A NORTH-East band who have worked to raise awareness of mental health and suicide in young people have won a national award for their efforts.

Cuttlefish Orchestra, based in Durham, picked up the Youth Music Social Action award at the first Youth Music Awards held this month.

The awards, sponsored by Hal Leonard Europe, celebrate the achievements of young people who have taken part in projects funded by charity Youth Music.

Young musicians supported by the charity got the chance to have their tracks heard by a notable panel of music industry judges from BBC Radio 1Xtra, YouTube Music, Virgin EMI and Amazon Music UK.

The Northern Echo: Cuttlefish Orchestra pictured at the awards eventCuttlefish Orchestra pictured at the awards event

Cuttlefish Orchestra, headed up by Josh Conlon, Brendan Hoar and Sam Ward-Hard, picked up the award for their outstanding commitment to the local community and social justice issues.

The band is best known for its funky rhythms and is supported by Jack Drum Arts, which provides cultural opportunities for communities in County Durham.

Matt Griffiths, chief executive of Youth Music said: “We were overwhelmed by the inspiring stories, creativity, and dedication shown by nominees for our first-ever Youth Music awards and we’re thrilled to present this award to the Cuttlefish Orchestra.

“Music has a transformative impact on young people’s lives, helping them develop socially, musically, personally and professionally.

“The projects we support often help individuals tackle difficult circumstances through music-making.

“We hope the win helps fuel Cuttlefish Orchestra’s professional network across the industry too.”

For more information about the awards visit youthmusic.org.uk