County Durham group that's inspired young athletes since the 1930s honoured with Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

  • Video report by Helen Carnell

The Durham Association of Boys and Girls Clubs (DABGC) has received a Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

This honour has been given to the group - which has its office in Chester-le-Street - in recognition of its work providing sporting activities for young people and encouraging their confidence and self-belief.

It was set up in 1933 and works to develop clubs used by youngsters with the aim of giving them opportunities to take part in activities and help them develop into good citizens.

Since it was set up it has seen many of it members go on to prominence. These include current England international footballers Steph Houghton and Jill Scott, long-distance runner Aly Dixon, boxing twins Pat and Luke McCormack and former England footballer Paul Gascgoine.

It has three part-time members of staff and a network of more than 600 volunteers, supporting 5,000 people aged 8-21-years-old.

DABGC chairman David Orford, who is also Durham Constabulary's Deputy Chief Constable, said:

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service was set up in 2002 and aims to showcase the work of voluntary organisations across the UK.

DABGC is one of seven groups in the North East to receive the prize in 2021. The others are

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Independent Committee Chair Sir Martyn Lewis, said:

He added: "They also highlight the growing and key role which volunteers are playing in times of rapid change and unprecedented challenges. Whether driven by a neighbourly passion to help others or to achieve that well recognised “high” of personal satisfaction, volunteering taps into a rich spirit of generosity, ingenuity and kindness. The Queen’s Award’s judges are proud to honour the achievements of those who help to make our country great."