Friday, May 30, 2014
As the Bernard Matthews Youth Awards begins the 2014 search to find and reward inspiring young people who have achieved great things, reporter Emma Knights speaks to last year’s winner of winners Ellie Bea Hitchcock-Wyatt.
The search is on to find and reward inspiring young people who have achieved great things in Norfolk and Suffolk, and help them further their dreams and ambitions.
The Bernard Matthews Youth Awards, in association with the Eastern Daily Press, are back for a sixth year and from today people can be nominated for one of the 2014 awards. This year there are seven categories for young people and each one has a £1,000 prize. They are all open to 11 to 18-year-olds living in Norfolk and Suffolk.
There is also a Hero Award which gives young people the opportunity to recognise an adult who in their eyes is a real young people’s champion, and the prize for this award is a special trophy. The 2014 awards winner will be revealed in a celebratory awards ceremony on October 28 at Open, in Norwich, and the event will feature entertainment by young performers from youth arts centre The Garage.
The Bernard Matthews Youth Awards, in association with the EDP, are supported by Open, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and The Garage.
Entries for the awards open at 9am today. Young people can either enter themselves or be nominated by somebody else. The awards are all open to both individuals and groups. The closing date for entries is Friday, August 22 at 5pm. For more information visit www.bmyouthawards.com, call 01603 706566 or follow @bmyouthawards on Twitter.
Sixteen-year-old Ellie Bea Hitchcock-Wyatt, from Norwich, was crowned the 2013 Bernard Matthews Young Person of the Year after also winning the education category for co-founding anti-bullying social enterprise Bullying Stinkz.
She said she was honoured to receive the awards and she has used her prize money to continue Bullying Stinkz’ quest to stop bullying before it starts.
Ellie Bea co-founded Bullying Stinkz with her mum Jacqueline after she was bullied for eight years, and by the time of last year’s Bernard Matthews Youth Awards they had created a series of books and been working on an educational empowerment programme. Ellie Bea had also written songs including GR8 AS U R (and Bullying Stinkz) to inspire children.
Since then Ellie Bea has used her £1,000 prize money to fund the creation of a GR8 AS U R music video with other children who have also been affected by bullying.
She has also gone on to create a hard-hitting short film, called My Name is Allen, which highlights the devastating effects of bullying.
“It was amazing to win the awards. I was really proud and it meant a lot,” said Ellie Bea.
“I used the money to record a video for GR8 AS U R, with each line of the song sung by a different child. We are hoping to use the video to get more funding for the programme and make people more aware, especially on social media.”
She added: “It was brilliant to be able to use the awards to do something great.
“You can see what we have come up with in the video. It was really fun to make, and it was brilliant to see the reactions from the children and how everyone enjoyed themselves. I would just like to say thank you to the Youth Awards for giving me the award so I could do the video, and thank you to all the people who gave up their time to be involved and help spread awareness to stop it [bullying] before it starts. I think that this year has been really monumental for Bullying Stinkz in terms of making people aware and involving the community around us to create change.”
For more about Bullying Stinkz visit www.bullyingstinkz.com