Winners celebrate their achievements
It was an evening of celebration as the winners of the South Ayrshire Youth Forum Awards were announced at the annual awards ceremony recently.
Now in its eight year, the awards recognise the contributions of talented young people who not only achieve their own ambitions but help others achieve their goals too.
This year there were a fantastic 296 nominations leading to 47 finalists from 15 categories.
It was an evening of thrills and excitement as everyone waited with bated breath for the winners to be announced.
The winners were:
Art – Drew Maxwell
Entertainment – Sarah McElroy
Democracy - Codie Hodge
Sustainability – Josh Frew and Troy Clark
Volunteering – Lewis McDowall
Community involvement – Dylan Harper
Learning and Development – Jake Gilchrist
Unsung Hero - South Ayrshire Young Carers
Citizenship – Eva Richardson
Person achievement in sport – Frances Smiley
Helping community in sport – Chloe Jackson
Health - Codie Hodge
Paid Staff Award - Marie Doran
Volunteer staff - Gordon Brown
SAYF Member of the Year – Georgia Lewis
Overall star - Eva Richardson
Drew Maxwell picked up the Art Award. Drew who currently attends Carrick Academy, has won many local and national art competitions and has displayed in various galleries. Drew has won gold at the Kelvingrove Annual Schools Competition twice in a row!
The Entertainment Award was won by Sarah McElroy. Sarah has been playing drums since she was seven and is a self-taught bassist. She is part of a first section brass band and the best percussion section in Scotland.
Codie Hodge scooped the Democracy Award. Codie played a lead role in the development of the South Ayrshire Mental Health Survey which is supporting young people. Codie is an excellent role model for youngsters who want to get involved in politics.
The Sustainability Award was won by Josh Frew and Troy Clark. They volunteer every month at Clean Up Days and have helped dispose of over 20 tonnes of rubbish in the last year. Their commitment, responsibility, reliability and can-do attitude make them a joy to work with.
Lewis McDowall picked up the Volunteering Award. He has completed over 500 hours of voluntary work over the last few years, primarily at Shelter and Sutherland House, helping vulnerable, disadvantaged and at risk people.
The Community Involvement Award was won by Dylan Harper. Dylan works selflessly within the Lochside community and gives up his own time to organise events to help limit social isolation.
Jake Gilchrist won the Learning and Development Award. Jake started his apprenticeship for the Council in Grounds and Green Keeping in January. He has overcome many challenges including dyslexia and is always determined to succeed. Most recently Jake won an award at Ayrshire Apprentice of the Year!
The Unsung Hero Award went to three well deserving young carers. Ilse Cuthbertson, Iona Manson and Victoria Rennie are inspiring young carers who dedicate much of their time to caring for their families and others.
Eva Richardson picked up the Citizenship Award. Having been effected by mental health issues in her own family, Eva has been a keen fundraiser to support others, including completing two half marathons.
The Personal Achievement in Sport Award went to Frances Smiley. Frances won two gold medals earlier this year at the Special Olympics GB National Games in Sheffield in singles and mixed doubles tennis – a magnificent achievement.
The Helping Community in Sport Award was picked up by Chloe Jackson. Chloe is an aspiring PE teacher who goes above and beyond to raise the profile of sport in her school and local community.
The Health Award went to Codie Hodge. Codie was a driver for the successful SAYF 'Say It Out Loud' survey which was completed by nearly 2,000 young people. She has delivered workshops, mental wellbeing initiatives — who knows what's next?
Marie Doran received the Paid Staff Award. One of the people she supports highlights why she was given the award...."Marie supported me when I was at my lowest point. Marie built me up, helped my family, found me a job I love and gave me hope. She will help anyone unconditionally, it's just who she is. "
The prestigious Volunteer Staff Award went to Gordon Brown. Gordon is a teacher at Carrick Academy who volunteers to coach rugby in his own time. He delivers programmes in schools and has created a culture of ruby playing across generations.
The SAYF member of the year Award went to Georgia Lewis. Georgia has been a phenomenal member of the Youth Forum, particularly during the Scottish Youth Parliament campaign. She makes a huge effort to contribute to meetings and has helped with fundraising too.
The Overall Star Award is given to someone special who stands out from the rest of the award winners. This year it went to Eva Richardson.
Councillor William Grant, Lifelong Learning Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: "I would like to congratulate the winners and all those who were nominated, they should be extremely proud of their efforts. It's a triumph for South Ayrshire that we have so many talented young people who are making such a difference in their communities. They deserve this recognition and I'm sure they are inspiring others."
Jessica Hartshorn, Chair of the South Ayrshire Youth Forum said:" All the finalists are already winners. The young people who attended the South Ayrshire Youth Forum Awards are a credit to both themselves and everyone who knows them, listening to their stories is hugely influential, and eliminates negative stereotypes attached to young people."