Darlington cousins Kieran Snee and Jay Bateman have been given a Sheriff’s award for their bravery.
The youngsters, aged 11, were given the award by the High Sheriff of County Durham Roger Howell at a special ceremony in Durham Castle.
They were presented the award after their bravery in helping the police following an incident in a park that left Kieran in hospital on a life support machine.
The boys had been playing in a basket swing in the Denes Park area when a group of older youths came along and swung Kieran violently, causing him to hit his head on a metal pole.
Jay gave his cousin first aid and was then able to give the police detailed descriptions of the youths involved, leading to them being caught.
Kieran suffered huge blood clot on his brain and was on a life support machine for several days. He has since recovered, although he may suffer long-term health issues as a result of his injuries.
Police officers nominated the boys for the award because they said they both showed exceptional courage and fortitude during the incident.
Mr Howell, the 287th High Sheriff of County Durham, said: “The Shrievalty Awards recognise a very special group of young people who have set a fine example to us all.
“They have made a significant contribution to the community and the award ceremony recognises their special achievements.”
Other young people from across the region were given awards for various acts of courage and commitment.