Do you know any of the inspiring young people from Norfolk and Suffolk who have been shortlisted for the Bernard Matthews Youth Awards 2012?

From stories of sporting success, to young farmers doing great things in agriculture, to people who have shown great courage...

Nominations for the Bernard Matthews Youth Awards 2012 have highlighted some absolutely amazing young people from Norfolk and Suffolk who are a real inspiration to us all.

The standard of entries was extremely high and judges faced a difficult task picking finalists for the awards which are in association with the Eastern Daily Press.

Those shortlisted in eight of the categories can now be announced, and the ultimate winners – along with the new EDP-sponsored food champion prize – will be revealed at a special ceremony at Open in Norwich in October.

The winner of each category will receive a �1,000 prize, and there will also be a special winner of winners prize.


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Rob Mears, managing director at Bernard Matthews UK, said: 'Humbling, inspiring and astonishing are just a few words that sum up the nominations we have received for this year's Bernard Matthews Youth Awards.

'In the fourth year of running the awards, we were once again uplifted by the positive influence young people have within our communities.

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Selecting winners for the nine categories is always a tough job and this year has been no exception.

'We want to pay tribute to all the young people nominated for an award, and to thank their friends, family and supporters who, in many instances, nominated a young person for recognition.

'We look forward to meeting our nominees at The Bernard Matthews Youth Awards, where we hope to be able to make some dreams, goals and ambitions a true reality.'

About the new food champion category, specifically, Mr Mears added: 'In our first year of running the food champion category, we were keen to discover more about young people's involvement with food within our community. We were delighted to see that food is an important way of bringing groups of young people together, either for charity events, socialising or forming the backbone of a youth-led project.

'The winner of this very special category shares many of the values we do at Bernard Matthews, and we look forward to presenting the Food Champion Award along with the other outstanding category winners on October 30 at OPEN.'

The awards are also supported by Open, the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and The Garage.

Below are the shortlists for the young farmer, community support, charity, cultural achiever, bravery, environmental, educational achievement, sporting achievement categories.

Six names have been shortlisted for sport because of the wealth of entries in this category.

Young Farmer

Melissa Starkings, 15, from Fleggburgh, 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.

Jack Germany, 17, 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.

Community Support

The Children's Coach, a Gorleston-based group in which a group of young volunteer student coaches help children in local schools with their self-esteem, confidence and leadership skills.

Lowestoft-based Funtastic Futures, a drama group for young people with learning or physical disabilities which performs in many community events, including Lowestoft Heritage Day, Beccles Carnival and Lowestoft Carnival.

Chantelle Alexander, 16, from Sprowston, for her involvement in the Sprowston Youth Engagement Project (SYEP) which wants to create new facilities for young people, and for being an

active member of the Matthew Project steering group.

Charity

Alex Burlingham, 18, from Lowestoft, for work, including fundraising and volunteer mentoring, with the charity JUMP (Junior2Adult Unbiased Mentoring Project) which helps to empower vulnerable young people aged 13 to 25.

Keata Wilby, 15, from Great Yarmouth, 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. The foundation has bought a caravan at Haven Seashore for children with cancer and their families to enjoy free breaks.

Lukeman Carter, 11, from Old Catton, for setting up the Norwich Tanzania Association to raise money for the village Madiriba in Tanzania. Lukeman wants to raise funds to build a classroom and library and also a water pump.

Cultural Achiever

Tristan Butler, 17, from Old Buckenham, for excellence in music, in particular drumming and percussion. Among other achievements, Tristan is a member of Aldeburgh Young Musicians, and principal drummer and percussionist for the National Youth Music Theatre.

Adam Possener, 11, from Eaton, for outstanding musical achievement, including playing alongside the world-famous pianist Lang Lang in London, playing the viola in the National Children's Orchestra of Great Britain, being a member of Aldeburgh Young Musicians, and organising a charity concert for young musicians at St Andrew's Church, Eaton.

Paul Newman, 14, from Norwich, for his entrepreneurial ambitions and creating the 3GGGs, a series of websites for people to learn about and share their enthusiasm for games, gadgets and graphics.

Bravery

Ellie Stone, 13, from Lowestoft, for the inspiring way she copes with having cystic fibrosis, including being a cheerful and enthusiastic student at Denes High School and meeting all her academic targets, despite spending much of 2012 in and out of hospital.

Ben Clarke, 12, from Horsford, for his bravery in fighting acute lymphoblastic leukaemia after he was diagnosed a day before his 10th birthday, and for doing well academically, despite missing lots of school time because of intensive treatment.

Environmental

Rackheath Youth Council, for the group's work in helping to improve the environment where they live. Among other things, the group has been involved in clearing woodland so the footprint of the nearby 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.

Thetford Cycling Forward, a group of volunteers led by Joshua Murad, for their commitment to stopping hundreds of bicycles being put into landfill by recycling and repairing cycles. The group has donated more than 300 cycles to families who did not have cycles.

Educational Achievement

Karl Knights, 16, from Leiston, for showing exceptional ability in creative writing, in particular poetry, and for making a big improvement in his academic work over the past few years while also coping with having cerebral palsy and autism.

Katy Harabajiu, 13, from Norwich. Katy has overcome the barrier of knowing only basic English when she came to the UK at the start of year seven at school, and since then she has made great improvements in her academic work, especially maths.

Emma Louise Jarvis, 18, from Thorpe St Andrew, for excellence in her A-Level studies while also achieving 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, and setting up an exhibition of her photographic work at Norwich Arts Centre.

Sporting Achiever

Amy Wheeler-Smith, 16, from Lowestoft, for excellence in baton twirling over the past seven years and representing her sport at regional, national and European level. She was also the youngest athlete to be selected to represent England at senior level in the World Baton Twirling Championships.

Amie Hutchison, 15, from Fakenham, for her commitment to softball, in particular playing the position of pitcher, and representing her country in her sport. Amie has played for the under-16s Great Britain team, and has now been promoted to train and play with the under 19s team.

Alfie Hewett, 14, from Cantley, for his commitment and passion for wheelchair tennis, and winning an array of accolades in his sport. He has represented Great Britain in his sport for a number of years and he was an ambassador for wheelchair tennis at the 2012

Paralympics.

Jack Tucker, 16, from King's Lynn, for his dedication to playing roller hockey since the age of six. Jack has represented England in his sport and also coaches younger players. He also won the award for King's Lynn club player of the year 2010/2011.

Emily Crowe, 14, from Sprowston, for excellence in gymnastics including being a member of the British junior squad. She has won events all round the country and been Norfolk champion numerous times. She has won lots of medals and trophies, representing her club, the east region and her country.

Emily Woods, from Bradwell, for her huge commitment to roller skating. She has won a vast array of medals and trophies in roller skating since she took up the sport when she was 10-years-old, and is part of the British roller skating squad.

• For more on the awards visit www.bmyouthawards.com

• emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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