They are the future. And sometimes children deserve a pat on the back for doing something wonderful.
The News Youth Awards are back for the third year running to celebrate the inspiring, heroic and courageous things our youngsters do.
Whether it’s raising money for charity, excelling at school, helping a friend, or living life in the face of adversity, we want our community to come together to recognise the triumphs of our young people.
All you have to do is nominate someone who you think deserves to get recognised and pick one or more of the 12 categories that best suit their achievement.
And we would like to hear the stories behind the nominations.
The awards are for anyone aged 18 or under.
In previous years, the age limit was 17 but we wanted to open up the nominations to 18 year olds, many of whom are still studying at local colleges.
Winning an award means a lot to the nominees, as Clare McConnachie can testify.
The teenager from Drayton was named Star of the Family and overall winner after one of the toughest years of her young life.
Clare is pillar of the community – a Brownie leader, a lifeguard, and a coach of Portsmouth’s synchronised swimming team.
Clare put her all into the community while being a carer for her father Craig, who was diagnosed with the debilitating genetic disorder Huntington’s disease 10 years ago.
She supported her father at every turn. He died from pneumonia in March last year at the age of 53.
Clare dedicated her trophy to the memory of her father.
She still has fond memories of picking up the award at the ceremony at The Kings Theatre in June.
‘It was amazing to receive the award,’ says the 17-year-old.
‘It was so unexpected as there were so many amazing nominees.
‘To me everything I do is just normal day-to-day life, so I was very grateful to have received this award.’
Clare’s mum, Annette Ablitt, said: ‘I was so proud of Clare winning the award.
‘She doesn’t realise how special she is and how much she puts back into the community. She just takes it all in her stride.
‘The family had been through a number of tough years with her father’s long illness and passing in March 15 but Clare didn’t let this stop her achieving her goals and making the most of life in a positive way.’
Chloe Hine, from West Leigh, Havant, was named Music Star last year.
The 16-year-old turned the negatives of being bullied into positives by launching her own charity Beat The Bullies, which now has its own office in Havant and is helping children all across the UK.
She helps children through the power of music and songwriting.
Chloe says: ‘The Youth Awards are a spectacular thing.
‘Not only are they rewarding young people for changing the world they’re also allowing these young people to have a voice in order to fulfil their dreams.
‘I believe the Youth Awards are the way forward.
‘We’re the future and it’s feels so good to say we’re finally being recognised.’
The awards ceremony in June is full of inspirational stories from across the Portsmouth area and Chloe’s mum, Emma Hine, was among many blinking back the tears.
Emma says: ‘The youth awards are a fantastic way to celebrate the extraordinary work and achievements of Portsmouth’s children and young adults.
‘As a parent you already know how great your child is and how hard they work to achieve their goals but when it’s recognised by other people through a nomination for a Youth Award it takes your emotions to a whole new level.
‘The Portsmouth area is full of wonderful, inspiring young people and we can help this generation grow and succeed even more by just taking a few minutes to nominate someone and acknowledge just how special they are.’
Councillor Neill Young, who leads education for Portsmouth City Council, speaks highly of the awards scheme.
He says: ‘They are fantastic. Some of our young people are inspirational.
‘In my role, I’m always inspired by young people.
‘The other day a young person was telling me about how they wanted to be the next mayor. Young people have so much to offer and we should celebrate that.’
The awards ceremony is due to take place on June 12.
Reporter Jeff Travis, who helps to organise the awards, said: ‘We are very proud at The News to hold this awards ceremony. We are very fortunate to have a range of local businesses and organisations that give their backing to the awards.
‘We had more than 70 individual nominations last year and it would be fantastic to get even more this year.
‘We are hoping for some moving stories that will inspire. There are so many deserving young people in our community, so please take 10 minutes out of your day to nominate.’
Star of the Community - a young person/group who supports their local community and has gone out of their way to play an active role in the area they live. This could be in their street or neighbourhood, helping out with a community project or volunteering.
Arts/Media star - a young person who has shown talent in drawing, painting or sculpture. This could also be a young person who is crafty and enjoys making things. This category also includes young people who excel at writing or have a literary gift.
Star of the Family - a young person who has shown strength and courage in their family. This category includes young people who act as a carer for another family member.
Best Friend of the Year - a young person who has always been there for a friend and stood by them in good times and bad. This is a young person who has gone the extra mile to bring happiness to someone, whatever their age.
Learner of the Year - a pupil or student who has excelled at school or college in a subject area.
Challenging a Disability - a young person with a physical or learning disability who has achieved success in their life. This could be a young person who has battled with their disability, but not let it hold them back in life.
Fundraiser of the Year - a young person/group who has collected tirelessly for a good cause or charity. This category also includes a young person/group who has used their own entrepreneurial initiative to start their own business or venture.
Hero of the Year - a young person who has selflessly helped someone. This could be an act of bravery showing courage beyond their years, and includes young people who have shown courage in difficult times.
Inspiration of the Year - a young person who has inspired another person or group by their own actions or encouragement. This category could also be a young person who has overcome difficulties.
Music Star - a young person or group of young people who can sing, play an instrument or write music. This could be a young person or group with a musical talent that should be recognised.
Stage Star - a young person or group of young people who shine on the stage. This category includes any kind of stage performer, whether it be acting, dancing, magic or comedy.
Star of the Environment - a young person/group who should be commended for their work in helping the environment. This could be helping to support an environmental project, such as planting trees or community clean-ups. This could be a young person/group who has helped local wildlife or a young person/group who goes the extra mile to help animals.
There will also be a Readers Choice and an Overall Star award, but these are not nominated by the public
How to nominate
To request a nomination form please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nomination forms can also be downloaded at jpsouthevents.co.uk.
Alternatively call Liz Parker, events co-ordinator, on (023) 9262 2206 to request a form.
The deadline for nominations is April 22.
It is easier for us to process nomination forms if they are filled in electronically and then e-mailed back to us, but we will also accept handwritten nomination forms.
A message from our headline sponsor
Kenwood is helping to celebrate the inspiring, heroic and courageous things our youngsters do.
Whether it’s raising money for charity, excelling at school, helping a friend, or living life in the face of adversity, Kenwood is pleased to join the local community in recognising the triumphs of our young people.
This year Kenwood has sponsored the Youth Awards ceremony as well as the Star of the Community category, which recognises and celebrates a young person who supports their local community and has gone out of their way to play an active role in the area they live.
Since the 1950s, Kenwood has been renowned for its innovation, quality and design with many Kenwood products, In particular the Kenwood Chef, built to last and handed down from one generation to the next.
Kenwood acknowledges the importance of creating things that last a lifetime, from a kitchen appliance or a family recipe to a good deed or childhood memory.
But Kenwood is about much more than the iconic Kenwood Chef. Today, the company produces a comprehensive range of kitchen appliances from food processors to hand blenders, kettles to breadmakers – everything consumers need to make their lives easier and we encourage the younger generation to join their parents and guardians in the kitchen to learn the art of cooking homemade, healthy meals.
Looking to the future, Kenwood aims to carry on serving the needs of people’s changing lifestyles through charity initiatives and by setting the standard for affordable, high quality innovation for customers all over the world.
For more information visit kenwoodworld.com/uk or visit the Kenwood Outlet Shop just down the road in Havant.