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Business & Economy

High Sheriff’s Awards for Tyne & Wear seek to fund youth development

Community groups are being urged to apply for funding to help improve the lives of children and young people following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual High Sheriff’s Awards for Tyne & Wear are offering support for youngsters keen to improve their career prospects.

Bosses say funding is open to organisations across Tyne & Wear that work with people aged between ten and 25.

They say up to 50 organisations will be awarded grants from this year’s fund.

Sarah Stewart, High Sheriff of Tyne & Wear for 2020-21 [pictured below], says: “Voluntary and community groups across Tyne & Wear do a fantastic job in supporting children and young people.

“These Awards look to recognise and raise awareness of their work in helping young people to achieve their goals – whether that’s through music, sport or activities and training programmes.

“Given the impact of COVID-19 and the resulting economic downturn, this year the Awards will also look to support groups providing skills development, training and employment opportunities for young people.

“The past few months have been particularly difficult for children and young people, with many seeing their plans for the future turned upside down.

“The High Sheriff’s Awards give us an opportunity to help young people in Tyne and Wear to overcome some of the difficulties they might be facing by building confidence and gaining new skills that will stand them in good stead as they become young adults.”

The Awards were established as part of the Community Foundation in 1993, and last year awarded £47,000 to community groups across Tyne and Wear.

Previous successful applicants include Ocean Youth Trust North, which specialises in the personal development of young people through ocean sailing.

Steve Lennon, Ocean Youth Trust managing director, said: “Ocean Youth Trust North helps to shape young people’s futures by taking them away from their everyday routine and inspiring them to make positive changes to their lives through ‘Adventure under Sail’.

“We would struggle to provide this service to young people in Tyne and Wear without the support of schemes such as the High Sheriff’s Fund, for which we are extremely grateful.”

The High Sheriff’s Awards are based on an endowment fund set up by two former High Sheriffs of Tyne & Wear, Roger Spoor and Sir David Chapman.

Income from the fund is supplemented through fundraising activities and grants from trusts and foundations, such as the Sir James Knott Trust.

Applications for the fund are open until midnight on Sunday, October 18.

Organisations can apply online at

Successful applicants will be invited to attend an awards ceremony in March next year.

The High Sheriff’s Awards for Tyne & Wear are part of the Community Foundation for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, which matches generous people with important community causes.