CHIVALROUS students have been awarded antique silver crosses for valuable contributions to their college and community life.

An election held among staff and students at Northallerton College determined which male and female pupil most deserved the Cuthbert Crosses.

The clear winner among the boys was Mat Brudenell, 18, whose selfless acts include a sponsored cycle ride to help buy a "hearing dog" for a profoundly deaf college teacher, fundraising and Lions activities.

His success follows hot on the heels of brother and fellow student Luke, 15, who recently represented England at an international badminton tournament last weekend.

"I know a lot of people have done things for the college, so it is quite a privilege to receive this cross," said Mat, from Brompton.

"All the things I have done I have enjoyed doing, and I never expected to be awarded for them, but it is a good feeling and I'll be going out to celebrate."

For the first time in five years the voting resulted in a dead heat between two female contenders, Jennifer Buckley, 18, and Jess Jones, 19, who each receive a small replica of the cross as a memento.

Both Jennifer and Jess are members of the Student Council and have done a lot of charitable work as Millennium Volunteers.

The Cuthbert Cross awards were set up more than 90 years ago at the college to mark links between the former grammar school and Durham Cathedral in the 14th Century.

At the ceremony, chairman of governors John Dennis awarded the crosses to the three pupils. He said: "The joy of my job is seeing people like you making this college such a success."