A TEN-year-old charity champion is the first winner of a new awards scheme launched by the police to recognise special young people.

Schoolboy Ethan Fletcher was named Barnard Castle Neighbourhood Policing Team’s first Young Heroes Award winner, after going above and beyond to help others.

Ethan, from Mickleton, was nominated by his parents Debra and Nigel Fletcher, for his charity work.

After being inspired by TV show The Great British Bake Off, he held his own bake off event in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Ethan organised everything from booking the village hall to approaching local businesses for prizes and raised more than £600 for the charity.

The Middleton-in-Teesdale Primary School pupil did not stop there, as he has also raised £300 for the North-East’s Heel & Toe children's charity, which supports children with physical disabilities.

Ethan has a mild form of cerebral palsy and was determined to help the charity, which he has used in the past.

He also plans to run the Junior Great North Run later this year.

Ethan was awarded his prize by Barnard Castle Neighbourhood Inspector Ed Turner at the quad hub in Barnard Castle, on Sunday, June 2.

The youngster had no idea he had won as the visit was organised as a surprise by his proud parents.

Mr Fletcher said: “We kept it as a surprise for him and he was totally gobsmacked. He was really pleased and took his certificate into school on Monday.”

Inspector Turner said the team had received numerous nominations which were all very deserving but Ethan stood out for supporting a charity that had not affected him personally.

He said: “Ethan just wanted to do something good so he stood out for that reason.”

Insp Turner thanked all the businesses which sponsored the Young Heroes Awards to recognise outstanding local youngsters.

Ethan is the first of 12 winners and will be invited to a special awards night next year where one youngster will be crowned the ultimate hero.

Nominees must be aged 18 or younger and live in the Durham Constabulary area. To nominate someone call 101 and ask to speak to the Barnard Castle team.