Norfolk and Waveney's 30 under 30 - from world-beating athletes to business owners
- Credit: Archant
From sporting stars and YouTube sensations, to savvy business owners and international models, our region is home to some of the most inspirational young people leading the way in their industries.
Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk, the Lady Dannatt, said she was "in awe" at the achievements of the 30 young people on the Eastern Daily Press' list.
"Norfolk is so fortunate to have such a wealth of inspirational and talented young people in every walk of life, drawing on the beauty and culture of this wonderful county of ours," she said. "I stand back in awe at the scale and diversity of their achievements."
Here are 30 under 30s who are making us proud.
Lauren Hemp, 20, Manchester City footballer
Lauren Hemp, from North Walsham, is only 20-years-old but already she is a rising football star currently playing for Manchester City’s woman’s team.
This year she has been named Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Women’s Young Player of the year for the 2020/21 season and has been included in the Team GB squad for the Tokyo Olympics.
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She has been described as a one of England’s “brightest stars” and “most influential attacking talents”.
Before her move to the Academy Stadium three years ago, the winger also played for Bristol City after learning her trade at Norwich City’s Centre of Excellence.
Jessica Jane Applegate MBE, 24, Paralympic swimmer
British Paralympic swimmer Jessica-Jane Applegate MBE, from Gorleston, is among Norfolk’s young sporting stars.
The Paralympian – who has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder - competes in the S14 classification for swimmers with intellectual disabilities.
Throughout her career, she's managed to bag herself 38 medals representing Great Britain in a variety of competitions – including a gold medal at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
The 24-year-old began swimming at Lowestoft and Oulton Broad Swimming Club at a young age.
In 2016, she took part in the Rio Paralympic Games and took home three medals - silver in the 200m freestyle, silver in the 200m medley and bronze the 100m backstroke.
Sophie McKinna, 26, Team GB shot putter
Shot putter Sophie McKinna, from Gorleston, threw the qualifying distance for the Tokyo Olympics in 2019, at the World Championships in Doha.
Ms McKinna also became the first British woman in 36 years to qualify for a shot-put final at the World Athletics Championships.
Her qualifying round throw of 18.61m was not only a personal best, but also above the Olympic qualifying standard.
In her earlier years, Ms Mckinna won silver medals at the World Youth Championships in 2011 and the European Junior Championships in 2013.
She is also a two-time British Outdoor Champion, having taken the crown in 2019 and 2020.
Alfie Hewett, 23, Paralympic medallist in Wheelchair Tennis
Double Paralympic medallist Alfie Hewett is another Norfolk sportsman under the age of 30.
Mr Hewett, who was diagnosed with Perthes Disease, started playing wheelchair tennis in 2005 and made his Paralympic debut at the Rio Olympic Games - at only 18-years-old.
Hewett boasts 16 Grand Slam titles and two Paralympic silver medals, with 11 of those Grand Slams shared with playing partner Gordon Reid.
The former Acle High School and City College student’s commercial deals include Papa Johns and Ellesse UK.
Todd Cantwell, 23, Norwich City Football Club
Known to supporters as the “Dereham Deco” Todd Cantwell has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks at Carrow Road.
Not only does he dazzle on the pitch, he has built himself a loyal following on social media and is a staunch campaigner against online bullying.
After a successful loan spell at Fortuna Sittard football club in the Netherlands, he returned to Norwich and was pivotal in their Championship-winning 2018 to 19 season - before earning a call-up to the England Under-21s side in August 2019.
George Russell, 23, British F1 racing driver
George Russell is one of the newest arrivals on the Formula One scene.
Born in King’s Lynn and educated at Wisbech Grammar School, the 23-year-old is in his second season with the Williams team.
He has yet to win a point with Williams, but almost scored a sensational win at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix when he stood in for world champion Lewis Hamilton, who had tested positive for coronavirus.
Driving the Mercedes, Russell led for most of the race, but with 20 laps remaining team mechanics fitted the wrong tyres at a pit-stop and he eventually finished ninth.
Morgan Lewis, 19, owner of Bakeaholics
Morgan Lewis is a self-taught-baker who had a dream to open her own cake shop and in lockdown that dream came true.
When she first launched Bakeaholics in Attleborough’s Queen’s Square, she was met with a two-hour queue and so much demand she ran out of stock - a rush which has so far failed to ease.
Miss Lewis used to take her cakes and bakes around local markets, driving to Wymondham, Mildenhall and Newmarket to drum up trade, working at The Stag, then the Breckland Lodge, for an income.
Now the 19-year-old has turned a lifelong baking hobby into a thriving 'cakery' business so popular expansion is already on the cards just months since it opened.
Jamie Minors, 29, managing director at Minors & Brady estate agents
From 2011 to 2013 Mr Minors became a branch manager and then a senior valuer at Pymm & Co agency.
But in December 2014 he took the plunge to started his own business, along with Alex Brady, called Minors & Brady.
The pair now have offices in Caister-on-Sea, Wroxham, Dereham, Lowestoft and in Norwich’s Golden Triangle.
Severin Mokake, 24, owner of BAS Training
After setting up a gym in Rackheath, Norwich, Severin Mokake’s clients include top name footballers such as Benjamin Mendy and Raheem Sterling.
Others include Ayoze Perez and some Norwich City players past and present such as Sebastien Bassong, Timm Klose, Max Aarons and James Maddison. TV sport presenter, who hails from Norwich, Jake Humprhey is a regular too.
But a decade ago, Mr Mokake nearly got deported with his mum and brother due to an admin error. On hearing the family’s predicament, the local community successfully campaigned for the family, lobbying Parliament and raising money for legal costs.
Since then, the youngest of the family, Severin Mokake, has made a name for himself among top level footballers for his BAS Training (Believe, Achieve, Success).
Lizzie Fox, 27, owner of the Rose Press Garden
Lizzie Fox is founder of the Rose Press Garden which sells seeds for growing flowers at home, with the aim of making gardening more modern, fun and easy.
Ms Fox worked in marketing for a food firm but in lockdown sent off for some seeds for her garden and was so uninspired, she decided to start her own firm selling them.
She started an Instagram account documenting her work in her own garden and has been so successful she has now worked giving top tips for B&Q.
Ms Fox is now set to pursue the Rose Press Garden full time and she has been selected to feature in the BBC's Norfolk Gardening Show and then the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in September.
Will de Feyter, 29, Norfolk Farmer
Will de Feyter is an arable, sheep and pig farmer from East Ruston.
He is a national award-winning pig farmer, and also chairman of the Norfolk branch of the Young Farmers' Club.
Mr Feyter is known for being a very vocal, knowledgeable and passionate advocate for Norfolk farming on subjects ranging from dog attacks on livestock to the financial effects of Covid-19 on YFC clubs.
He is also the main ring head steward at the Alysham Show and assistant head steward for trade stands at the Norfolk Show.
Rosie Dearlove, 20, owner of Slayyy Vintage
Roise Dearlove started on the shopping app Depop before opening her very own stall on Norwich market in 2019 when she was just 18.
It made Miss Dearlove, now 20, the market's youngest stallholder and after growing her business online during the first lockdown, she realised she needed to move to a bigger space.
On her Slayyy Vintage’s Instagram page, Ms Dearlove now has more than 9,000 followers.
Michael Femi-ola, 27, The Junkyard Market
Michael Femi-ola is managing director of Afterdark Promotions in Norwich and the driving force behind the city’s extremely popular Junkyard Market.
The Junkyard Market, which was trialled over seven weekends during the late summer last year, was purpose-built to adapt to the pandemic and coronavirus restrictions - offering city-goers an open air, global street food market.
The pop-up food and drinks stalls, based in the car park of St Mary's Works, runs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Ross Woodrow, 21, owner of Cigarette Skateboards
After launching his business in lockdown, Ross Woodrow has taken Norfolk’s skateboarding and streetwear scene by storm.
It has been a difficult year for university graduates, after finishing their degrees and struggling to find a job during the pandemic.
But for Mr Woodrow the last year stuck at home gave him time to focus on his dream of launching his very own brand - Cigarette Skateboards.
His products have already been a big hit online and are even being sold at Supply Norwich, an independent streetwear and skateboard stall on Norwich Market.
Megan Reeves, 21, owner of The Dance Base
Megan Reeves started her Ballroom and Latin career through competing successful at many events at Blackpool’s Empress Ballroom, becoming National champion multiple times.
She then began teaching Ballroom and Latin at the age of 16 and became self-employed only two years later.
The 21-year-old opened The Dance Base in 2019 aged 20. The studio now hosts a range of dance styles with various accomplished teachers.
As well as teaching, she has performed on shows such as BBC’s Killing Eve, ITV’s Granchester, Channel 4’s Stath lets Flats and many more. She has also danced alongside Strictly’s Giovanni Pernici and Amy Dowden at events such as Strictly NHS.
Jordan Hipperson, 27, owner of Perfit Fitness
The 27-year-old spent five years building up his fitness business after winning nearly £16,000 on a £1 FA Cup bet and opened his first gym in 2021.
The business owner said he wanted to create a comfortable environment for like-minded members at the gym, wanting to improve their health and wellbeing.
During the pandemic Jordan started up a Facebook group where he posted free workout videos for people to follow and keep fit at home, while running online Zoom and outdoor classes.
Paige Mitchell, 26, founder of Elm plant and lifestyle store
Born and bred in Norwich, artist and business owner Paige Mitchell has turned her talents into one of the city's best-loved businesses.
Spending most of her time tucked away in the studio of the building, Miss Mitchell's handmade ceramics are now found across the county and beyond.
Miss Mitchell had originally planned to sell her wares wholesale - but having outgrown her original shop in Dove Street in 2018 after just ten months it looks like the brand is destined to just keep growing.
Madeleine White, 24, Makeup Artist and Business Owner
Madeleine White is the owner of the beauty brand, Juni Cosmetics.
The 24-year-old had always had sensitive skin and when she became a model and trained as a make-up artist, going on to work in the fashion, film and advertising industries, she started educating herself about their ingredients and how her skin, and that of clients, reacted to products.
This led to hr first capsule collection of luxury lipsticks, which are 100pc plastic free, vegan and organic, launched in 2020 and have already won plaudits from fashion industry insiders, including the beauty team at Vogue.
The brand – which is named after her grandmother, June and her birthday month - has been a labour of love for Madeleine and her mum, Suzanne, who run the company together in Norwich.
Chris Reeve, 27, and Jack Reeve, 25, TalkNorwichCity
Well-known names to any Norwich city fan, Chris and Jack Reeve have built a social media empire together through Talk Norwich city.
During the pandemic they united supporters by holding video watch along, which thousands of fans enjoyed each week.
Jack and Chris were also as the winners of the Michelle Dack Fan of the Season award for 2020-21.
The season ticket holders and co-hosts of the popular YouTube fan channel TalkNorwichCity (TNC), the pair recently streamed for 24 hours to raise more than £23,000 for Norfolk cancer charity Big C.
You can find them on twitter using the handle, @TalkNorwichCity.
Jaack Maate, 28, YouTuber
Norwich-based streaming star JaackMaate, also known as Jack Dean, has more than 1.4m subscribers on his YouTube channel.
The YouTuber and comedian regularly commentates on other well-known vloggers and popular topics.
Last month, the 28-year-old spent 10 days hiding “golden tickets” placed inside small silver tins in every English city and the finders would win a share of £10,000.
A ticket was later found Norwich’s Wensum Park.
Matt Adlard, 29, Topless Baker
What started out as a bit of fun for Norwich YouTuber Matt Adlard has now turned into a thriving baking business and he is also a judge on the Food Network in America.
Mr Adlard - whose dad was a Michelin star chef - is a self-taught baker and pastry chef and in January 2016 he decided to launch the Topless Baker YouTube channel, where he would bake wearing just an apron on his top half.
Today he has his very own online baking school, Bake It Better. He has also appeared as a judge on Channel 4’s Beat the Chef.
Watch his tutorials on Instagram @mattadlard and see recipes and details of his baking school at mattadlard.com.
Bailey May, 18, Norfolk Singer
Bailey May is part of international pop group Now United, created by Simon Fuller who is behind Pop Idol.
The band consists of 18 members from around the world and he represents the Philippines as his mum is Filipino.
The former Notre Dame High School pupil has 4.7 million Instagram followers, a huge fan base in Asia and South America and he was first discovered from his YouTube channel where he covered songs by artists such as Sean Kingston and One Direction.
Sam Clemmett, 27, Actor
The former Thorpe St Andrew School pupil from Brundall is an alumnus of the Norwich Theatre Royal Arts Course and has appeared in Holby City, Doctors and The Musketeers.
In 2017 he returned to East Anglia to share his West End experience with aspiring actors in MoCo Theatre Company's A Clockwork Orange, a group he is the patron of.
His latest role was playing Yuri in 2021 film Cherry starring Spider-man actor Tom Holland and directed by Joe and Anthony Russo of Avengers: Endgame fame.
Munya Chawawa, 28, Comedian and Presenter
Munya Chawawa, from Norwich, is a satirist best known for his social media sketches and regular appearances on television shows such as The Last Leg, Bamous, Don't Hate the Players and Dating No Filter.
In 2020 Mr Chawawa - who went to Notre Dame High School - was nominated for a MOBO Award for best media personality.
In June last year his sketch called “Black Lives Matter Report” got 3.5 million views and his “Tommy Robinson Spoof” got 2.2 million. His news reporter “Barty Crease” also landed an online series with Netflix.
Let’s Eat Grandma, 20s, Pop Group
Now in their early 20s, childhood friends Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth have been performing as psychedelic pop duo Let's Eat Grandma since 2013.
The pair first rose to fame when they released their debut album I, Gemini in 2016 when they were just 13, mixing fairy tale references and throbbing electronic beats to form their creepy yet cool sound.
Their second album, I'm All Ears, was released two years later reaching 28 in the UK album chart and receiving rave reviews, featuring in a number of yearly 'best of' lists, most significantly the now defunct Q magazine who ranked it the second-best album of the year, just behind Arctic Monkeys' Tranquillity Base Hotel and Casino.
The duo have also performed at major festivals across Europe such as Primavera Sound and Coachella as well as closer to home at Glastonbury and Latitude.
India Harl, 26, Model and Actress
India Harl’s career began at an early age working as a child model for fashion brands like Marks and Spencer and shooting her first film (Atonement) at age 11.
She then moved to London at 18 to follow her acting and dance dreams. Since then, Ms Harl, from Norwich, has achieved international successes across these three industries for brands including Chanel, New Look, Gym Shark, Revlon and more.
Other credits include Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw, Men in Black: International and Years & Years: If You’re Over Me.
The 26-year-old now creates content for various brands via her Instagram platform and runs a blog and advice page about modelling - to inspire others to pursue their goals.
Roger Nsengiyumva, 27, Actor
Roger Nsengiyumva is a Rwandan-born actor, who found asylum with his mother in Norwich after fleeing from the Rwandan genocide of the mid 1990s.
His acting career began after the publication of the first edition of Miracle in Kigale, his mother’s account of the frenzy of violence which convulsed Rwanda in 1994 and her escape.
A film producer came across the book as he was putting together the film Africa United about a group of children travelling to the World Cup in South Africa. He needed a child to play a football-obsessed Rwandan teenager. Mr Nsengiyumva - a keen footballer who once had trials for Norwich City - won the part.
Next came a documentary, Genocide Baby, following Mr Nsengiyumva’s emotional return to Rwanda as a teenager. Roger, a former pupil at City of Norwich School on Eaton Road, went on to win several more film and television roles - including a part in Tomb Raider and BBC thriller Informer.
Alec Steele, 23, Blacksmith and YouTuber
Alec Steele, originally from Norwich, is a blacksmith and YouTuber with 2.34 million subscribers on his channel.
His passion for blacksmithing was set a flame at the age of 11, as he watched a local blacksmith hammer at hot steel.
At only 16-years-old Mr Steele, who is now living in the mountains of Montana in the USA, left school to pursue blacksmithing full-time.
Jess Barnard, 26, Young chair of the Labour Party
As the young chair of the Labour Party, Jessica Barnard has risen to become a prominent figure in politics.
She previously served as county councillor for the Nelson ward in Norwich, from 2017 until 2021 before selecting not to seek re-election.
In the 2019 general election she was the party's parliamentary candidate for the Broadland constituency and the following year was elected young chair of the party.
A champion for youth culture in the county, she is also an influential figure at MAP, which works alongside young people in the Norfolk area.
Ed Colman, 24, Norfolk County Councillor
Who says young people aren't interested in local politics? Certainly not Ed Colman, who was still a teenager when he was first elected as a Norfolk county councillor.
In 2017, at the age of just 19, Conservative Mr Colman took the county council division of Swaffham from UKIP.
He was re-elected in last month's County Hall elections, with 1,766 votes - 1,338 ahead of his nearest rival and is chairman of the council's corporate select committee.
Now 24, Mr Colman also represents Swaffham on Breckland Council.