• Durham OnAir

14-year-old who is helping others through Covid pandemic recognised


“I hope it has helped inspire others to be kinder to each other and make a nicer world.”

Those are the thoughts of the North East’s youngest winner of a Covid Acts of Kindness

Community Award, moments after being presented with the accolade by Durham County

Council.


Fourteen-year-old Alfie Dixon-Clark from Peterlee was put forward for the award in

recognition of how, during lockdown, he used money that he’d saved for his birthday to

buy supplies to create coronavirus survival packs.


These were stashed full of colouring pages, craft supplies, snacks such as fruit and

chocolates and other helpful items which he personally delivered to youngsters across

County Durham.


Known locally as ‘Alf the Kid’, Alfie’s actions did not go unnoticed in his community and it

was not long before he was receiving donations from friends, family, neighbours and local

businesses. Alfie also continued to use his weekly pocket money to keep the project going

and, with the help of his supporters, has been able to hand out thousands of packs during

the pandemic. This includes special VE Day bags for care home residents.


Alfie, who attends The Academy at Shotton Hall estimates that he has made about 14,000

activity packs for others during the pandemic, while his mum Jaynie believes he has

inspired the production of 60,000 for those in need.


The award-winner said: “I didn’t expect the reaction I’ve had but it’s an honour to get this

award.


“During lockdown, I saw that a lot of people were suffering so that’s why I decided to make

the activity packs.


“I’m proud because it’s not just about me and what I’ve done. I hope it has helped inspire

others to be kinder to each other and make a nicer world, as I believe the power of

kindness is humanity’s greatest strength.


“I also hope it helps to change the stereotype that kids behave badly, because in my

opinion the majority of young people are kind to each other and want to help out where

they can.”


The awards were organised by regional public health campaign, BeatCovidNE, which is

backed by the seven North East local authorities that make up the LA7, including Durham

County Council.


People across the region were invited to nominate those who have raised money, donated

time, or rallied communities during the pandemic, to recognise their acts of kindness and

to say ‘thank you.’


Seven winners were chosen, one from each of the seven North East local authority areas,

by a panel which included Amanda Healy, Durham County Council’s director of public

health.


Alfie was chosen as County Durham winner and was the youngest of the seven award

recipients.

Amanda and the council’s chairman Cllr Watts Stelling presented the teenager with his

award at the authority’s County Hall headquarters in Durham City shortly before the

government’s Plan B measures came in, and took the opportunity to say thank you in

person.


Cllr Stelling said: “The pandemic continues to be an incredibly difficult time for all of us with

changes to our normal ways of life as a result of coronavirus which many people find really

hard to deal with.


“What is important at times like these is people helping each other at low moments and,

through the Covid Acts of Kindness Community Awards, we sought to recognise those

who have gone above and beyond in this respect.


“Alfie certainly came into this category by using his own money to ensure other young

people had something to do when they were not able to get out and see their friends; as

well as bringing smiles to the faces of our older residents by giving them goodie bags too.

“It was an honour and a privilege to meet him and to be able to say thank you in person for

his care and compassion for others.”