A TEENAGER with a passion for his community has been named a Young Hero by the Barnard Castle neighbourhood police team.

George O’Brien launched his own anti-litter campaign in the town using the slogan: “Don’t be bitter, pick up your litter.”

The 14-year-old organised his first litter pick last month, inspiring 25 people to join in, and he plans another in the New Year. He is also doing a reverse advent calendar challenge for Barnard Castle Foodbank.

George's mother Faye O’Brien said: “I’m really proud of him especially because he cares about the community.

“We were amazed that so many people turned out for the litter pick and it was so successful he now plans to do at least four a year.”

Inspector Ed Turner said: “A massive congratulations to George for winning this month’s Young Hero Award.

“Our young people are so important in our communities and George’s actions are a great example of how youngsters can really bring people together for the common good.

“We look forward to George’s next litter pick.”

This month’s award has been sponsored by Kenny Walker from Chocolate Fayre, a local business.

Mr Walker said George was an “absolute legend” that he had heard so much about.

He said: “I think it’s great that the team are trying to recognise the youngsters for the good that they do as they often get a bad rep.

“I believe that all kids have good skills and the ability to make a difference so it’s about uncovering those skills and encourage them to do something positive things in the community.

“George has featured in the local press and he’s an absolute legend for drumming up support for his litter picks wherever he goes – well done George!”

The force-wide Young Heroes Award scheme recognises young people who go above and beyond in their communities. The 12 monthly winners will be invited to an awards night next year when an overall champion will be announced.

Nominees must be aged 18 or younger and live in the force area.

Nominations for December’s Young Hero are now open.

To make a nomination email elizabeth.finn@durham.pnn.police.uk or call into the police station.