The amazing achievements and stories of Tendring’s young people proved an inspiration at a special awards ceremony held last night.
A total of 24 individuals and groups were nominated for the accolades up for grabs at the second Tendring Youth Awards – and all would have been worthy winners.
The glittering event was staged at Clacton’s Princes Theatre and organised by Bright Futures, Nova Training, Tendring District Council (TDC), the Clacton, Frinton and Walton Gazette and Harwich and Manningtree Standard.
There were nine trophies presented to a range of ages to mark their efforts and commitment.
The judges’ panel took more than four hours deliberating over those who won and admitted it had been a very difficult task as all were special in their own way.
Nicky O’Shaughnessy, Director of Local Delivery, Children and Families Service at Essex County Council, praised all those who had sponsored, supported and organised the awards.
“This event would not be taking place without all of you and your hard work and I thank you all for what you have done,” she said.
“But the real stars here tonight are the young people and I have my tissues ready for the presentations.
“There were tears shed last year at the incredible stories we heard and I know that it will be no different this time.”
The evening really was all about youth with Ailesha Austen and Jack Speck returning to host the awards and doing a fantastic job, as they did last year.
There were performances on stage by Alton Park School Choir and Stagestruck Academy which thrilled the audience and Danielle Pomfrett and Imogen Ridout helped hand out certificates and trophies.
TDC Chairman Mark Platt said it was a pleasure to attend the awards and said that it celebrated all that is great about Tendring’s Youth.
“They are our future and we truly have so many amazing young people who do so much in their communities, families and schools. They are an inspiration to us all,” he added.
There was also an Unsung Hero Award sponsored by Nova Training which went to Debbie Bryant who has been running the Rainbow Theatre Company for ten years.
The Youth Award winners were: Community Improvement Award (Essex County Council) – Harwich Inspired Youth Action; Volunteer Award (Bright Futures) –Matthew Holmes-Gifford; Arts Award (Princes Theatre) - Liam Burgess; Young Carer Award (Tesco) – Briony Armstrong; Learning Achievement Award (TDC) – Rosanna Day; Outstanding Achievement Award (Clacton Gazette and Harwich Standard) – Nha Vhu; Personal Journey Award (TLG) – Willow Smith; and Special Recognition Award (Lads Need Dads) – Lucas Peri.