SUNDERLAND CITY COUNCIL HAS LAUNCHED this year’s appeal for nominations for the annual Young Achievers Awards.
This year is the 22nd consecutive year of the awards which recognise the outstanding contribution made by young people in all aspects of community life.
They are organised by Sunderland City Council with the support and sponsorship of the local business and community sector.
Last year’s overall winner and volunteer lifeguard James Corner joined fellow category winners and ‘Sunny the Seagull’ from SUN FM on Roker Beach to help begin this year’s search for the city’s most talented, extraordinary and community spirited young people.
The awards are open to anyone living in Sunderland aged between eight and 20 years old, and celebrate the achievements, bravery, talent and positive contribution they have made to the lives of their families, communities and city.
This year a panel of previous Young Achievers have worked on dividing the awards into several categories to widen the scope of eligibility.
The categories are Music and the Performing Arts, Personal Achievement, Academic Achievement, Young Carer, Young Volunteer, Sport, School Council, and Anti-Bullying.
Awards will also be presented to the winners of the Youth Arts Exhibition taking place at the Arts Centre Washington between Jan and March 2015 (nominations are not open for these until the end of October).
All winners and runners-up will then be invited to attend the awards presentation and annual celebratory event being staged at the Stadium of Light on Thursday 26 March next year.
Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, Councillor Pat Smith said: “We can all be very proud of the young people in our city, and the massive contribution they make to so many aspects of life.
“Our annual Young Achievers awards are a celebration and recognition of that contribution, and I hope people will get involved again and nominate a young person they think deserves such an honour.
“Sunderland was one of the first city’s in the UK to launch this kind of annual awards, and I’m delighted that many others have followed our example to celebrate the achievements of other young people across the country.”
Winner in last year’s young carers category. Hannah Coates (12 from Washington ) said: “Winning the Young Achievers Award for the caring category made me realise that what I considered to be the normal, everyday things I did for my family, actually meant more to the people I cared for than I could have even known.
“After hearing what was written about how I helped my sister, not only helped me to see myself in a more positive way but also made me even more proud of her because despite all her difficulties she took the time and trouble to nominate me.
“Winning the award helped me feel proud of myself, and even more determined to continue helping and caring for my family and anyone else who may need it.”
Sponsors for this year’s Sunderland Young Achievers Awards include Sun FM, Sunderland Echo, Nissan, SAFC Foundation, R&B Group, The Arts Centre Washington, Gentoo Sunderland, Northumbrian Water, University of Sunderland Students Union and City Governors Association.
Managing Director at SUN FM, Julian Carter, added: “We work very hard to positively support this great city and supporting our Young Achievers who perform such remarkable acts of bravery, kindness and show such community spirit is a natural fit.
Nominations can be made online NOW on www.sun-fm.com/ya15 or by contacting Jane Wheeler Participation and Engagement Lead firstname.lastname@example.org or 561 7430)