FENLAND: Young unsung heroes from the district rewarded for their remarkable efforts
MORE than 200 people attended the awards ceremony for Greenvale AP Young People of the Year in Cambridgeshire last night. Nearly £3,000 was given to young people who give to others. Trevor Dear, marketing director of sponsor Greenvale AP, based in Floods
MORE than 200 people attended the awards ceremony for Greenvale AP Young People of the Year in Cambridgeshire last night.
Nearly £3,000 was given to young people who give to others.
Trevor Dear, marketing director of sponsor Greenvale AP, based in Floods Ferry Road, Doddington, said: "It is high time that we started recognising that there is more to youth than wearing hoodies and terrorising people. All these finalists are the very anathema of the media stereotype of young people."
Runner-ups Kelly Burrows and Eloise Riches have a lot in common, said YOPEY founder Tony Gearing.
Both have sisters with severe disabilities. And both help to look after them, which have meant they have been young carers for many years. Both have been helped for many years by Ormiston Children & Families Trust.
Now that they are both young women Kelly and Eloise are giving back by helping to run the Trust's activities as well as continuing to care for their sisters.
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Cambridgeshire county council chairman, Tony Orgee, presented their prize and said: "These young people have such pressures on them at home and yet they are putting their experiences and expertise to use helping others"
A huge cheer went up when 19-year-old Kelly Burrows, of Heathcote Close, March, and 22-year-old Eloise, of Front Road, Murrow, Wisbech, came up to collect their prize. They shared £125 and gave £125 to Ormiston Trust.
Runners-up Ben Taylor and Emily McIntosh have become indispensable to the lives of 86-year-old couple Harry and Anne Pestell, said Mr Gearing.
The 17-year-old couple have been running errands and spending time with housebound Harry and Anne for more than a year.
Stephen Mitcham, Chief Executive of Cambridge Building Society, presented their prize and said that Ben and Emily are an example of a great team working together. They have continued to support the couple with their shopping and other chores, way beyond what was ever intended by the initial scheme.
And it is clear they intend to carry on supporting them even when moving on to higher education.
Seventeeen-year-olds Ben Taylor, of West Delph, Whittlesey, and Emily McIntosh, of Swan Close, Whittlesey, won £125 for Children with Leukaemia and £125 for themselves.
Winner Nick Bennett, 23, from Papworth Everard, a former boy racer in a wheelchair because of an accident he caused, won £1,000.
Yopey founder Tony Gearing reduced many of the members of the audience to tears including grown men when he said: "Although saved by Magpas, his brain stem was seriously damaged. This affected his mobility, speech and nervous system and confined him to a wheelchair. In the years since then, Nick has repaid the charity by raising more than £10,000 through various efforts."
The £500 Junior Winner award was split between two finalists' £250 Junior Winners Callum Brown, Harvey Feltwell and Lewis Bendall-Craft are three 13-year-old boys who happen to be best friends.
£250 Junior Winner Sian O'Hearn is helping her disabled sister and five disabled friends achieve a sporting dream.
Ten-year-old Grace has cerebral palsy which affects her behaviour and mental abilities and also gets her agitated and upset.
She is a member of the City of Peterborough Gymnastics Club and has her heart set on performing at the Special Olympics. So far Sian has helped to raise £3,700 of the £4,500 needed including booking a non-uniform day at her Peterborough school.