THE courage of two cousins who helped police after one of them was seriously injured in a playpark is to be officially honoured at a ceremony today.

Kieran Snee and Jay Bateman, both aged 11, are among several young people receiving awards from the High Sheriff of County Durham, Roger Howell, at Durham Castle.

Kieran and Jay were playing together in the Denes Park area of Darlington when four older youths came along.

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Kieran was sitting in a basket swing when a teenage girl swung him violently around before letting go.

His head hit a metal pole, causing a massive blood clot on his brain.

He remained on a life support machine for several days.

Jay, who tried to give his cousin first aid and comforted him, was interviewed twice by police and provided them with detailed descriptions of the youths involved and the incident itself.

While Kieran has made a remarkable recovery since his ordeal, his injuries were such that they may cause him long-term health issues.

The police officers who nominated the boys said they both showed exceptional courage and fortitude during the incident.

Following the incident, one girl appeared at youth court where she received a nine-month referral order after pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm, while another girl was given a final warning.

Other nominees include 15- year-old Charlotte Robson, a member of Durham Gilesgate Youth and Community Association, who helped an injured teammate who had fallen with a suspected broken leg during a bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards expedition.

Alex Doyle, 17, a member of 1st Barnard Castle Scout Group, who was a victim of bullying, is being recognised for his work volunteering with the Scouts and also with the YMCA and Teesdale Lions.

Sisters Amber Hornsey, 17, and 15-year-old Abigail, from Hartlepool, have been nominated for combining their studies with caring for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis.

Rebekah Barton, aged 17, who now lives at the Walkergate Park Rehabilitation Centre, in Newcastle, is being awarded for her positive attitude and the way in which she recovered from serious injuries, including broken legs and pelvis and brain damage, when she was hit by a vehicle while crossing the road.

Mr Howell, the 287th High Sheriff of County Durham, said: “The Shrievalty Awards recognise a very special group of young people who have set a fine example to us all.

“They have made a significant contribution to the community and the award ceremony recognises their special achievements.”