Saturday, 4 October 2008


On Thursday evening I attended the region’s Charity Awards, when the unsung heroes from Durham and Tees Valley were recognised for their contributions and we were entertained by children from a local dance and drama organisation.

In cases of family breakdown, it can often be the children themselves who are the unsung heroes of drama. Despite their tender years they begin to move from one to another with all the skills of UN peace envoys as they negotiate, manipulate and barter. Regrettably there are times when they can appear to show the strains of conflict and I recall a time when parents with care would regularly raise the issue of bed-wetting after a contact visit as a potential reason for stopping such. “Sounds like we can deal with that with rubber sheets and some judicious parental encouragement,” one of our local District Judges would remark.

All of which reminds me of a second awards evening that I also attended recently. This time it was to recognise teenage sporting achievements. Fittingly the certificates were presented by Jo Jackson, an Olympic bronze medal winner from North Yorkshire, who had claimed her victory at Beijing in the swimming pool. The Master of Ceremonies couldn’t resist telling the audience that he too had learned to swim at an early age, although not apparently through choice. He claimed that he had shared a bed with his older brothers, all of whom would wet the bed, causing him to wake up in the deep end!

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