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 in June 2017.
This prestigious ceremony organised by MSDC at Borde Hill Gardens recognised the hard work of all the remarkable young people who regularly give something back to their local community.
The Young Leader Award - 17-year old Jess Morris from Hassocks
Jess stood out for her willingness to help others and for her enthusiasm whilst volunteering for the National Citizenship Scheme.
The Young Community Volunteer Award - 16-year old Ruth Bedingham from Lindfield
Ruth has made a real difference with her community work for Haywards Heath based charity - Kangaroos. The charity helps young people with learning disabilities enjoy fun social activities.
Young Achiever Award sponsored by Sussex Clubs - 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 charity - Friends, Families and Travellers.
Peer Nominated Award - 21-year old Dean Hodge of Burgess Hill
Dean was singled out as the most deserving of all the young volunteers. The award was presented by Francesca Blewitt - winner of one of the Young Volunteer Awards at last year's event.
Chairman's Special Award - Ariel Othello's Buddies
Buddies are a group of young people who have done exceptional work helping children with special educational needs to enjoy drama through the Ariel Company Theatre.
16-year old singer/song writer Harvey Kimber entertained the audience. He 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 which runs from 1 June to 7 June. This is an annual event that celebrates the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK.
Many young people give up their time and effort to make Mid Sussex a better place, and the Council is keen to recognise their dedication and hard work. The aim of the Mid Sussex Young Volunteer of the Year Awards is to give these outstanding young individuals their moment in the spotlight.
Held at Borde Hill Gardens, the 2016 awards honoured 10 special young people who regularly give up their spare time to make a difference, improve their community and make a positive contribution to their local area.
The Winner of the Young Community Volunteer Award was 18 year old Francesca Blewitt, who has volunteered at Outset Youth Action since 2011. Francesca has helped with the annual summer reading programme, worked at the Oxfam Charity Shop and given over 500 hours as a volunteer working for the Citizen Advice Bureau.
“Francesca has shown commitment and dedication - she is a real role model and an ambassador to other young people.” Caroline Halpin Outset Youth Action
The runners up prizes went to 17 year old Teddy Osman and 18 year old Connor Chatterjee, who have both accrued over 500 hours as volunteer supporting the projects run by Kangaroos, a charity for children with special needs.
“Teddy treats the children with respect and they enjoy being in his company – he gets on well with the team and is a positive role model to the other volunteers. Connor is reliable and respected member of the team who is very hardworking and responsible – he will always do more that he is asked and is an important asset to the group.” Lorna Herrett, Kangaroos
For further information contact Regina Choudhury Community Development Officer Regina.Choudhury@midsussex.gov.uk 01444 477495