Young people were the focus of a special award ceremony at Rutland County Museum, celebrating outstanding achievement and services to their local community.
The annual Rutland Young People’s Awards are hosted by Rutland Youth Council (RYC) and aim to recognise and reward individual achievements among children and young people aged 11 and over from across the County.
A total of 21 young people were shortlisted for this year’s awards, including students from Harington School, Catmose College, Oakham School, Casterton College Rutland and New College Stamford.
The awards began with an opening address by Richard Foster, portfolio holder for children and young people at Rutland County Council, followed by introductions from Amelia Seymour, chairman of RYC, after which winners and runners up were announced for each of the four awards categories:
Benefitting the Community
A young person that has worked to make a difference to their local community and raise awareness of the positive contribution a young person can make to society. This may be through volunteering, fundraising, setting up a much needed project, breaking down barriers and bringing diverse groups of people together.
Winner: Matthew Croft, 17, of New College Stamford.
From the age of 10, Matthew has supported charity work and wanted to make a difference. He does this by giving up his own time to support the work of the British Legion through a variety of activies. These activities have pushed his own personal boundaries; such as completing a bungee jump off a crane and riding a total of 85 miles in sponsored bike rides for the benefit of others. To date Matthew has raised £32,000.
A young person who has worked through a major challenge, such as overcoming personal barriers or making a stand against bullying.
Winner: Hazratullah Maroofkhel, 16, of Moat Community College.
Hazratullah has been in the care of Rutland council for nearly a year. Due to conflict in his home country Hazratullah was forced to flee for his own safety. He spent over two years travelling from country to country looking for safety and did this on his own and with no family to support him. He has now been settled and supported in the area for nearly a year and during that time he has thrived. He has learnt a new language, taken on board new customs and values while at the same time keeping hold of his cultural heritage. He would like to continue with his education and hopes one day to go to university.
Young People’s Champion
A young person always considering the needs of other young people and placing their needs before their own. Promoting others and working selflessly to help their peers overcome their own challenges.
Winner: Charlie Newman, 12, of Catmose College.
Charlie goes above and beyond many 12-year-olds. He has a twin brother with learning difficulties and is a young carer to him. Every morning he helps his brother get ready for school and sees him onto the bus that takes him to his special school. Charlie helps his brother Sam with everything, including speech therapy and finding games online to help him. Charlie puts his brother’s needs above his own without complaint nor for reward.
Disabled Young People’s Champion
For a young person with a disability or an additional need who has supported other young people to have a voice, helped peers in challenging situations, put other people’s needs before their own and has overcome barriers either socially, emotionally or physically.
Winner: Sophie Garfoot, 20.
Sophie is a young lady with learning disabilities and dyspraxia, but this does not stop her. Sophie is also a valued member of the Out of Hours Club Rutland, which is a group for young adults with additional needs to independently socialise. The group members have a variety of complex needs but Sophie supports all of her peers, always encouraging them to try something new and showing them how to do it first. Sophie has started volunteering at Sunflowers, which is a weekly support group for parents and carers who have a child with additional needs. Here she supports the parents and their children to enjoy a swim, play and learn in a safe and understanding environment.
Super Group Award
A bespoke award for 2018 that recognises this group’s support that they offer to other children and young people by welcoming them into their homes and families.
Winners: Nash Nørgaard Morton, Henry Andrews, Harry Sabberton, Tommy Sabberton.
Nash, Henry, Tommy, and Harry have parents who foster vulnerable children in Rutland, who are in need of safety and a family to care for them. Sometimes this it is at very short notice; children come to live in their family home, which changes the dynamics of their family. This ‘Super Group’ of young people provides comfort, acceptance and care for those children who are often feeling confused, sad, hurt and scared. They are willing to share their possessions, their time and mostly importantly their parent’s time, energy and affection in order to support children to feel safe and well cared for.
Speaking after the awards, Coun Foster said: “It’s been an incredibly inspiring evening celebrating the achievements of some truly remarkable young people.
“Everyone nominated as part of the awards can feel extremely proud and fully deserve the recognition they have received.
“Congratulations must also go to the Rutland Youth Council. These award are getting bigger and better each year and they’ve succeeded in organising another brilliant event.”