Prizes go to Borders projects and youth workers at national awards

Children’s projects in the Borders and the volunteers that keep them going picked up a host of accolades at this year’s National Youth Work Awards.

TD1 Youth Hub in Galashiels, Borders Additional Needs Group, Colin Easton and Rebecca Johnson have all been recognised at the annual awards, held to celebrate those making a significant difference to the lives of young people facing discrimination.

TD1’s young men’s project won the national youth justice and prevention award for its work in improving the mental and physical wellbeing of young men.

Recognising that the majority of the men using the hub had no male role model, the project was developed to provide access to positive male role models in the shape of the youth work team.

Those taking part in the initiative have not been involved in any further criminal activity since signing up, with 90% reporting they have stopped or reduced the frequency with which they use illegal substances and all seeing an increase of at least 10% in their school attendance.

TD1 manager Douglas Ormiston said: “We are absolutely delighted at winning this award. It vindicates not just our hard work to work in an innovative and holistic way but also the hard work the young men put into the project.

“Youth work is about voluntary participation ,and we have been pleased that this work has been recognised with this award as it recognises the efforts and achievement the young men have voluntarily put into changing their lives and building a better future for themselves.”

Borders Additional Needs Group, meanwhile, picked up the picked up the national equality and diversity award for its work for children with additional support needs.

In partnership with Live Borders, the group hosts annual summer camp groups, the first having been held in Earlston in 2018.

Individual awards went to volunteer of the year Rebecca Johnson, 23, who contributed 700 hours of voluntary work to 1,200 school pupils in the Borders last year, and to Colin Easton, 65, from Coldingham, who received a lifetime achievement award for over 50 years of service to young people, including as his role as chairman of Langlee-based support group Youth Borders.

The awards were held at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Glasgow.