• Thu. Nov 30th, 2023

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County ‘champions’ receive Durham’s top award

County ‘champions’ receive Durham’s top awardSome of County Durham’s most deserving young people were honoured at a special presentation event last night (Friday).

The newly introduced Young Person’s Chairman’s Medal was awarded for the first time with 14 local champions receiving the prestigious award at Durham County Hall.

The medal is the brainchild of Durham County Council Chairman, Cllr Jan Blakey who in her term in office, wanted the Young Person’s Chairman’s Medal to be introduced alongside the Chairman’s Medal which was introduced in 2007.

It goes to individuals and organisations from throughout the county for their outstanding voluntary and charitable efforts and is the highest honour Durham County Council can bestow.

Such was the determination of the outstanding young people to make the awards ceremony, that one of the award winners George Watson arrived direct from hospital to accompany his fellow Spennymoor Area Action Partnership champion and friend Chris Sherwood.

The medals were presented by Cllr Blakey, following nominations made to the 14 Area Action Partnerships.

Cllr Blakey said: “This is something that I always wanted to introduce during my term in office as Chairman of this authority which is now nearing a close.County ‘champions’ receive Durham’s top award

“Many of these young people are unsung heroes who toil away, unbeknown by many people. They don’t actively go seeking recognition but the Young Person’s Chairman’s Medal can recognise these outstanding young people which also highlights their causes and brings them to the public’s attention.

“We are extremely fortunate that in County Durham there are so many outstanding young people. Their sterling efforts and determination benefit so many people, and I want to reward them by showing that we do recognise the outstanding work that they do.”

Meningitis survivor, the inspirational Lyndon Longhorne from Crook, was the guest speaker.

Lyndon who lost both his legs, right arm and fingers on his left hand to meningitis as a baby is now an extremely popular student, studying sports management at Northumbria University in Newcastle.

An inspirational speaker, 20-year-old Lyndon, will discover ion Monday 16 May if he has made the British swimming team for this summer’s Paralympics in Brazil

The 14 champions are:

Mollie Pedelty                                  –          3 Towns Partnership

Liam Fellows                                   –          4 Together Partnership

Kyle Scott                                        –          Bishop Auckland and Shildon AAP

Matthew Gill                                     –          Chester-le-Street & District AAP

Reece Taylor                                   –          Derwent Valley AAP         

The Mini Police                                –          Durham City AAP

Mollie Booth                                     –          East Durham AAP

Stephanie Thornton                       –          East Durham Rural Corridor AAP

Reianna Bregazzi                           –          Mid Durham AAP

George Morgan Watson

and Chris Sherwood                      –          Spennymoor AAP

Liam Bell                                         –          Stanley AAP

Josh Barker                                    –          Teesdale AAP

Josh Marlow                                    –          Weardale AAP


  • The 2016 champions together, having received the first ever Durham County Council, Young Person’s Chairman Medal awards at Durham County Hall, on Friday 13 May.


  • Guest speaker and Paralympic swimming hopeful Lyndon Longhorne addresses the champions prior to the presentation


  • George Watson (left) who arrived direct from hospital receives the Spennymoor AAP champions’ award along with his friend Chris Sherwood from the Chairman of Durham County Council, Cllr Jan Blakey.


Should you require any further individual photos or information, please let me know by email at graham.robinson@durham.gov.uk

By admin