Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Talented, courageous and inspiring young people from Norfolk and Suffolk have been honoured for their achievements.
The 2012 Bernard Matthews Youth Awards, in association with the EDP last night, saw some amazing individuals and groups presented with special awards, and performers from The Garage also showed their talents. TV presenter Barney Harwood hosted the ceremony at Open in Norwich, and said he was proud to share the stage with the “truly inspirational” winners and finalists. He said: “These young people are nothing but inspirational and they are true ambassadors of their generation.”
Each category winner received £1,000. Sporting achievement winner Alfie Hewett was crowned Bernard Matthews Young Person of the Year.
Rob Mears, Bernard Matthews UK managing director, described the winners and finalists’ achievements as “absolutely remarkable – a combination of inspiring and humbling”.
Bob Crawley, publishing director for EDP publisher Archant Anglia, presented the EDP food champion award to Holt-based Roots and Shoots Growing for the Future project which involves students from Taverham and Sheringham. He said it was a delight to be involved because as the EDP and Bernard Matthews are part of the fabric of Norfolk, the youth of today are part of the fabric for the future.
The Bernard Matthews Youth Awards 2012 winners:
• Bernard Matthews Young Person of the Year and Sporting Achiever
Alfie Hewett, 14, from Cantley, was named Bernard Matthews Young Person of the Year as well as given the sporting award for his brilliant achievements in wheelchair tennis.
Alfie, who has represented Great Britain for a number of years and has his sights set on Rio 2016, is the number one junior wheelchair tennis player in Great Britain, and third in the world. He is also 59th in the international mens’ rankings. He describes wheelchair tennis as his “light at the end of the tunnel,” and is passionate about inspiring others to enjoy the sport. Alfie was born with heart defects and had open heart surgery.At the age of six he was diagnosed with Perthes’ disease, but his sporting success is proof of his determination to not let his health issues stop him achieving great things. Among his many accolades he became the World Junior Masters Champion in January, and was named AEGON Junior Player of the Month in August. He was a wheelchair tennis ambassador at the 2012 Paralympics and an Olympic torch bearer. As well as achieving his own sporting accomplishments, he also hopes to become a tennis coach and already helps out with a youth tennis group.
Alfie said: “To win the sporting achievement award was just incredible, and winning young person of the year was amazing. I was a bit shocked! When the details began being read out about the winner I was like, ‘no way!’. I was so happy.
“Winning these awards means a lot because I have gone through a lot and it feels like everything has now started to come together. Getting these awards means so much to me.”
He said he wanted to thank everybody who supported him, in particular his granddad, David Hooper, and coach Donna Andrews.
Also shortlisted for sporting achiever:
Amy Wheeler-Smith, 16, from Lowestoft, for excellence in baton twirling and representing her sport at regional, national and European level.
Amie Hutchison, 15, from Fakenham, for her commitment to softball, in particular playing the position of pitcher, and representing her country in her sport.
Jack Tucker, 16, from King’s Lynn, for his dedication to playing roller hockey since the age of six, representing England and coaching younger players.
Emily Crowe, 14, from Sprowston, for excellence in gymnastics including winning events all round the county and being a member of the British junior squad.
Emily Woods, 13, from Bradwell, for winning an array of accolades in roller skating and being part of the British roller skating squad.
• EDP Food Champion
The Holt-based Roots and Shoots Growing for the Future project involving students from Taverham High and Sheringham High was given the EDP Food Champion prize for its work with the Hunny Bell inn in Hunworth. Seven students, each with complex learning needs, have been taking part in the culinary venture.
Working in partnership with The Hunny Bell, the students designed and created their own kitchen garden where vegetables, fruit and herbs have been organically produced and are used in the restaurant. The project has taught the students how to grow, prepare and cook their own produce within a real working environment and has also boosted their communication skills as the students have made information boards and posters to explain their activities to visitors of The Hunny Bell. Each of the students has learned a lot from the project and worked towards a level one award in horticulture.
Two young people who have shown immense courage were presented with the bravery award.
Ben Clarke, 12, from Horsford, received the award for his courage in fighting acute lymphoblastic leukaemia after he was diagnosed a day before his 10th birthday. His family was told he may not survive his birthday, and after getting through those scary early days Ben underwent a year of intensive chemotherapy. He lost his hair, mobility and everything most of us take for granted but despite this, and also missing more than a year at school, he managed to move up to high school where he is in all the top sets and doing very well. Ben’s mum, Jo, said she was so proud of her son who, she said, has taken everything that has been thrown at him and still kept a smile on his face. Ben’s positive outlook also helped his grandmother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer a month before he became ill.
Ellie Stone, 13, from Lowestoft, also received the bravery award for the inspiring way she copes with having cystic fibrosis. A cheerful and enthusiastic student at Denes High School, Ellie refuses to let her condition get her down, and she was nominated for the bravery award by staff at the school who said she really brightens up the school with her positive outlook on life and infectious laugh. Despite spending much of 2012 in and out of hospital, Ellie has met her academic targets and she is always full of enthusiasm.
Keata Wilby, 16, from Great Yarmouth, was presented with the charity award for helping to set up and fundraise for the Leah Wilby Foundation in memory of her sister who died aged 15 after a seven-year battle with cancer.
Keata has been involved in lots of different fundraising events, including making jewellery, taking part in cake bakes and singing for sponsorship. All these have helped the foundation buy a caravan at Haven Seashore for children with cancer and their families to enjoy much needed short breaks or weeks away. Keata helps look after the caravan and also decorated the bedrooms.
Alex Burlingham, 18, from Lowestoft, for work including fundraising and volunteer mentoring with JUMP (Junior2Adult Unbiased Mentoring Project).
Lukeman Carter, 11, from Old Catton, for setting up the Norwich Tanzania Association to raise money to help the village Madiriba in Tanzania.
• Community Support
Chantelle Alexander, 16, from Sprowston, won the community support category for her work to help make sure young people have a voice in the area and her work to help set up a permanent youth group.
Chantelle sits on the committee of the Sprowston Youth Engagement Project (SYEP), which wants to create new facilities for young people in Sprowston, and she is an active member of the Matthew Project steering group.
Through her work with both organisations she has also helped raise much-needed funds for the youth group project.
The Children’s Coach, a Gorleston-based group with young volunteer student coaches who help children in local schools with self-esteem, confidence and leadership.
Lowestoft-based Funtastic Futures, a drama group for young people with learning or physical disabilities which performs at community events.
• Cultural Achiever
Adam Possener, 11, from Eaton, won the cultural achiever accolade for outstanding musical achievements and for creating performance opportunities for other young musicians.
Adam has played alongside world-famous pianist Lang Lang in London, plays viola in the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain, and is a member of Aldeburgh Young Musicians. Earlier this year he organised a charity concert in Eaton which featured young musicians aged nine to 19, and raised more than £700 which was split between Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and Norfolk County Intermediate Youth Orchestra.
Tristan Butler, 17, from Old Buckenham, for excellence in music including being principal drummer and percussionist for the National Youth Music Theatre.
Paul Newman, 14, from Norwich, for his entrepreneurial ambitions, creating websites for people to learn about and share enthusiasm for games, gadgets and graphics.
Emma Louise Jarvis, 18, from Thorpe St Andrew, won the education award for achieving excellence in her A Level studies while also doing great things outside the classroom, including coaching at her local gymnastics club and achieving qualifications in coaching and judging, competing regionally and nationally in sports acrobatics and gaining first aid and lifeguard qualifications. She has also excelled in photography and set up an exhibition of her photographs at Norwich Arts Centre. Her award was collected by mum Mandy.
Also shortlisted were:
Karl Knights, 16, from Leiston, for showing exceptional ability in creative writing and making a big improvement in his academic work while also coping with having cerebral palsy and autism.
Katy Harabajiu, 13, from Norwich, for overcome the barrier of knowing only basic English when she came to the UK and making great improvements in her academic work.
• Young Farmer
Melissa Starkings, 15, from Fleggburgh, was given the Young Farmer award for her commitment to the wool industry and inspiring the next generation.
Melissa has her own flock of Teeswater Longwool sheep and is a junior ambassador for the Worstead Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, attending open studios to help encourage more young people to take up the hobby.
Teeswaters are on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust’s list of endangered sheep and Melissa is dedicated to helping increase the numbers of this vulnerable breed.
She is also passionate about producing handcrafted items from her own flock and she hand clips, washes, spins and dyes her own fleeces ready to make garments.
Jack Germany, 18, from Great Hautbois, near Coltishall, for his dedication to the cattle industry. Jack owns nine cows, seven calves and one bull, and is an apprentice at a cattle and arable farm.
Thetford Cycling Forward, a group of volunteers led by Joshua Murad, won the environmental award for their commitment to stopping hundreds of bicycles being put into landfill. The group has recycled more than 300 bikes and repaired hundreds more. As a result bicycles which would otherwise have gone to waste, have been given to families without bicycles who are referred to the group by support agencies.
Rackheath Youth Council, for helping to improve their local environment, including clearing woodland so the footprint of the former military base was visible for a successful open day, helping to secure a new road crossing and raising money for a local play area.