Record number of teens nominated for Oxfordshire Youth Awards

Banbury Cake: Emily Jeffery, Daniel Robinson, Poppy Moorhouse, Emmy O’Shaughnessy, Jem Godden, Kirsty Rix, Pansy Poolman, Victoria Montgomery Buy this photo » Emily Jeffery, Daniel Robinson, Poppy Moorhouse, Emmy O’Shaughnessy, Jem Godden, Kirsty Rix, Pansy Poolman, Victoria Montgomery

A RECORD number of nominations have been made for the Oxfordshire Youth Awards which take place next month.

More than 200 nominations have been sent in for the awards, run by the Oxfordshire Association for Young People (OAYP) to honour the achievements of young people.

Paul Lawrence, chief executive of OYAP, said: “It is amazing that so many people in the community came forward with nominations for the young people.

“We were well into double figures for each of the awards.

“That’s tremendous and in total it is double the number of entries that we had last year.

“This gives us a bit of a logistical problem on the night but it is a good problem to have.”

There are seven category awards up for grabs at the ceremony at Oxford Town Hall on February 21 – covering art, bravery, literary achievements, enterprise, sport, volunteering, and science, technology and environment, along with the Jake Spicer Special Recognition Award.

The Jake Spicer award is for the overall winner on the night and is in memory of the former pupil of St Gregory the Great School, East Oxford, who died in 2009 after a five-and-a-half year battle with a rare form of bone cancer. After he was diagnosed, Jake raised thousands of pounds for charity.

This year for the first time, a youth committee has a pivotal role in organising the awards.

Ten Wheatley Park School students, aged between 15 and 17, make up the committee organising the event.

They were chosen because they had demonstrated the necessary leadership skills to be able to co-ordinate the awards.

Their work includes organising fundraising, sponsorship, budget management and event planning.

The students applied for a grant from the Positive Activities Fund, run by the youth engagement and opportunities team at Oxfordshire County Council, to pay for decorating the town hall on the night.

Emmy O’Shaughnessy, assistant co-ordinator of the youth awards, said: “I am really impressed with the committee.

“A huge amount of effort has gone into making this year’s awards extra special.

“We’re trying to get as many young people as possible to benefit from the experience.

“The youth committee now have to think about the whole event and how it will run. They seem to be enjoying the experience.”

This year’s event has received additional backing from Carl Anglim, the founder of Oxford Fashion Week, who is now a trustee with the charity.

Mr Anglim learnt about the awards scheme through his work at the centre for business and innovation at Science Oxford.

Local businesses and organisations supporting the awards include Solid State Logic, Oxford Castle Unlocked, Jennings, Electrocomponents plc, Oxford United and The Co-operative.

Media students from Oxford and Cherwell Valley College will film the awards and a number of young entertainers who are nominated for awards, will perform at the event.

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