DEDICATED and determined youngsters were recognised at a regional awards ceremony.
Now in their third year, the Posbo (Positive Social Behaviour Order) Awards celebrate the hard work undertaken by young people in their local communities.
Wearsiders were among those picking up awards at the event, which took place at the Centre for Life in Newcastle.
Sunderland-based Autism4Heroes was handed the Best Youth Project Award.
The group gives young people with autism the opportunity to raise public awareness of the condition.
It has raised £10,000 and has developed a live rock show which visits special schools and public events around the region.
Jak Dixon, who co-ordinates the group, said: “Autism4Heroes are incredibly proud to have been recognised as the Best Youth Project at the 2012 Posbos.
“This award underlines the sheer hard work and determination that has gone into creating this totally unique project.
“For young people with autism to be held as equals with their mainstream peers is a huge achievement and will act as a huge motivating factor as we look to take A4H to the next level in 2013.”
Oxclose Junior School, in Washington, walked away with the Intergenerational Award for its Cross Generation Club, which breaks down barriers between generations.
Headteacher Angela Harris said: “The award is testament to the commitment the children show to promoting positive relationships with the elderly residents of Oxclose.
“We look forward to continuing to build on the last three years and further strengthen the positive relationships we have with Gentoo and Brancepth Hall in Oxclose, Washington.”
The awards are hosted annually by Truth About Youth, The Co-operative Foundation’s three-year project in the North East, run in partnership with the Regional Youth Work Unit – North East.
They were organised by a team of seven young people who volunteered their time in the run-up to the event, which attracted more than 150 guests.
Michael Fairclough, head of Community and Campaigns at The Co-operative Group, said: “Truth About Youth is about helping young people deal with the challenges of growing up in a culture that has widespread negative perceptions of youth.
“We hope that by working with the Regional Youth Work Unit and supporting projects which enable young people to work with adults, the media and the wider community, we will be able to make a real difference.”
Laura Iveson, young co-ordinator of Truth About Youth, added: “The Posbos are an opportunity to celebrate all the great work that young people are doing out there in their communities.
“We had such a fantastic response this year, doubling the number of nominations received in 2011 – proof that lots of young people are making a real difference across our region.”