Young are at the heart of town’s celebration night

Award winners Rhys Jackson and Shane Jackson, pictured with Durham Constabulary's Deputy Chief Constable and Chief Inspector Lee Blakelock at last year's ceremony.
Award winners Rhys Jackson and Shane Jackson, pictured with Durham Constabulary's Deputy Chief Constable and Chief Inspector Lee Blakelock at last year's ceremony.

A town’s top 10 youngsters will be championed at a ceremony this week as police celebrate the good deeds they have done in their own community.

Peterlee’s Young Heroes Awards will be held on Friday as it makes its return following its debut last year.

Led by the town’s Neighbourhood Policing Team, the awards are hosted in partnership with Peterlee Town Council at Shotton Hall.

It aims to recognise under 18s from across the area who have achieved something out of the ordinary or have shown a strength in character to help others and is part of a wider effort to ensure young people are diverted from crime and anti-social behaviour.

The East Durham presentation night was deemed such a success it is now to be rolled out elsewhere in County Durham.

Chief Inspector Lee Blakelock said: “The Young Heroes is us trying to push out the good news about young people and the concept originally came about because we saw on social media a lot of opinions around young people that were very negative.

Shauna Strong with Chief Inspector Lee Blakelock and Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg at the 2018 event.

Shauna Strong with Chief Inspector Lee Blakelock and Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg at the 2018 event.

“But we know there are also lots good kids out there, there are some fantastic things going on, and we came across those during the course of investigations and when we spoke to victims of crimes, so we want to be able to look at those achievements and really publicly make a big show about them.

“We approached the town council and they got on board with it.

“Last year we had 250 people come along and we’ll be doing the same this year.

“It was a really good night, it worked really well, and this time it’ll be even bigger and better.”

It was a really good night, it worked really well, and this time it’ll be even bigger and better.

Chief Inspector Lee Blakelock

In addition to the presentation of awards, this year’s event will feature a march by Durham Constabulary’s cadets, a demonstration by County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service’s cadets, performances by The Academy at Shotton Hall Choir and accolades to be handed out by town mayor Scott Meikle.

Last May’s ceremony saw a young girl given recognition for the care she gives her mother, another’s bravery when faced with a road traffic collision, and the assistance given to a PCSO by two teenage boys who came across an injured elderly man.

Read more: Good deeds lead to awards as town celebrates its young achievers

In addition to members of Durham Constabulary, council members and Easington MP Grahame Morris, the force’s stars of the Channel 5 Police Interceptors show also made an appearance.

Little Mix star Perrie Edwards and Middlesbrough footballer Callum Cooke both sent video messages of support to the evening’s winners.

Durham Constabulary's cadets during their demonstration at last year's event at Shotton Hall.

Durham Constabulary's cadets during their demonstration at last year's event at Shotton Hall.

The Young Heroes night will be hosted at Shotton Hall.

The Young Heroes night will be hosted at Shotton Hall.