Lowestoft YMCA needs your vote!

Kay Westgate and Josie Trowsdale

Kay Westgate and Josie Trowsdale - Credit: Archant

Two young women from Lowestoft have been shortlisted for an awards ceremony that celebrates the work of the YMCA in the community.

Kay Westgate and Josie Trowsdale, from the YMCA Suffolk's Shine Project in Lowestoft, have been put forward for the national YMCA Youth Matters Awards.

And both women now need the people of Lowestoft to help them win their categories as the awards will be decided by an on-line vote that ends on Wednesday.

Miss Westgate, 28 has been nominated for the young worker of the year award and Miss Trowsdale, 22, has been nominated for the volunteer of the year award.

Starting as a volunteer Miss Westgate has worked for the YMCA for eight years.

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She was a key member of the team which successfully gained a Big Lottery grant to start The Shine Project, which supports young people, aged eight to 20, by offering peer mentoring and drop-in services.

The Shine Project won the Suffolk High Sheriff's Crime Beat Award in 2013.

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Miss Westgate said: 'I became involved with the YMCA through being a young person on a St Edmunds and Waveney YMCA youth project eight years ago and have not looked back at being involved since.

'The YMCA Suffolk ethos matches my own beliefs and the rewards are far beyond it just being a job'

Miss Trowsdale is volunteer on the Shine Project and she builds a rapport with young people in the Kirkley area of Lowestoft and leads activities and helps to create a safe environment for them.

She said: 'I am involved in volunteering at the YMCA as growing up as a young person in a family who fostered children brought about many experiences and challenges for me to learn from.

'I attended the Shine project as a young person and received a lot of support from Kay. It made me realise that supporting young people was something I wanted to be able to do and through having the opportunity to do peer mentoring training and becoming a volunteer I have been able to.'

Youth Matters is YMCA's national awards ceremony which celebrates the outstanding skills and achievements of young people from across the country. It also recognises the work that YMCAs carries out every day to help transform the lives of young people and give them a brighter future.

Rowena Kerslake, chief executive of YMCA Suffolk said 'It is fantastic for the work of our young people to be recognised in this way, our projects literally could not work without their time and dedication.'

To vote for the awards visit www.ymca.org.uk/awards

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