TWO teenagers from the region have been recognised for their outstanding work as part of the Millennium Volunteers (MV) scheme.

Paul Dodsworth, 17, of Darlington, and Sarah Minnis, 18, of Northallerton, will travel to London next month for the finals of MV of the Year awards.

Paul has been named the North East's MV of the Year in the care, support and befriending category and Sarah is the Yorkshire and Humberside MV of the Year in the environment section.

The award, established in 2001 to celebrate the valuable work of all volunteers, aims to highlight those who have shown exceptional levels of dedication, achievement or personal gain.

MV is a Government initiative that encourages people aged 16 to 24 to volunteer in their community.

Paul has volunteered as a play-worker at a scheme for children with disabilities.

As well as raising funds, he has spent many hours with the children and even turned down paid work to fulfil his voluntary commitments.

Paul has also played a vital role in supporting the Darlington MV project, which is based in the town's YMCA.

Sarah has raised funds for the World Wildlife Fund and Environmental Action Volunteer Group and carried out dry stone walling, tree planting and litter picking. She is also in the process of creating a bio-diverse habitat with disabled access.