New leaf for lad on Asbo route.
YOUNG Lewis Tandy is now becoming a shining example of what a teenager should be.
The 13-year-old Middlesbrough lad has really turned his life around, say those who work with him, and to let Lewis know what they think, they have nominated him for the Evening Gazette's Young Community Champion award, sponsored by Middlesbrough College.
Lewis, of Barden Road, Berwick Hills, wasn't always a model youngster. The Unity City Academy pupil was referred to case workers at the Safe in Tees Valley partnership after he became involved in incidents of anti-social behaviour.
Safe in Tees Valley team leader, Peter Clark, who nominated Lewis on behalf of his colleagues, explained why they felt Lewis deserved the recognition: "Lewis has really taken to the community projects we run, such as helping with allotments, doing some work at the cemetery and creating hanging baskets for residents. It's given him something to do. He's not involved in anti-social behaviour anymore and he's back in school full-time."
Louise Harding - known to the youngsters she works with as Lou-Lou - is an Intensive Intervention Programme case worker for Safe in Tees Valley. She says Lewis has turned a corner since joining the programme more than a year ago: "Before we started working with him, he was going to be excluded from school. He was given an ABC, which is one step away from an anti-social behaviour order. But he's changed so much - he's a much better person."
Lewis, who has an older brother Dean, 15, and younger sister Jade, eight, was pictured in the Evening Gazette in July last year digging in to help establish a community allotment - just one of many projects he's taken part in.
His mum Trisha, 36, said she hoped the nomination would show Lewis he's on the right track: "It's nice to get some positive feedback for a change. Some people who've had dealings with Lewis in the past might question why he's been nominated. Even though he's not perfect, he's made a real effort and come a long way."
* For details of how to nominate someone as a community champion log on to www.gazetteliveco.uk/communitychampions, or call Elaine Blackburne on 01642 234255. Entries should be sent to Elaine Blackburne, Evening Gazette, Borough Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 3AZ, before September 25.
SUPPORT: Lewis Tandy has been nominated for an award by Donna Reed, left and Louise Harding right BEST BEHAVIOUR: Lewis Tandy above has turned his life around Picture by IAN McINTYRE