DURHAM'S top police officer faced one of her toughest jobs yet when she had to pick the winner of an award recognising youngsters who have gone and beyond for their communities.

Top spot in the Teesdale Young Heroes Award went to Ethan Fletcher who organised his own bake off competition for Cancer Research UK.

Ethan organised everything from booking his village hall to approaching local businesses for prizes and raised more than £600 for the charity.

He has also raised £300 for Heel & Toe, a charity which supports children with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities, which he has used in the past.

Second place went to Benjamin Hawksby, who took part in the Raby Races and raised more than £4,000 for the wards at the Newcastle Royal Infirmary where his little brother Joshua received treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Dedicated young carer Charlie Appleton, who was nominated by his teachers for his exceptional care for his mum Paula, took third spot.

The teenager gives vital support by helping with shopping, cooking, cleaning and other jobs and is an exemplary student .

All three were awarded Amazon vouchers to the value of £50, £30 and £20.

Chief Constable Jo Farrell, who selected the winners from a nine-strong shortlist, said: “Ethan has clearly put a lot of hard work into recreating his Bake Off for Cancer Research UK by liaising with local businesses and arranging a venue to host the competition.

“Not only has Ethan raised money for Cancer Research UK but he’s also raised a significant amount of money for a charity that is close to his heart, North East Heel & Toe.

“He has showed great determination and vigour to make a difference for his community and two special charities.”

The Teesdale Young Hero Award has now been relaunched for 2021.

PCSO Liz Finn, who organises the Teesdale awards alongside PCSO Preet Singh, said: “We have been really impressed by all of the young people who were nominated for the Teesdale Young Hero award and it is always a hard task to pick a winner.

"Well done to everyone who took part and our three overall winners.

“We are excited to be launching the scheme again for this year and look forward to meeting some more outstanding young people.”

Nominees must be aged 18 or younger and live in the Teesdale area. To nominate a young person email elizabeth.finn@durham.pnn.police.uk or call into Barnard Castle Police Station.