Outstanding young people honoured with awards

PR2173a/RC/MF - 13/06/2018

Mid Sussex District Council celebrated the outstanding contributions made by young people in the District by hosting the 5th annual Young Volunteer of the Year Awards on Wednesday 6 June 2018.

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 Bruce Forbes, Chairman of Mid Sussex District Council who said:

“Congratulations to everyone who was nominated for one of our Young Volunteer of the Year Awards. You have all done amazing work over the last 12 months and you are a credit to the local community.

“I’m always astonished at just how much young people manage to do to help others at a time in their lives when there are so many conflicting pressures. All our nominees work hard to make the world a better place and they thoroughly deserve our respect and admiration.”

During the awards ceremony Sackville Instrumentalists entertained the audience with acoustic renditions of well-loved pop songs performed on the harp, drums and flute.

The winner of the Young Leader Award was 17 year-old Melissa Turner, who volunteers in the drama department at Sackville School, East Grinstead. Melissa dedicates her spare time to running a drama club for younger students and she assists school staff in certain lessons by providing additional support for young people in the class who struggle with practical work.

The Young Community Volunteer Award was awarded jointly to 18 year-old Cameron Gregory from Burgess Hill and 17 year-old Bethany Stimson from East Grinstead.

Cameron volunteers at Burgess Hill Youth, a club that provides a range of fun activities for younger people in the town. He leads on group activities, provides essential IT support and recently provided valuable assistance on two outings for young carers.

Bethany volunteers at the Quarry Café in East Grinstead, a facility that is run by the community for the benefit of the community. Beth has contributed 119 hours so far and has proved to be an outstanding volunteer with her calm, attentive manner and willingness to learn.

The Young Achiever award was presented to 16 year-old Alicia Turner from Hassocks. Alicia provides practical and emotional care for her younger brother both before and after school. She also volunteers with the Pastoral Support Service at Downlands Community School, providing her fellow pupils with information, advice, support and guidance.

The Peer Nominated Award was awarded jointly to 16 year-old Andrew Galt from Lindfield and 15 year-old Alex Wilmore from Haywards Heath.

Andrew volunteers at his local community library and is dedicated to helping young people improve their reading skills. He supports young readers at the library and has helped to establish ‘story time’ events that encourage children to be more interested in books. Andrew also gives up his lunchtime and tutor times to support secondary school readers who need extra help.

Alex volunteers with local charity Kangaroos, an organisation which provides a range of fun, inclusive activities and trips for children with learning difficulties and special needs. He has given up over 100 hours of his spare time working to ensure the children have as much fun as possible while they’re at Kangaroos.