Last night we threw a glitzy awards bash for all the young people in area who do good in the community. Reporter JEFF TRAVIS was there to speak to the winners and runners-up.
It is a moment that the winners will never forget, never mind their proud relatives.
When the young people held the star trophy in their hands for the first time, it was clear from their faces just how much it meant to them.
One of the winners who was choked with emotion was Freddie Clarke, nine, from Leigh Park.
He was the winner in the Readers’ Choice category after receiving the highest number of votes from readers of The News.
Freddie was inconsolable when his beloved uncle Andy Prowting died from cancer last December.
He had his hair shaved off on February 19 – which would have been Andy’s 25th birthday – and raised £420 for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
His mum Sam Clarke said: ‘I am absolutely gobsmacked.
‘It’s so emotional.
‘This means the world to him and our family.
‘This is for Andy. He would have thought it was brilliant.’
Freddie grew his hair from the day Andy died.
‘Freddie has always had immaculate hair,’ said Sam.
‘So it was a massive deal to him. He wanted to do it for Andy.
‘The first thing he said was “Uncle Candy can’t mess up my hair any more”.’
The presenter for the ceremony was actor Ben Claybon, 29, who grew up in Portsmouth and went to Admiral Lord Nelson School.
He said: ‘It’s been stunning.
‘It’s been absolutely lovely to see the talent that’s on display from young people, but also that drive to push this world forward.
‘What’s even better is they are being recognised for it not only by the newspaper, but by their peers.
‘It’s a lovely sentiment to take away from this day.’
Mark Waldron, the editor of The News, who helped to present the awards, said: ‘We have so many young people in our communities doing such incredible things day in, day out that it is right that we celebrate that through our Youth Awards.
‘We had truly worthy winners in all our categories but all those named on the shortlists should know that what they do – whether at home, at school or in their communities – is recognised and appreciated.’
- There will be a full round-up of all the winners in a special supplement on Thursday.
Our young stars
- Arts/Media Star – sponsored by Fareham College
Runner-up: Megan Baker
Winner: Emma Coquille
- Best Friend of the Year
Runner-up: Jordan Merrick, Kiran Merrick, Liam Merrick
Winner: Lucy Fairall
- Challenging a Disability
Runner-up: Adam Halsall
Winner: Victoria Edwards
- Fundraiser of the Year – sponsored by Just Develop It
Runner-up: Izabelle Cassap
Winner: Jessica Lara Ridge
- Hero of the Year – sponsored by The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire
Runner-up: Tayah Winslade
Winner: Oliver Jeffrey Craig
- Inspiration of the Year - sponsored by St Vincent College
Runner-up: Lacey-Love Kent
Winner: Adam Brombley
- Learner of the Year – sponsored by Highbury College
Runner-up: Jake Reeve
Winner: Hannah Fletcher
- Music Star
Runner-up: Finli Draper
Winner: Chloe Hine
- Stage Star - sponsored by Kings Theatre
Runner-up: Elliot Swann
Winner: Lydia Mackett
- Star of the Community - sponsored by Kenwood
Runner-up: Kira Vallely
Winner: The Youth Volunteers of the Hampshire Community Court
- Star of the Environment – sponsored by Portsmouth Marriott Hotel
Runner-up: St Alban’s C of E Assisted Primary School
Winner: Billy Nichols
- Star of the Family – Verisona Law
Runner-up: Harry Smith
Winner: Clare McConnachie
- Readers’ Choice
Winner: Freddie Clarke
- Overall Star
Winner: Clare McConnachie