More than 50 young people have been honoured at the 2023 High Sheriff of Shropshire’s Outstanding Young Citizen Awards.
The annual event, hosted this year by High Sheriff Selina Graham, was held at Telford College – and more than 20 Telford College students were among those to receive certificates.
The awards have been running since 2006 to acknowledge excellence and outstanding attitudes and actions among young people from all corners of the county.
They recognised young people’s achievements in four categories: voluntary and community work, environmental activities, family activities, and political activities.
Two overall winners were crowned – one for the Shropshire Council area, and one for Telford & Wrekin.
The Shropshire prize went this year to Anna Fairley, from the Corbet School in Baschurch, for setting up a ‘uniform swap shop’ to support families with the cost of living challenges.
She advertised for second hand uniform, organised the sorting, washing and storing of donations, and developed an online ordering system.
Teachers said: “Quietly, and in a very gentle and unassuming way, she created a system for us that we will be able to use for many years to come.”
The Telford & Wrekin shield was won by home educated Charlotte Colley who was diagnosed with autism at the age of five, and anxiety and ADHD a couple of years later.
She attended the Cavalier Centre in Much Wenlock at the age of 13 with a view to using horse riding as a way of improving confidence, and has become a valued volunteer and ‘shining success story’.
The team say: “She is the perfect friendly face – a great individual with incredible dedication and an admirable attitude that is an example to all at the centre.”
Eight young people were also presented with Highly Commended awards on the night.
They were Lexie McCartney and Isabel Knight, both from Newport Girls’ High School, Esme Link from SYA Youth Club in Shrewsbury, Joss Gowar of Shrewsbury School, Raeshawn Anyidoho from Madeley Academy, Lucy White from St Peter’s Primary in Bratton, Bethan Gillson from St Mary’s CE primary in Shawbury, and Cerys Tiplady from Bicton CE primary school.
The High Sheriff said: “My year in office is centred around celebrating community activity across the county, and nowhere is this more important than in the younger generation.
“They are our leaders and volunteers of the future and it is vital that they are rewarded for what they do already and encouraged to continue to do it. We have been delighted with both the quality and volume of nominations for this year’s awards.
“Teachers, community leaders, volunteers, charity workers and others have taken the time and the trouble to complete nomination forms because they want the exceptional young people that they have got to know to receive recognition for the great things they do.”
Thanking Telford College for its support with the hosting and administration of the event, she added: “Congratulations to everyone who has been recognised – there are no losers on a celebratory occasion such as this.”
The Telford College students to receive certificates included Aimee Pike, Ashleigh Davies, Aqeela Sarfaraz, Ben Hinchley, Brendon Morgan, Caitlin Smith, Chelsea Davies, David Miller, Ethan Holt, Greg Price, Hadiqa Tufail, Holly Davies, Izzy Pugh, Jack Preston, Jay Pearson, Joshua Winton, Liam Francis, Melika Zaheer, and Ryan Wiggin.