The outstanding support provided by young people to the region’s oldest children’s charity – Children North East – will be recognised at the inaugural Voices of Hope Awards in the Autumn.

The charity, its headline sponsor, Countryside Partnerships North East and a host of other local organisations are coming together to honour the inspiring children and young people who volunteer their time and speak up to help make life better for others across the charity’s 65 services.

Projects in which awards nominees have taken part include ‘peer mentoring’ and working with local organisations to improve services and access for children living with disability.

Leigh Elliott, Chief Executive of Children North East, said, “It is incredibly moving to see how much passion and time the children and young people we work alongside give to improving the lives of others . We felt it was time to put a spotlight on their inspiring contributions and give their stories a platform.”

Countryside Partnerships North East’s sponsorship marks a significant milestone, with the regeneration specialist having donated £75,000 to Children North East to date.

Christine Curran, Sales Director for Countryside Partnerships North East, added: “As a company we work with a number of charities, but Children North East is particularly poignant, because it is local to us and. it is great to see young people and their families, within the communities in which we work, benefit from the help available.”

North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA), Primula Cheese, Nucha and Irwin Mitchell are some of the organisations supporting the awards, to be staged in October, through sponsorship and support.

Awards categories include:

  • Mental Health Champion, sponsored by NTCA, for a young person supporting better mental health for young people
  • School Day Champion (open to all), sponsored by Primula Cheese, for a pupil or pupils going above and beyond to make the school day better for their peers.
  • Sustainability Champion, sponsored by Nucha, for an individual or group passionate about protecting our planet.
  • Stronger Families Champion, sponsored by NTCA, for those helping shape experiences that promote stronger families such as fun activities or raising awareness about support.

Other categories include a Young Carer Champion, Champion Peer Mentor and Diversity Champion.

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “Our child poverty prevention programme is working with 90 schools to reduce inequalities and ensure that our youngsters have the best possible start in life.

“We help schools to provide mental health and wellbeing support for young people. These awards recognise the diverse and wonderful ways in which children and young people are making an impact with their peers. Best of luck to all the nominees – the future is theirs – let’s celebrate their achievements.”

Alongside being honoured at a celebration ceremony, winners will get the chance to share their stories in a specially commissioned film, which the charity hopes will inspire other young people to get involved with activities in their communities.

More information about this programme of work can be found on our child poverty prevention page.