A TEENAGER'S tireless efforts to educate his peers on substance abuse has seen him nominated for a national award.

David Moralee, who lives in Lowmown Meadows, Crook, was labelled disruptive as a 13-year-old, but he turned the tables to become a shining example to youngsters throughout the Wear Valley and North-East.

Now the 19-year-old is waiting to hear whether he will be crowned The Prince's Trust Young Achiever of the Year in the Daily Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards.

He remains modest about the nomination. He said: "At the end of the day I don't think it's my achievement.

"I haven't done this by myself. People have encouraged me throughout and I want those people to feel they have a part of it. I have had a team of people behind me. It is not just me.''

David was chosen from ten finalists in the North-East to represent the area at the awards ceremony.

When he was 13 his school, Parkside Comprehensive, Willington, took advantage of an offer from The Prince's Trust to send David on a course to improve his confidence because of his behaviour. Part of the course tackled the dangers of drugs and David enjoyed it so much he returned the following year as a Peer Led Drug Instructor talking to other youngsters about substance abuse.

He used his knowledge to secure an £11,000 grant from The Prince's Trust M-Power Millennium Award to develop SMART, a programme to educate other young people about substance abuse and has now gone on to work full-time as a drugs worker.

His former head of year from school, Rick Keegans, said he was not surprised at David's success.

He said: "David had to turn the tables early on in his life and left school as a totally different character from year seven and 11. He is a very reliable, pleasant young man who is sensitive to people's needs.''

David will find out at the end of this week whether he has won the award before travelling to the ceremony attended by a host of celebrities. It can be seen on ITV next Wednesday.