 in prize money to these wonderful youth groups.

If your business would like to sponsor next year’s awards, please get in touch with our friendly team.

With thanks to The Northern Echo for covering the awards, and TIN Arts and Voices of Darlington for two wonderful performances.

Roll call of winners

Brandon Carrside Youth and Community Project – £2,500.

Durham Christian Partnership – £1,500: Based in Stanley, the group provides a one-to-one mentoring programme for 11-16-year-olds who are at risk of exclusion and offending.

Synthonia Scout Group – £1,500:  The pandemic inspired the troop to get creative, with leaders organising weekly sessions online, culminating with a virtual Christmas sleepover, with activities for every age group.

Durham Area Youth – £1,500: Worried about young people without access to digital devices and online services, the group made hundreds of activity packs to help young people occupy their minds during the lockdown.4

Dawdon Youth and Community Centre – £1,000: The project became a lifeline for children and young people in Seaham. Activities included youth sessions, and a pen pal befriending scheme for elderly people shielding from the virus.

Sacriston Youth Project – £1,000:  The project founded ‘Food For Thought’ in response to the pandemic, supporting the village with care packs, prescription collections, information, and hot food delivery.

Jack Drum Arts – £1,000: The group demonstrated the power of young people by staging 145 ‘doorstep’ musical performances over the past year, entertaining care home residents, isolated people, vulnerable families, and day centres for adults with special educational needs. More than 800 craft activity packs were also delivered, collections for food banks were organised, and hand-made Christmas cards produced for vulnerable residents in care homes.

Oxhill Youth Club – £1,000: The club made a major contribution to deterring anti-social behaviour by running games and chats online. In December, the young people and their families sang Christmas songs outside two care homes in Stanley.

Teesdale Community Resources – £1,000:  Young volunteers cooked and delivered meals and care packages to vulnerable residents. At Christmas, thanks to their efforts, 3,000 people donated food, and the young people dressed as elves for doorstep visits.

Pelton Community Association – £1,000: Through the summer holidays, this project fed 50 families and children under financial pressure but not eligible for free school meals. At Christmas, 118 hampers were delivered.

Daisy Arts – £1,000: Throughout lockdown, the Bishop Auckland arts organisation delivered 1,680 handmade activity packs to families.

Spectrum Roller Skating Club – £500: Despite the lockdown, the club has continued to offer regular opportunities to exercise on and off skates.

Manilla Cycling – £500:  By moving to an online training platform, the Hartlepool club helped young people to socialize while cycling.

Eldon Grove Tennis Club – £500: The Hartlepool club has worked with a number of ‘looked after’ young people who have faced hardship or bullying, as well as young people with disabilities.

Young Girls Project – £500: Run by the Just For Women centre, in Stanley, the project continued to support ‘at risk’ girls facing issues such as abuse, grooming, and bullying.