FOUR York projects - which do everything from fostering a love of learning to rescuing injured and lost walkers and climbers - have been given the Royal seal of approval.

Prince Andrew presented The Duke of York’s Community Initiative awards to the Jack Raine Foundation and York Children’s University during a ceremony held at the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham.

The Initiative gives Royal recognition to Yorkshire organisations which are considered to be of real value to the community, and are well run and an inspiration to others.

The Jack Raine Foundation, based in Walmgate,was founded in 2004 to help children who are at risk of or have become victims of, child sexual exploitation, and their parents.

The foundation's chief executive, Lewis Gell, also received The Henry Wood Outstanding Leadership award for his work with vulnerable and exploited children.

York Children’s University is led and managed by employee charity York Cares and the University of York.

York Cares manager Jacqui Gunter, who received the award, said: "We have grown from working with three schools in 2011 to 16 schools today and have worked with over 3,000 children. This award recognises all the students, schools and business volunteers who have made it a success.”

York headteacher Sarah Wright , of Headlands Primary School, who also attended the ceremony, having been involved with York CU since it began, said it had been instrumental in engaging young learners, widening their horizons and raising their aspirations.

"It was incredibly satisfying to hear that the Duke of York shares our ethos and sees that all young people have limitless potential," she added.

At the same ceremony, the Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue (SRMR) and York-based youth organisation The Island received a cash boost from the Duke of York’s Community Initiative’s Innovation Fund.

Both groups were granted a share of a £8,000 pot, and the SRMR said the cash would help them train for the ever more common water-based incidents they find themselves called to.