04 July 2014

A school news team, a female engineering apprentice and a humanitarian aid volunteer are among the winners in the second Northamptonshire Youth Ambition Awards last night.

The awards were created by Northamptonshire County Council to celebrate the county’s young people and all the great things they are doing outside of school in their local community, home life and work life.

Councillor Heather Smith, deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Reading through the nominations was an honour and a privilege. Time and time again we came across examples of how young people refused to let obstacles get in their way. We saw examples of bravery, compassion, generosity and true grit. Northamptonshire can quite rightly be very proud of its young people.”

The winners are:

  • The Arts Award: Wrenn Spinney News Team

    Presenting the award, Councillor Smith said: “The news team at Wrenn Spinney produce a weekly audio-visual news report which gives team members the opportunity to learn skills like interviewing, presenting, editing and set design. The team has gained lots of new work skills and had lots of fun in the process.”

  • Project or Campaign of the Year: Phoenix Youth Centre

    Councillor Smith said: “The young volunteer team has 23 members ranging from age 13 to 20. As well as their commitment to the centre itself, they are passionate about achieving their own educational goals to help them support others.”

  • Young Apprentice of the Year: Katherine Vass

    Councillor Smith said: “Not only has Katherine excelled in her course work at Northampton College where she is studying engineering, she has contributed to her employer’s productivity and contributes to the team environment. She’s an excellent ambassador for apprenticeships and for women in engineering roles.”

  • Role Model of the Year: Gabrielle Steel

    Councillor Smith said: “Gabrielle is an outstanding example of how we can make a difference. She’s raised funds for charity that have benefitted disabled children here in Northamptonshire and she’s helped support the international humanitarian aid efforts in Sierra Leone and Syria. She gives her time selflessly to help others.”

  • The Taking Charge of Your Life award had joint winners: Mark Atkins (better known as Sparkie) and Mohammed Fatahi

    Councillor Smith said: “There were a lot of similarities in the stories of these young men. Both Mohammed and Sparkie came to England as young boys and faced various challenges as a result. What makes them award winners is the fact that they both grasped the opportunities available to them with commitment and passion."

The awards were run in conjunction with Northamptonshire Newspapers’ Education Awards and supported by Connexions Northamptonshire.