THE achievements of more than 100 young people were recognised at a ceremony last night.

The Northern Echo's Positive Young People awards, powered by n-power, were held at Darlington Civic Theatre.

Peter Barron, editor of The Northern Echo and Jenna Newman, a member of youth group Peer Support 2000 (PS2K), compered the event.

The young people at the ceremony, who were all from Darlington, had been nominated by teachers, friends and relatives for their bravery or commitment to good causes.

Awards were given to the under-12s and under-18s in three categories: contribution to the community, against all odds and outstanding achievement.

Before the awards were presented a recorded message from Prime Minister Tony Blair was played to the packed auditorium.

Mr Blair congratulated the winners on their achievements and thanked them for making an important contribution to life in Darlington.

The awards night was supported by The Darlington Partnership, Darlington Borough Council and PS2K.

Among the winners were Harriet and Rebecca Ashley, who won a competition in The Northern Echo last year to meet the Queen when she visited Darlington.

Harriet and Rebecca lost their mother to cancer and since then both girls have helped their father, Paul, and other friends and family raise thousands of pounds for cancer charities.

Speaking about the awards, Mr Barron said: "This event puts scores of young people in the spotlight, recognising their talent, successes and contributions to the local community.

"Too often the headlines are dominated by bad news involving the younger generation, but there are plenty of youngsters who can be proud of their achievements.

"It was a memorable evening with a packed theatre applauding some wonderful young people."

Children from the Springfield Stompers Line Dancers performed at last night's presentation.

They were joined by members of The Stagecoach Theatre School who entertained the audience with songs and dances.

Even the stage sets were designed by young people after students at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College offered their help.

The Positive Young People Awards were supported by The Northern Echo for the first time last year. Darlington singer Zoe Birkett was the first recipient of the award.


Outstanding Achievement Under 12: Victoria Wray, Daniel Pattison, Patrick Tomison, Christopher Bristow, David Straw, Laura Banham, Kirsty McFadden, Juliet Burt, Grace McKay, Hannah Marshall, Isaac Harrison-Louth, Tom Kent, Nathaniel Rowntree, Laura Raine, Chloe Isles, Suzie Millar, Sarah Nicholson, Eleanor Storey

Under 18: Emma Williams, Aaron Bennett, Jamie Thompson, Matthew Caley, Sam McCormick, Amanda Clixby, Amy Maxwell, Katie Watson, Sarah Atkins, Karl Bossingham, Andrew Atkinson, Michelle Roberts, Nicole Fay Pegg, James Somers, John Harrop, Paul Wakefield, Emma Foster, Christopher Talbot, Laura Charlton

Against All Odds Under 12: Sara Louise Simpson, Callum Hunter, Alexander Ryder, Harriet Ashley, Rebecca Ashley, Thomas Burrows, Rachel Stubbs, Charlie Watson, Danielle Watson, Robert Taylor

Under 18: Jessica Goodwin, Lee Bradley, Tyrone Clarke, Stuart Weston, Alex Eland, Peter Hall, Samantha Charlton, Sarah Smith, Clare Louise Smith, Simon Frost, Samantha Price, Delva Guerero, Stacey Baker, David Young, Rebecca Ingham

Contribution to the Community Under 12: The Millennium Choir at Alderman Leach School, Natasha McDowell.

Under 18: Michael Coates, Adam Birtles, Jenna Newman, Mark Franks, Joe Newman, Lisa Jenkinson, Lauren Coglan, Katie Watson, Ashleigh Marriner, Annie Bowman, Ben Dixon, Martin Hurst, Martin Bell, Chris Mwaura, Andrew Dixon, Mark Hodges, Dale Elgie, Jamie Mafham, Natasha Nicholson, William Todd, Christopher Wilson, Gavin Wright, Jason Lawther, Stephen Page, Margaret Suddes, Sara Alton, Samantha McCormick, Donna Harland, Matthew Caley, Daniel Heaney, Nicholas Pryor, Hayley Watson, Scott Everitt, Christopher Gardner, Philip Johnson, Graham Mitchell, David Ancell, Matthew Fleming, Nathan Pattison, Adam Howe, Andrew Fleet, Alistair Taylor, Vicky Johnson, Vikki Knaggs, Simon Robinson, Paula Hanlon, Emma Dillon, Kirsty Vogwill, Matthew Gregg, Jamie Carlin.