Winning double for youth project at awards night

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A CRAMLINGTON youth project is celebrating after ending up in the money twice over at an awards night.

Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project was already the biggest winner at this year’s High Sheriff of Northumberland’s youth awards, having been given a handout of £1,750, but it then ended up doubling its money after being given an extra £2,000 on the night.

The high sheriff, Fiona Sample, decided to splash the cash twice over at her awards night, held at Northumbria Police’s Ponteland headquarters, because she was so impressed by the work being done by the project.

The Station Lane-based organisation’s original grant was earmarked for a cycle stand, CCTV camera and musical equipment.

Mrs Sample, a curate, said: “The groups the high sheriff’s fund has supported throughout the year have been inspirational. Seeing all they achieve has been a privilege.

“Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project particularly stood out to me.

“Having visited the project, I was really impressed by the work they are doing, the diversity of young people they are doing it with and the fact that they are entirely volunteer-led.”

Project development worker Julie Gibson said: “We really enjoyed our evening at the police headquarters and are grateful for our award.

“We hope to use the money to contribute to the junior special needs trip away. This will be their first residential experience and will help them to work with others in different situations.”

Jay Saunderson, 15, was another of the night’s success stories, picking up an inspiration award for helping to refurbish the Choysez youth project’s Bedlington base.

He said: “I am really grateful to be presented with such an award from the high sheriff for something I have really enjoyed doing at Choysez.”

Mrs Sample, formerly of Bothal but now living near Belsay, said: “Jay has worked really hard to improve the Choysez building, gaining lots of skills in the process.

“I could not be more impressed by all he has achieved and wish him the very best for his future.”

Twenty organisations operating in south east Northumberland were given youth awards, via the Community Foundation, together worth just over £17,000 at this year’s ceremony.

Other grants handed out included £750 for Cramlington’s Doxford Youth project, £1,000 for Ashington’s Healthy Goals Project, £500 for the 6th Cramlington Guides, £500 for Bedlingtonshire High School, £750 for Seaton Sluice Community Association, £750 for the 1st Ashington Scout Group, £1,000 for Ashington Joint Welfare Scheme, £500 for Bedlington Cricket, £1,000 for Choysez, £500 for Wansbeck Young People’s Forum, £750 for Blyth Valley Arts and Leisure, £500 for West Hartford Community Boxing Club, £1,500 for Cowpen Quay Community Association and £500 for Ashington Judo Club.