Pride of Somerset Youth Awards 2019

Taunton Rotary Club and its partners were proud to present the annual awards to those young people from across the County who amazed the audience with their courage, achievement, determination and acts of kindness. Read more ….

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Taunton Rotary Club and its partners were proud to present the annual awards recognising outstanding endeavours by young people from across the County. Hosted by Bridgwater and Taunton College at their Taunton campus, a number of civic and community leaders attended to add their own congratulations to the outstanding young citizens being honoured. BBC Somerset presenters Claire Carter and Simon Parkin compered the evening with Charlie Taylor broadcasting live and interviewing award winners and dignitaries.  The Bridgwater and Taunton Show Choir gave a rousing start to proceedings as President Elect Tony Cox opened the event. 

Those receiving awards amazed the audience with their stories of courage, achievement, determination and acts of kindness.

Acts of kindness, courage and determination included: four year old Kadi saved her mother’s life when she called for an ambulance after her Mother became unconscious due to liver failure; Todd, finding himself in trouble with the police, turned around his life around through‘great character, resilience, and leadership’; Tyler gives peer support and makes a difference to others within the LGBT community; Bethany, with courage and determination determined to fulfil her Mum’s dreams, raised money  to light up the hospice garden after her Mother died of cancer; Brandon overcame adversity and personal challenges and now raises money for charity and is an ambassador for fostering; Imogen did fundraising in the summer after being inspired by her visit to Open Door, a homeless charity in Taunton and she now continues to regularly find new projects to help the homeless; Year 5 pupils at Queen’s Junior School were put through for a Pride of Somerset Youth Award acknowledging the money they had raised for the League of Friends of Taunton Hospitals Bed Appeal; during his gap year, Seth who acts as a volunteer for Newsline – the Chard & Ilminster Talking Newspaper, where he has become a real asset, being proactive and enthusiastic about helping those with visual impairments.

In honour of Police Superintendent Sandy Padgett, who tragically died at a young age a special award was given to 12-year-old Aaron, who showed amazing courage and good sense. When caving with his instructor and brother the group needed help. They were quite a long way from the surface and when they decided it was time to return to base, Jim (the instructor) found he needed more assistance. Aaron volunteered to raise the alarm. This entailed a long scramble back the way they had come, without getting lost or disorientated and keeping his little brother calm. He had to go back to the car, find the hidden car keys, find Jim's phone and call 999 for cave rescue.

There were those who received awards for their achievement and determination in sport: Eve became the first visually impaired runner to participate in the National Colleges Cross Country Finals and was voted “Sports Person of the Year” by her College. With her Dad as her guide runner, she ran her first Half Marathon – loved it – and so decided to run three moreand has now run her first Marathon; Bradley through determination and talent became the  Southern/South West champion in the Boys Black Belt Lightweight sparring in Tae Kwon Do and is ranked 3rd in England; at just 9 years of age Chelseatrains with Chameleon Batonettes and was selected to represent her country at the European Championships; Eddie, a member of Phoenix Explorer Scouts completed the 35 mile Ten Tors route twice and was selected to represent UK scouts at the World Scout Jamboree; at the age of 16, Erin made her first debut for Yeovil Town Ladies and has now gone on to become the first female FA cup goal scorer and is an inspiration to young sports women; Matthew, whose endeavours know no bounds, has been involved in Scouting since he started as a Beaver. He has since become a Young Leader and completed his Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh awards. He’s now working on his Gold and is also an archery instructor.

Thank you to all those who attended the event especially; the Bishop of Taunton the Rt Revd Ruth Worsley, High Sheriff Johnnie Halliday, Chairman of Somerset County Council Nigel Taylor, Deputy Lieutenant Jane Barrie, Somerset West and Taunton Council representative Hazel Prior-Sankey, and CEO of Somerset Day Nigel Muers-Raby.

We are grateful to all those who nominated these amazing young people so that they can justly receive the praise and honour which their acts of kindness, courage, determination and good sense deserve.

Read more about their stories by following the ‘Pride of Somerset: Youth Award Stories’.



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