17 September 2013

“Your past doesn’t have to be your future.” That’s the message from the winner of a countywide award scheme created to inspire Northamptonshire's young people to aim high.

Corby’s Stephen Mitchell, one of the winners of the county’s first youth ambition awards, was recognised for his volunteering and responsibilities with the mental health charity Mind, which helped change his life.

Over the past eighteen months he has given more than 2,000 voluntary hours by organising and leading events, recruiting new trustees and working with members on their goals and aspirations to help them through difficult periods in their lives.

Launch of new campaign

Stephen joins other award winners including apprentice Chloe Botterill and marching band Liberty Drum Corps as they front a new campaign this week (16 AUG) to inspire other young people to achieve their potential.

The winners of the Northamptonshire Youth Ambition Awards are the stars of the new campaign by Northamptonshire County Council to celebrate the county’s young people and all the great things they are doing in their local community, home life and work life.

Councillor Catherine Boardman, cabinet member for children and education, said: “By creating the awards, we wanted to shine a light on the achievements of the county’s young people. The winners are all inspirational examples of what we can achieve when we aim high.

“The campaign that we’re launching this week showcases the award winners and their achievements. We hope this will inspire other young people to follow their ambitions.

“We also want to use our winners’ experiences to signpost young people to information about some of the opportunities available to help them achieve their potential.”

The campaign will include billboard and bus shelter adverts, a poster campaign in targeted locations including secondary schools and youth groups, and a dedicated section of the council’s website on www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/youthambition

Campaign winners

The winners of the Youth Ambition Awards 2013 are:

  • Social Enterprise Award - Stephen Mitchell
  • The Arts Award - Liberty Drum Corps
  • Project or Campaign of the Year - the Children in Care Forum for their Coming into Care Guide
  • Young Apprentice of the Year - Chloe Botterill
  • Young Role Model of the Year - William Land

The awards were run early in the year in conjunction with Northamptonshire Newspapers’ Education Awards.