Hard work rewarded

Healthworks Awards Emma Richardson 11 (left) and Emily Harriman 13.
Healthworks Awards Emma Richardson 11 (left) and Emily Harriman 13.
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THE deadline has closed and entries are being counted as an award scheme enters its final stages.

The Healthworks Recognition Awards are being held for the first time, with its bosses looking to reward those who have made the Easington Colliery centre a success.

People who have devoted their time to running courses and activities and those who have turned their lives around, thanks to the centre, will be among those honoured in 12 categories.

Scores of young people have offered their own time to help others.

Among the volunteers is Ashleigh Moncur, 23, from Seaham, who helps run events and promotions and began working with the Paradise Lane complex while studying for a degree in public health.

She said: “Volunteering with Healthworks was great. I gained a lot of experience and the training really helped build up my confidence and was something I probably wouldn’t have got anywhere else.

“I think I’m more sociable now as well after working with the other volunteers and meeting so many new people. You get to know the regulars and everyone is so friendly. It’s a really nice working environment.”

Of the 11 volunteers who worked at the centre last year, six have gone on to full-time employment.

Among those to discover a past-time he loves thanks to the centre is Daniel Armstrong, 15, pictured, who has taken up guitar with the help of tutor David Robbins.

He has gone on to try out its German classes and signed up to its gym.

Friends Emily Harriman, 13, from the village, and Emma Richardson, 11, from Haswell Plough, have joined the Fit Kids Club, which meets twice a week.

They also use a gym dedicated to young people with Healthworks, which is run by County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation in partnership with Northumbrian Water and Durham County Council.

All the young people have been singled out by leaders at the centre as people who have made a difference as it encouraged entrants to the awards.

Organisers are now compiling the finished forms ahead of the judging session.

The awards will be held at the Glebe Centre on January 17.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham