A Corby youth worker who has helped change the lives of hundreds of young people has won a top national award.
Ann-Marie Lawson, 55, the youth programme manager of Groundworks Northamptonshire, was chosen as the winner of the National Youth Agency Awards.
She received the honour at a ceremony at Marlborough House in London.
There were 48 nominations for the award which recognises the work of inspirational youth workers.
Ann-Marie, who took six young people from the county to the awards ceremony, said: “I was delighted to recieve this award.
“ I felt honoured and priveleged to accept it and look forward to sharing it with my amazing colleagues at Groundwork Northamptonshire and the young people who inspire me every day with their resilience and humour.
“Groundwork Northamptonshire appreciate young people and the contribution they make to our society through innovative programmes and I feel ecstatic that our youth work is recognised with this accolade.
“We listen to what young people want and are often at the forefront of new methods of youth work delivery and I think it is this willingness to take calculated risks that wins us national acclaim.”
Ann-Marie was one of the founders of the award-winning Jam Team which received Home Office recognition for helping to reduce anti-social behaviour in Corby.
Its Jam in the Hood scheme, which gives young people the chance to find out more about the work of the police, now runs countywide.
Other projects which Ann-Marie and the Groundwork team are involved in include a mentoring scheme to help young people into work or training, the Silent Tears initiative, which offers support to teenagers coping with domestic abuse, and an achievement coaches programme which operates in schools to ensure students take advantage of all the opportunities available to them.
She said: “About 10 years ago I was fed up listening to people saying that young people were such a big problem in our society, and I decided to do something about it.
“I’ve never looked back.
“I want to pay tribute to the Groundwork team which is making a difference in our communities and all the inspirational young people I have worked with.
“Young people inspire me every day with their resilience and humour.
“As a trust, Groundwork always puts people at the forefront of their business as they strive to make communities better and safer places to live.
“I am blessed to work for such a supportive organisation.”