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Police awards ceremony celebrates community spirit of North Yorkshire's young people

The commitment and hard work of young people in North Yorkshire has been recognised at a star-studded awards ceremony.

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The North Yorkshire Police Lifestyle Awards took place at York Racecourse on the evening of Tuesday 15 November 2016. The ceremony recognised and rewarded youngsters who gave up their own time over the summer holiday to carry out community projects to benefit the area where they live.

These teams attended the ceremony – which was compèred by Minster FM presenter Harry Hometime – to pick up their well-deserved awards:

Annie, Lorna, Poppy, Emma, Charlotte & Daniel created The Superbugs team, and worked together over the summer to carry out their community project. They consulted with members of the community in East Cowton to ask them what they would like to see carried out as a project. This identified improvements to the Millennium Wood, as it was neglected and overgrown. Presenting to and working alongside the Parish Council, they secured £50 of funding. They cleared the woods, the bench, created new signs, built a bug hotel, and organised a games and activity afternoon. This raised £230.44 for Hambleton Community Action and Pendragon Multisensory Centre. This has resulted in increased usage of the wood, and made it safer, more accessible and more enjoyable, which has brought the community together and encouraged them to exercise more. The team were overall winners, receiving the Safer Hambleton and Safer Richmondshire Community Safety Award.

The Happy 2 Help team, made up of Thomas, Claudia, Harry and Millie, looked through the local paper to volunteer for events to help good causes in and around the Barlby community. They started by raising £17.50 for Cliffe School PTA by making and selling homemade bracelets at the school fair. They helped to clear Bubwith Churchyard, clearing paths, moss and leaves from the gully. They met with the organiser of a “Spirit of Christmas” party for local and looked-after children, and over the holidays helped them by wrapping gifts, making badges, bag packing. As part of a working party they made posters to ask people to recycle their fabric and scrap for a group called SCRAP in Selby, who recycle materials and provide placements and work experience for adults with learning needs. The team picked up the Hiscox Dream Come True Award.

Eamon and Alex formed Hempland Happy Hounds, and spent a number of hours organising and putting on a community dog show in York, where information was given out to help children understand how to deal with dogs. This came about after one of the team was bitten as a child. They went on BBC Radio York to promote the event, and approached local businesses, such as Pets at Home who donated vouchers for prizes. This event was well attended by 60 people, 26 dogs and brought the community together and helped to make it safer for people and dogs to interact. Fittingly, the team received the North Yorkshire Police Dog Section Award for Community Integration.

The Environmental Encouragers included Charla, Ellie, Grace and Nancy. They helped elderly residents in York, by visiting care homes several times over the holiday. They carried out a bake sale, litter-picked, cleared garden cuttings away that had been left out, and organised a bric-a-brac sale that raised the money. They raised a total of £91.85 for cancer research and the group received a letter of thanks from one of the residents. They were recipients of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Award for Community Action.

A returning team from 2015, Ice Warriors Return – made up of Andrew, Jordon, Luke, Josh and Dean from Selby – decided they were going to clear up, improve and maintain the local memorial garden. A community-focused project, they engaged with businesses asking for donations of plants, which they received. They tidied and improved the look of the memorial garden, which is no longer a dumping ground. This improved relations between different generations in the town, and the team learned about the importance of maintaining green spaces in a town by planting and looking after flowers. At the ceremony, the team received the Shepherd Group Conservation Award.

Rachel, Molly, Josh and Matthew created the Anti-Freeze team in Sherburn-in-Elmet, and got involved in team-building activities. Initially they looked carrying out a car wash with another team to raise money for charity but they all decided to change their plans. They adapted well by creating a number of covered Christmas shoeboxes to be sent on to be filled with gifts and distributed to those in need. They picked up a North Yorkshire Police Award for Community Commitment.

The Shertads team included Natasha, Noah, Isabella, Zara and Samuel who were also actively involved in group activities in Sherburn-in-Elmet and Tadcaster, working with members of Anti-Freeze. They created a number of covered Christmas shoeboxes to be sent on to be filled with gifts and distributed to those in need. The team received a North Yorkshire Police Award for Community Commitment.

Joe and Lewis didn’t have a team name, but made over 100 delicious cakes and gave them out to the local community in Filey. They also spent time tidying and completing a litter pick cleaning the neighbourhood. At the ceremony, they were recipients of the North Yorkshire Police Award for Community Engagement.

The winning team members of The Superbugs each received a framed certificate, a Kindle HD Fire and two Energi York trampoline centre gift cards. The remaining teams all received a framed certificate, Argos vouchers and two Energi York gift cards, so they can all spend time together as teams enjoying their day, including the adult advisors.

Sergeant Neil Northend, of North Yorkshire Police’s Partnership Hub, said: “It was a pleasure to meet the dozens of young people and their adult supporters who put in such a lot of work for this year’s Lifestyle Challenge. Their community spirit is an inspiration to all of us, and they richly deserve their awards.

“On behalf of my colleague PC Suzanne Asquith, who has been instrumental in organising this project, and everyone at North Yorkshire Police, I would once again like to pay tribute to all the participants. I would also like to thank staff at the Racecourse, Energi York for supplying the gift cards and our generous sponsors Hiscox, the Shepherd Group, Safer Hambleton and Safer Richmondshire for supporting and judging this year’s challenge.”