Young unsung heroes have been honoured at a special ceremony in the Northamptonshire Youth Ambition Awards 2017.
The awards, organised by Northamptonshire County Council, were presented at a special event at Wicksteed Park on Wednesday (June 28) to recognise some of the fantastic achievements of children and young people across Northamptonshire.
Winners include a team of young people who have created a social group for LBGTQ teenagers and a young musician who is encouraging his peers away from gang crime and into music.
County council deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services Cllr Matthew Golby said: “These annual awards are a wonderful opportunity to recognise some of the incredible things young people are doing across Northamptonshire.
“This year’s winners have all demonstrated how they have excelled in some way and made a real difference to others.
“It was very difficult to choose our winners from such a strong collection of finalists and I hope everyone who was shortlisted for an award will feel proud to have been recognised for their contribution.”
Young Apprentice of the Year Award – Kizzy Minter
At a young age, 17-year-old Kizzy became interested in mental health and worked to pursue a career in this area by becoming an apprentice with Teamwork Trust, a charity that helps people with additional needs.
Graham Marshall, who nominated Kizzy for the award, said: “Kizzy throws herself into every task, whether that’s organising deliveries or helping members with the work, and just lifts the whole centre when she’s around through her enthusiasm and happiness.”
Project or Campaign of the Year Award – Hide and Seek LGBTQ Group
Aged from 14 to 16, this dedicated group of young people are working together to provide social opportunities, run community events, and provide resources and support for other young people from the LGBTQ community.
The Young Role Model of the Year Award – Austin Major-Howard
Fifteen-year-old Austin is a young carer for his mum and helps to look after his five siblings, all while working to achieve his ambition to become a motor sport technician.
He has managed to secure a place to study engineering at Tresham College’s Silverstone centre and is funding his studies there by running his own car washing business at weekends and school holidays.
The Taking Charge of Your Life Award – Emma Cormack
Emma, 17, had a difficult start in life and was separated from her family at a young age. She is in foster care and has overcome many barriers to get her to where she is today.
Emma is working hard at an apprenticeship in childcare where she shows passion, dedication and care.
The Arts Award – Y Not Arts volunteers
These six young volunteers give up their Saturday mornings to support children and young adults with disabilities to take part in music and drama sessions at Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust.
A parent of a young person who attends the sessions nominated the young volunteers, describing them as “absolutely wonderful and deserving of recognition for their efforts”.
The Get Active Award – Tom Judd
Despite being diagnosed with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, 16-year-old Tom refuses to let his health issues hold him back and is currently taking part in a sports leadership programme as well as volunteering at sports clubs for primary school aged children and tennis coaching.
The Health and Wellbeing Award – Elaina Falvey
For over a year, one of Elaina’s close friends has suffered from seizures.
Elaina has taken a lead role in assisting her during her seizures, getting help and also working with other students and staff to help them understand what to do.
The Special Recognition Award – Karl Glover and Thomas Hollick
Care leaver Karl is a talented musician who uses his skills as part of a youth project to get young people off the streets and give them a focus and outlet through music, using his experiences of growing up in care to make improvements for other young people in care.
Thomas has been committed to pursuing his love of sports, despite undergoing chemotherapy and brain surgery.
Even when he did not feel well enough to take part, he attended fixtures to support his team-mates. Since Thomas’ nomination, he has sadly lost his battle with cancer.