BEST OF NORTHUMBERLAND: Safer Community

Best of Northumberland awards 2014 at Alnwick Garden'Cara Charlton presented the Safer Community Award to Silx Teen Bar Project.
Best of Northumberland awards 2014 at Alnwick Garden'Cara Charlton presented the Safer Community Award to Silx Teen Bar Project.

Taking the Safer Community accolade was a project that has been running for 20 years to deliver youth facilities to people in Blyth.

Silx Teen Bar Youth Project is open 50 weeks of the year, six days a week and engages with the most hard-to-reach and disadvantaged young people in the community.

Over the last 12 months, it has worked with more than 720 individuals and offers an invaluable service to young people and the whole community.

The project has also been a major player in the reduction of youth disorder.

Picking up the award were senior youth worker Jackie Long and youth project users Kaighleigh Cozens and Tony Westwood.

Jackie said: “I feel very honoured to get this. We really were so surprised that we had been nominated and chosen.”

Tony said: “I’ve been going to Silx since I was 12 and now I’m 23. They have helped me with lots of problems in my life, helped me sort out my financial debt and I like to use the facilities on a daily basis. They’ve also helped me search for jobs and I like the banter.”

Kaighleigh added: “It’s great to go to, it keeps me off the streets and they helped me get to college.”

The category was sponsored by Northumbrian Water.

Also nominated: The Stephen Carey Fund, which works with businesses and organisations to instal public access defibrillators, and The Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team which carries out search and rescue in remote areas.