Organised and supported for the fourth year by the St James’s Place Charitable Foundation, the annual Children of Courage Awards recently took place on Tyneside.
The Care Team Award was presented to Morpeth-based Northumberland Disability Youth Forum, aged 11 to 19.
The group started as Calmer Buddies, offering peer-to-peer support and raising money for various charities and charitable causes.
In May 2020, they formed Northumberland Disability Youth Forum with the aim to be a greater voice for all children in Northumberland who have an additional need, disability, or mental health need.
After initially meeting over Zoom because of Covid-19 restrictions and assisting their peers via social media, they have gone on to help with food banks in the area, become young leaders, volunteer at a summer camp and support young disabled children – many of whom are from low-income families.
They are currently working on two projects; creating two ‘busy boards’ for Dementia Matters and organising a gaming convention, Calmer Con Gaming Event, where they are inviting young people who have a disability living in Northumberland, to come along, have fun and find out what is available to them in their area.
The other Children of Courage accolades were Outstanding Bravery, Fundraising Award, Special Recognition, Young Carer of the Year Award and Sporting Achievement.
Mark Beverly, who volunteers as chairman on the St James’s Place Charitable Foundation Newcastle Committee, said: “It is very humbling to see these inspirational young people who have shown amazing courage in their difficult lives.”