Shropshire youngsters who make a positive difference to their local communities were rewarded and celebrated at the county’s annual High Sheriff’s Outstanding Young Citizen Awards.
Schools and colleges from across the county nominated star students who stand out from the crowd for the awards, which were presented at Telford College of Arts and Technology.
More than 50 students were put forward from 25 schools, including primary, secondary and further education colleges, and all received certificates.
Two overall champions were also crowned for the education authorities of both Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.
Amrit Sandhur of New College – a police cadet who has contributed 270 hours of voluntary time to the area – won the Telford & Wrekin shield.
The Shropshire shield went to Sydnee Marsh of Ludlow C of E School, a member of the town’s swimming club who has also volunteered to help with Rainbows and girl guides for five years, and been a member of St John Ambulance for six years.
High Sheriff David Stacey said: “This prestigious award has been running for a number of years and is given in recognition of excellence and outstanding attitudes and actions among young people who make a significant difference to their local community.
“This year we have had exceptionally strong entries. Nominees – one third boys and two thirds girls, ranged in age from 6 -17. Approximately 60 per cent of the nominations were for voluntary work and community activities, 20 per cent for political activities, 20 per cent for family activities and one entry for environmental activities.
“They came from as far north as Ellesmere and as far south as Cleobury Mortimer, encompassing both remote rural areas and our busy towns.
“We received these nominations because head teachers, teachers, tutors, teaching assistants, community leaders, volunteers, charity workers and others have taken the time and the trouble to complete nomination forms.
“They have done that because they want the exceptional young people that they have got to know to receive recognition for the great things they have been up to.”
Primary school winners were Jemima Robinson of Kinlet, Millie Edwards and Grace Steele of Lilleshall, Gemma Keay from Market Drayton, Lottie Blake and Finley Shuttle of Mount Pleasant, Alex Carey of Oakmeadow, and Fern McGill from St John’s, plus eight pupils from Shifnal – Zoe Perks, Bronwyn Foulkes, Chloe Fullerton, Isabelle Oare, Leah McMurtrie, Josie Haigh, Lucy Owen and Molle Leese – all from Shifnal.
Secondary school winner were Ellis Snookes of Adams’ Grammar in Newport, Anna Overton from Bridgnorth Endowed, Georgina Young of Church Stretton, Abigail Vaughan from The Grove in Market Drayton, George Harris from Lacon Childe Cleobury Mortimer, Matthew Harvey and Valentin Tinca of Lakelands Ellesmere.
Other secondary school winners were Phoebe Anson and Courtney Devine from Madeley, Chanise Evans and Georgia Raper of New College, Samantha Smith from Newport Girls’ High, Jack Morris and Joshua Page of North Shropshire College, Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology trio Jessica Davies, Imogen Neath, Connor Pritchard, plus the college’s catering and front of house students.
Completing the secondary school line-up of winners were Laura Sheldon of Shrewsbury Sixth Form College, Becca Perry from Sundorne, Fraser Thompson of Telford College of Arts and Technology, William Jarvis and Katie Laffey from Thomas Adams in Wem, Imogen Elkes, Bradley Jones, Cameron Mackie and Lauren Thomas from William Brookes Much Wenlock, and seven pupils from the Priory School – Hannah Kim, Kayleigh Lewis-Cubbin, Isobel Lewis, Megan McKissick, Josh O’Brien, Miriam Hubbard, and Megan O’Neil.
The High Sheriff told them: “It has been an enormous honour to be involved in this great event. All the nominees are a credit to their families, schools, communities and most importantly to themselves. They set a wonderful example and will inspire not just other children and young people but all of us.
As well as hosting the awards ceremony this year, TCAT were joint organisers, and interim principal Jo Lomax said the team were delighted to be involved.
“Just like the Pride of Shropshire awards, which we also enthusiastically support, this is a wonderful way to highlight and celebrate the many endeavours carried out by young people in our communities,” she said.
“Whether it’s voluntary work and community activities such as fundraising, youth work and mentoring, or environmental projects like conservations and recycling; caring for a family member or being involved in a youth council, there are all kinds of reasons why young people deserve to be recognised.
“At TCAT, we are constantly championing young people and the positive role they play in our local community, so to be involved in an awards scheme like this fits perfectly with our ongoing aims and objectives.”