Sunderland youth workers honoured at Stadium of Light awards

North East Youth Work Awards 2013.'Alfie Simpson, Sea Cadets District Officer South Tyne.
North East Youth Work Awards 2013.'Alfie Simpson, Sea Cadets District Officer South Tyne.
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DEDICATED youth workers were honoured at an awards ceremony.

People devoted to helping youngsters gathered at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light to receive the accolades for their hard work at the North East Youth Work Awards.

The awards, now in their second year, are hosted by Gateshead-based charity the Regional Youth Work Unit – North East.

A total of 12 awards were handed out to individuals, projects and youth services in the North East who work with young people between the ages of 11 and 25.

Among the winners was 63-year-old Alfie Simpson, who heads Tyne South Sea Cadets, which includes bases in Chester-le-Street and Seaham.

He received a lifetime achievement award after judges heard how he joined the Sea Cadets in 1961 and became a volunteer aged 18 in 1968.

“I’m honoured,” he said. “Being a Sea Cadet was an experience, because you got to travel the UK, and I enjoyed it so much, I never left. I didn’t realise at the time I would be able to put back into the organisation.

“It was a natural progression,” he added.

The support behind young musicians Autism4Heroes were named runner-up in the Innovative Practice category.

Students at Sunderland’s Educational Services for People with Autism College formed a fund-raising army to show support for military personnel injured serving their country.

Assistant college c-oordinator Jak Dixon said: “It was another proud moment in the development of Autism4Heroes to be considered as one of the region’s most creative Youth Projects.”

Anti-arson project Bored in Boldon and St Robert of Newminster Community Volunteer Group were runners-up in the Best Youth Work Partnership Category.