Winners of The News Youth Awards were announced in an emotional ceremony at the Kings Theatre on Sunday. JEFF TRAVIS takes us through stories about and reaction from winners and runners-up in some of the categories.
ARTS AND MEDIA STAR
She’s a creative genius. And Jessie Pearse’s love for the arts was richly rewarded when she was named this year’s Arts and Media Star.
The 10-year-old, who attends Meon Junior School and lives in Southsea, wowed the judges with her creativity.
Jessie works for a charity called PARCS (Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling Service) where she has illustrated a book called The Wolf in the Wood, which explains the importance of not judging people.
After winning the award, Jessie said: ‘I am speechless!
‘I was shaking. I have never won anything like this before.’
About her love of illustration, she said: ‘I just really like animals – I like drawing them.
‘I like coming up with my own original ideas.’
Jessie’s mum Joanne, 39, of Holland Road, said: ‘I am so proud of her! I can’t believe it.’
The runner-up in the category was Jasmin Hughes, 15, of Havant Academy, who impressed judges with her creative project called Make Your Mark back in 2014 in Leigh Park.
CHALLENGING A DISABILITY
Donald Ogilvie has shown courage in the face of adversity.
He was born with severe and complex learning and physical disabilities and was unable to walk until he was almost five years old.
Despite having so many difficulties to overcome, Donald has amazed his teachers at Mary Rose Academy in Portsmouth with his constant cheerfulness and brave attitude.
The eight-year-old and his parents, Dawn and Andrew Ogilvie, were a picture of happiness as they walked up to receive the award for Challenging A Disability.
Dawn, 47, said: ‘It’s lovely, I nearly cried!’
Andrew praised the Youth Awards initiative.
‘It brings a lot of people together to show everyone their bravery,’ said the 49-year-old.
The runner-up in the category was Hannah Watts, 10, from Drayton, nominated by a family friend, Rachel Duffy. Hannah has cerebral palsy, but is determined to lead a full life, including writing stories, cooking, sport and watching vet programmes on TV.
BEST FRIEND OF THE YEAR
Big-hearted Zak Harris was named as the Best Friend of The Year.
Zak , 17, from Copnor, goes to Portsmouth College and was nominated by his teacher Sarah Deller.
In her nomination, Ms Deller said: ‘Zak is a student who helps another student in his class who suffers from severe dyslexia.
‘He kindly reads out the questions for her when she gets tired.
‘He does this on his own account, not directed by anyone.’
FUNDRAISER OF THE YEAR
She was described at the awards ceremony as a ‘superstar’ and ‘utterly selfless’.
Hope Farren, 14, was smiling from ear to ear - and a little shocked - as she held aloft the trophy for Fundraiser of The Year.
Hope has a chronic lung condition and is regularly on the Shipwreck children’s ward at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.
She raised over £3,000 for different charities by holding table top sales, cake sales and other fundraising events.
Recently, Hope has established her own charity, Hope’s QA Kids, and is hoping to get this charity to a big enough size to enable it to be registered as an official charity.
Hope, of Rockrose Way, Paulsgrove, said: ‘I’m quite surprised. There are children who deserved it more than me.
‘It makes me feel good about myself.’
Hope said she liked ‘making children feel happy’.
Her mum, Sharon-Louise Farren, 40, said: ‘I am overwhelmed. I’m just really proud.’
The runner-up was Bo Wakley, nine, from Gosport. Following on from her mum being diagnosed with breast cancer, Bo did a host of fundraising, including baking cakes and making loom bands to sell at the school Christmas fayre. She donated all the money to Macmillan.