16 June 2017
Mid Sussex District Council celebrated the wonderful contributions made by young people in the District by hosting the 4th annual Young Volunteer of the Year Awards on Tuesday 6 June 2017.
The Council organised a prestigious awards ceremony at Borde Hill Gardens, Haywards Heath to recognise the hard work of all the remarkable young people in Mid Sussex who regularly give something back to their local community.
The event was hosted by Councillor Phillip Coote, Vice-Chairman of Mid Sussex District Council who said:
“As a Council we want to celebrate the outstanding contribution young people make to our community. It’s so easy for them to go unnoticed and we want to make sure all that all the good work young people do in our community is recognised and rewarded.
“What makes these young people all the more remarkable is that they are giving back to the community at such a busy time in their lives. Many are studying hard at school and dealing with the pressure of exams while giving up their time to help others.
“I would like to thank all the organisations and individuals who nominated young people for these awards and I hope all the nominees take great pride in their achievements. Every nomination shows just how much you are appreciated by the organisations you support.”
The winner of the Young Leader Award was 17-year-old Jess Morris from Hassocks, who stood out for her willingness to help others and the enthusiasm she has demonstrated whilst volunteering for the National Citizenship Scheme.
The Young Community Volunteer Award went to 16-year-old Ruth Beddingham from Lindfield, who has made a real difference in her community by working with the Haywards Heath based charity Kangaroos to help young people with learning disabilities enjoy fun social activities.
Sussex Clubs for Young People sponsored the Young Achiever Award, which went to 21-year-old Dean Hodge of Burgess Hill. Dean has overcome significant difficulties and worked extremely hard over the past year whilst volunteering with the Friends, Families and Travellers organisation.
Dean Hodge also scooped the Peer Nominated Award after his fellow nominees singled him out as the most deserving of all the young volunteers. The award was presented by Francesca Blewitt, a winner of one of the Young Volunteer Awards at last year’s event.
The last presentation was for the Chairman’s Special Award – which was given to the Ariel Othello’s Buddies, a group of young people who have done exceptional work helping children with special educational needs to enjoy drama through the Ariel Company Theatre.
During the event 16-year-old singer/song writer Harvey Kimber entertained the audience. Harvey is currently studying for a Diploma in Music Performance, Singing and Song writing and will soon be releasing his debut album ‘Battlefield Scars’ on Hammered Records.
The Mid Sussex Young Volunteer of the Year Awards coincided with National Volunteers Week, 1st to 7th June – an annual event that celebrates the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK. Volunteers are central to the work of countless charities and other organisations. They are a valuable presence in many communities, helping out in places as diverse as sports clubs, libraries, schools and hospitals.