What makes the SAYF awards special is that they are run by young people for young people. This year's awards were the culmination of the Year of Young People and were a worthy celebration of everything that is great about the young people of South Ayrshire.
The awards organised by the Council and the South Ayrshire Youth Forum recognise the achievements of young people who not only work hard to reach their own ambitions but help others along the way.
This year 41 finalists attended the ceremony, and they were all on tenterhooks waiting for the winners to be announced.
The winners were:
Entertainment - Tia McLanaghan
Personal achievement in sport – Cerys McCrindle
Community involvement – Erin Murdoch and Kirsty Noon
Volunteering – The Ark 'Young Team'
Health and Wellbeing - Robyn McKell
Sustainability – Eve McIntosh and Caitlin Blackwood
Helping the community in sport – Eilidh McDonald
Citizenship – Champions for Change
Art and Digital media – Caitlin Calver
Skills and Development - Sanobel Dawod
Unsung Hero - Ashleigh Taylor
SAYF Member of the Year – Jessica Hartshorn
Paid Staff Award - Craig Ross
Volunteer staff Award - Duncan Malcolm and Tommy Kelly
Young Star of the Year (overall winner) - Champions for Change
Entertainment (Tia McLanaghan)
Tia goes out of her way to entertain people with her bagpipes. She plays for the elderly, veterans and those with life threatening conditions. Tia is always willing to help others and never asks for anything in return.
Personal Achievement in Sport (Cerys McCrindle)
Cerys competed in the Downs Syndrome World Swimming Championships in Nova Scotia as part of the GB Team, and picked up a bronze medal! Cerys always finds time to teach others despite her busy training schedule.
Community Involvement (Erin Murdoch and Kirsty Noon)
School pupils Erin and Kirsty played a key role to support a young person with a visual impairment who had just started at their school. The pair became her S6 buddies and helped her settle in.
Volunteering (The Ark 'Young Team')
The Ark's "Young Team" is a group of 8 volunteers who have grown up with The Ark and now want to give something back. The "Young Team" each volunteer up to 15 hours a week by helping out in the café, leading games and running The Ark's social media accounts.
Health and Wellbeing (Robyn McKell)
Robyn is a very talented young musician who has a huge amount of compassion for other people. Robyn and her friends go out of their way to help develop musical skills in others.
Sustainability (Eve McIntosh and Caitlin Blackwood)
Over the past year Eve and Caitlin have dedicated much of their own time to the Aberlour Charity. They have even used 100% recycled materials to create a "Mud Kitchen" for the children to play in.
Helping the Community in Sport (Eilidh McDonald)
Eilidh volunteers for over ten hours every week, coaching handball and many other sports to local children. This year she has worked with approximately 150 different children giving them the opportunity to try new sports and stay active.
Citizenship (Champions for Change)
Olivia, Alex, Issac and Rose are role models for care experienced young people across South Ayrshire. They have been proactive since 2017 and successfully lobbied to ensure that care experienced young people would not have to apply for housing through the homeless system.
Art and Digital Media (Caitlin Calver)
Caitlin creates amazing drawings and high quality videos that she uploads on YouTube. Caitlin is very talented and has achieved self-confidence through her own unique style.
Skills and Development (Sanobel Dawod)
Sanabel came to the UK in 2014 as a refugee from Syria. Sanabel has faced a number of obstacles since coming to the UK. However, with lots of hard work she successfully gained a modern apprenticeship and completed all 12 units of the SVQ in just 6 months.
Unsung Hero (Ashleigh Taylor)
Ashleigh is determined to help others and has become chairperson of the Young Adult Carers group. Ashleigh is an inspiration to everyone she meets.
SAYF Member of the Year (Jessica Hartshorn)
Coming into her second year as SAYF chairperson, Jessica has become a key member of the local community and role model for many young people across South Ayrshire.
Paid Staff Award (Craig Ross)
Craig goes out of his way to help young people who are struggling at school. Craig is a shining example of someone who goes above and beyond and is an inspirational teacher.
Volunteer Staff Award (Duncan Malcolm and Tommy Kelly)
During the last 18 months, gardeners Duncan and Tommy have helped over 500 young people experience allotment life. Through their efforts more and more young people are benefitting from being outdoors and growing and eating fresh produce.
Young Star of the Year (Overall Winner) Champions for Change
The Overall Star Award is given to someone special who stands out from the rest of the award winners. This year it went to Champions for Change, they said: "Wow, what an honour! We hope this will help show other care experienced young people what's possible."
Councillor William Grant, Children and Young People Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: "Once again the calibre of nominations was extremely high and all the finalists should be very proud.
"There is no doubt that more and more young people are helping out in their communities and doing their bit to make lives better.
"Our winners are an inspiration and not just to other young people, we can all learn a thing or two from their efforts. 2018 has been full of events and celebrations to mark the Year of Young People and these awards were the perfect way to end."
Jessica Hartshorn, Chair of the South Ayrshire Youth Forum said: "The South Ayrshire Youth Forum Awards was an outstanding event, with so many inspirational young people. The SAYF Awards was the highlight of the year and the most fitting way to end the Year of Young People."