The third Tendring Youth Awards were held last week showcasing and rewarding the inspirational talent and achievement of Tendring’s young people.
The glitzy award ceremony honoured the young people of our community for their strength and courage in their personal lives, but also the help they have given to our growing community.
The winners, celebrated on Thursday, July 5, all differed in their stories but were united by their inspiring spirit.
In all 23 individuals and groups were shortlisted for the prestigious awards after many more nominations, and although not everyone could be a winner all nominees should be proud of their achievements.
The judges said that choosing the winners proved a real task, as so many of the nominees were worthy due to their inspiring stories. The winners were from a range of ages, demonstrating the variety of young people that really help the community.
The awards, organised by Tendring District Council (TDC), Essex Country Council and TLG, took place at Clacton’s Princes Theatre. They were sponsored by a number of organisations, including Essex County Council, the Princes Theatre, Jamesons Accountants, Careline, Frinton Free Youth, Nova Training.
Performances from Alton Park Choir, Mad About Theatre and Stagestruck were praised for the style and entertainment they brought to the event, really making it a night to remember, as well as the two hosts, Bryony and Jack who presented a delightful evening.
Lynda McWilliams, TDC’s Cabinet Member for Health and Education noted the difficulty in choosing the winners.
“All the nominees should be proud at how hard they’ve worked, and it became such a difficult task to choose between them,” she said.
“It’s wonderful to see beyond the negative stereotypes of young people and celebrate their dedication and good values.
“Not only should the supporting adults be proud, but these amazing young people that do so much, should be proud of themselves and know how much we value them.”
The adults surrounding the young people, such as their carers and parents, were also thanked for the constant support of the young people in their life.
The Youth Award winners were:
Personal Journey – Darryl Russell
Darryl, 11, has had a difficult start in life. The Harwich resident has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – a life-limiting condition – and some challenging behavioural needs too. But over the past year he has made fantastic progress; he is building really positive relationships with his carers, joined a scout group, and attending school full time. When he is not in school, Darryl shows how his disability is no barrier by attending multi-sports clubs, going to the beach on his trike, and even learning his driving licence at Legoland.
Outstanding Achievement – Charlie Latimer
Charlie, a Market Fields School pupil, has for many years been on the Multi-Schools Council, which brings together all Essex schools to break barriers between mainstream and special schools and challenge negative perceptions. Sixteen-year-old Charlie, from Clacton, was also chosen by her peers as the council’s Head Girl for 2016/17. This year she launched her own project, Autism Ambassadors – under-16s who explain to organisations what autism is and how to support those with it. Charlie has got sponsorship, a training company, and publicised the initiative herself – and was independently nominated twice.
Young Carer – Leni Burns
Leni, 12, acts as the sole carer for her dad who has significant mobility issues. The Walton resident helps with cooking, household tasks, shopping, and personal care for her father. Supported by Family Solutions, Leni never complains and when asks what she wants simply asks for a home with no stairs for her dad. In her father’s words: “Without Leni, I would not be able to live. She does a lot for me, too much, and never complains. She is so protective of me.”
Learning Achievement – Emma Spooner
Clacton County High School student Emma, 17, is an active member of school life. Despite having cerebral palsy she has worked hard, balancing studying for GCSEs and now an apprenticeship with roles in the Communications Leaders initiative, volunteering as a Teaching Assistant for younger classes, part of the Student Voice panel and Sixth Form Committees – and working as well to contribute to her family’s income. Emma is described as having a “sunny disposition”, a positive outlook on life, and as the “perfect pupil”.
Arts – Bethan Powell
Bethan, 16, is a “dedicated and talented” performer who has had an incredible impact on the arts subjects since joining the Clacton County High School sixth form in September. Demonstrating an exceptional work ethic in developing herself as a dancer Bethan, from Walton, has also displayed imaginative and creative choreography, supported new dancers, and also put her singing talents to use supporting another student who leads the school choir. Her combined talent has led Bethan to be cast in the lead role for the whole school musical.
Volunteer – CC Blue Tops
The CC Blue Tops range in age from 12-16-years-old and have been volunteering at the Coastal Community Centre for four-and-a-half years. Originally starting out as-and-when after school and in the holidays, the group wanted to make it more official and how have a uniform and the title. Helping to set up and take down family events, they have challenged the stigma attached to young people in the community, interacting with young and old alike.
The group are: Sean Kidby; Katie Kidby; Mel Hainsbrough; Kelly Hainsbrough; Tom marsh; Abbie Colyer; Jayda Nixon; Jason Kelly; and Jack Woods.
Unsung Hero – Indi Allen
As company director of Mad About Theatre, Indi Allen has demonstrated tireless dedication, unique skills, and a boundless ability to grow young people. She helps nurture young performers, encouraging them to take ownership of the production, develop characters, and inspire each other, with the end result an electric performance. Through this work, Indi also teaches the students the values of community. In addition, Indi has raised thousands of pounds for local charities.
Community Improvement – Beacon Hill Young Volunteers
This group has turned up every day to help clear up and restore Beacon Hill for community use. Inspired after a visit, the group of 14 and 15-year-olds will work all day during holidays, and be at the gates straight after finishing at Harwich and Dovercourt High School. In particular they took on clearing out the old guard house, clearing dirt, rubbles, vegetation and 65 years’ worth of vandalism and nature – a job many adult volunteers had shied away from.
The group are: Brandon Wilson; Marek Mirga; Finlay Cash; Peter Brunsdon; Bradley Palmer; Kyle Willats; Alex Gardner; and Marshall Coles.
Special Recognition Award – Tendring Police Cadets
Beginning as a group of 25 raw recruits in April 2017, the Tendring Police Cadets have become a strong part of community policing in the district. They have undergone training and support police and partners in giving safety and crime prevention advice, and taking reports on crime, missing people and lost property. They help at large events, but also door knock during action days, or help tackle speeding. In addition, they have raised money for charity. They are a strong, united team, keen to sacrifice their time for their community.