A NEIGHBOURHOOD police team has rebranded an awards scheme which recognises youngsters for going 'above and beyond' to instead celebrate the extraordinary things residents of all ages are doing to help people in their community.

The Peterlee beat team said during the most difficult times – like this coronavirus pandemic – you can see the best in people which is why it has temporarily turned its Young Heroes Awards into the Young and Unsung Heroes Awards.

Officers want residents to nominate themselves or family members for a virtual high-five which will be shared on the team's Facebook page to spread some positivity.

Launching the initiative, Inspector Emma Kay, from Peterlee Police, said: “The communities of Peterlee came together show their support for our front line NHS workers. The response was overwhelming, and it is clear that everyone is doing their part to support the NHS during these unprecedented times.

“We know that many people in our community are also doing small acts of kindness to help their friends and neighbours – children are drawing rainbows and putting them in their windows, and people are finding new ways of doing things, such as home workouts with their kids.

“We want to recognise and celebrate this as part of our monthly Young Heroes award scheme, which is why we have temporarily changed the name to Young and Unsung Heroes, to celebrate the extraordinary things many of you are doing to support your community.

“It could be anything from the kids doing a home workout, painting rainbows or any other creative ideas for staying at home, or perhaps a selfie with some shopping you have done for your neighbour.

“Please send us a direct message with your picture, together with a short explanation to make it onto our Facebook wall of young and unsung heroes."

Nominations for worthy recipients have already starting flooding in.

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Alfie used pocket money to create 'survival packs' with chocolate, colouring pages and other boredom-busting treats for children and even created gluten-free and dairy-free options.

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Fraser, who is seven, has baked pies and quiches for the elderly and vulnerable. His mum said: "He leaves the parcel, knocks and leaves. This is a young hero helping our communities in times of despair."

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Eight-year-old Jay, from Horden, has been leaving sweeties and cards for the local postie because as he says "they are important too".

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And Charlie and James have been leaving daffodils with lovely messages around Shotton during their daily family walk.