THE HARD work of young volunteers from the region has been recognised at an awards ceremony.

Jamie Walton, 22, and Charlotte Igoe, 21, from Middlesbrough, and Emma Forster, 21, from Darlington, were among those singled out for praise at the third annual Middlesbrough Volunteering Star Awards.

Mr Walton and Ms Igoe were recognised for their work with North Ormesby’s Trinity Youth Centre Project where they worked with children at holiday clubs and after school events.

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Mr Walton, named Young Volunteer of the Year, said: “Volunteering means a lot to me as it helps to make a difference to someone's life. I also get a sense of pride in giving my time to help other people. I am currently training to be a teaching assistant and volunteering has given me confidence and provided me with skills which I am able to use in the future.”

Miss Igoe, who won the Middlesbrough Voluntary Development Agency Award, said: “'Through volunteering I have become a more confident and energetic person. Seeing the difference I can make to the children's lives is extremely rewarding.”

Student Miss Forster, who received the Teesside University Award after becoming involved in several community sports volunteering projects and raising money for causes including Sport Relief, Nightstop and Middlesbrough Sea Cadets, said: “'As well as enhancing my CV through volunteering, I have also developed as a person. I get to lead projects and encourage other people to volunteer because you can gain so much from it. You become a little community and meet new people and get to help others.”