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Achievements of North East Youngsters Celebrated at Annual Awards Night

Inspirational young people from across the North East were celebrated for their positive work in the community at an awards ceremony in Gateshead last night.The PoSBOs (Positive Social Behaviour Order), now in their seventh year, celebrate and recognise the hard work and outstanding achievements made by North East youngsters.

The awards, which took place at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead on Thursday 8 December, are hosted annually by Youth Focus: North East, a charity that works across the region to improve the lives of young people.

The awards aim to challenge and change negative perceptions and stereotypes of young people, with the event entirely organised by a group of young volunteers, formerly involved in the Truth about Youth programme.

The GameCon project in Hartlepool picked up the prestigious Best Youth Project Award. The group, all students at Hartlepool College, ran a three-day, town-wide games convention in to raise money for a local youth charity in Hartlepool. The students used video games both past and present as a medium to engage traditionally hard to reach male students.

21-year-old Paul Cozens, from Northumberland, won the Young Volunteer Award (sponsored by Gateshead Rotary Club) for his work with Silx Teen Bar.

Other awards handed out on the night included:

  • Intergenerational Award – Brandon Carrside Youth and Community Project from Durham
  • Positive Action Award (sponsored by The Key) – Youthwise from Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Young Carer Award (sponsored by Rotary Club of Newcastle upon Tyne West) – Robert Oughton from Gateshead
  • Young Employee Award– Lindsay Maudling working in Newcastle and across the region
  • Digital Youth Award – Toilets, Tabs and Tantrums from North Tyneside
  • The Jodie Wilkinson Inspirational Award – Tom Charlton from Gateshead

Over 130 guests attended the awards ceremony, which featured performances from singer Georgia Addison, Magician Robert Reed, and musical ensemble Off The Beat.

Seven years of PoSBOs

  • HALF CENTURY: 50 PoSBOs have been awarded since the PoSBOs 2010.
  • TON UP: Just over 1,000 guests have attended PoSBO awards ceremonies.
  • CO-OPERATIVE: Funded for the first five years through the Co-operative Foundation’s Truth About Youth programme.
  • ROOM WITH A VIEW: The PoSBOs have taken place at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead the last three years, previously held at the Centre for Life, Newcastle.

Jamie Mercer from Youth Focus: North East who led the young people’s PoSBO planning group says: “It has been an absolute honour and a privilege to work with the PoSBO Steering Group this year. Historically, young people get a lot of negative publicity so it’s fantastic to be able to recognise, celebrate, and reward the hard work of young people who are striving to make our region a better place, not just for themselves but for everyone who calls the North East home.”

Rachel Blair, 22, from the PoSBO Steering Group says: “Another year of the PoSBOs is over and we would like to thank everyone who attended the night. A big thanks to the Key, Rotary Club of Newcastle upon Tyne West, and Northern TUC for sponsoring and presenting awards on the night. Thanks to BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art for a fantastic venue. Finally, congratulations to all of our winners and shortlisted nominees.”

Established over 25 years ago, Youth Focus: North East is an award-winning charity that delivers a number of regional programmes encompassing youth employment, mental and physical health, wellbeing, politics, education and the arts, and intergenerational work.

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