THE search is underway to find community groups which deserve to be honoured for supporting young people in the North-East.

The prestigious High Sheriff Awards 2017 will be presented in April in a partnership between the High Sheriff of Durham, Gerard Salvin, County Durham Community Foundation, and Sir James Knott Trust.

The annual awards honour groups in the community which “encourage useful and beneficial pursuits for young people”.

The awards are presented to voluntary and community groups and registered charities in County Durham, Darlington, Hartlepool and Stockton whose projects focus on work with young people between 10 and 21.

The scheme is funded by the Sir James Knott Trust, which supports community projects in Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and County Durham, including Hartlepool.

Additional money will be provided through the High Sheriff’s Fund, managed by County Durham Community Foundation.

The awards, including cash prizes, will be presented on April 6 at a special ceremony, hosted by former editor of The Northern Echo, Peter Barron, at Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle.

Mr Salvin said: “For me this is the culmination of my year as High Sheriff and I am honoured to be involved in such an inspiring initiative.”

Vivien Stapley, from the Sir James Knott Trust, added: “Sir James Knott Trust has been supporting High Sheriff Awards in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear & Co Durham for many years and it is always great to witness young people engaging in so many worthwhile activities right across the region.”

Barbara Gubbins, Chief Executive of County Durham Community Foundation said: “This is the second year that County Durham Community Foundation has managed the awards scheme and we are hoping to highlight further the great work being undertaken in the community to develop young people’s citizenship.”

  • Nomination forms are now available online . For more information about the Awards call County Durham Community Foundation on 0191-3786340 or email