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‘Spectacular’ young people celebrated at annual awards

`‘WHAT a fantastic night,’ said councillor Jon Hubbard speaking after this year’s Young Melksham Awards.

The fifth annual Young People’s Awards ceremony was held at Melksham Assembly Hall last week with special guests Ministry of Science providing the entertainment. Inspirational young people were recognised for their outstanding contributions and achievements in the community.

“It is just awesome to be able to celebrate the amazing achievements of some of the fabulous young people in the Melksham area,” said Jon, chair of Young Melksham, which organises the awards. “This evening belongs to all of those young people who were nominated, whether they won a trophy or not,”

“Every one of them is individually an amazing young person who we all can be proud of.

“This, for me, is my favourite night of the year and this year we were so lucky that the talented Ministry of Science team came to lead our celebrations. Thanks to them, thanks to the amazing team at Young Melksham who made this all happen, but most of all thanks to the awesome young people of our community who we were celebrating this evening.”

Young Melksham’s awards and citations were given as follows:

• Under 11’s Young Achiever Award: Ciaran Hanks. Earlier this year, Ciaran struggled to complete just one length of his local pool due to his asthma. Then, just a few months later he swam the equivalent of the English Channel, raising over £600 for Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

• 12+ Young Achiever Award: Graham Christmas. Graham is an inspiration and a credit to all young people. He has turned his life around and distanced himself from the peers who were a bad influence on him, focusing instead on being true to himself in a world full of pressure and prejudice.

• Chairman’s Special Award for Fundraising: Jamie Davies. Jamie was inspired by previous 24 hour challenges and decided to use his passion for golf to raise over £1,000 for Wiltshire Air Ambulance by playing for 24 hours at Whitley Golf Club.

• Volunteering Award: Tianna James. Tianna gives her time ‘freely and selflessly’, volunteering with the Key Stage 2 swimmers at her school. She is a qualified lifeguard, a skilled coach and a positive role model to the children she supports.

• Young Leader Award: Tyler Nickle. ‘Man of the Match’ Tyler is a talented player with the ‘Melksham Hurricanes’. He recently combined his football and leadership skills by supporting activities for Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers at Aspire House, taking the older boys ‘under his wing’.

• Sporting Individual Award: Elizabeth Bools. A multi-talented sportswoman, Liz plays for and coaches several local teams in a range of team sports, including football and cricket. She recently became British Champion for her weight in Boxing, and demonstrates discipline, determination, but also compassion, in all she does.

• Sporting Team Award: AFC Melksham Town Under 12 Girls Team. These talented ladies have won the league and cup double, the Wiltshire Futsul Championship, and represented Wiltshire at the regional finals.

• Young Voice Award: James Wilkins. A member of Young Melksham, Wiltshire Assembly of Youth, and UK Youth Parliament, James is a perfect example of the impact a young voice can have on society. His self-confidence, leadership and strong communication skills have made a real difference to several youth campaigns such as ‘Make Your Mark’ and ‘Don’t Hate – Educate’.

• Young Individual Arts Award: Lola Brady. A talented performer since the age of 4, Lola has starred in a multitude of popular local productions such as ‘Les Miserables’, ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and ‘Matilda’. Lola attends Melksham School of Ballet, Tap and Modern, practises every day, and works incredibly hard to achieve all the goals she sets for herself.

• Young Team Arts Award: The Enigma Twirl Team. Now in their fourth year, the Enigma Twirl Team demonstrate how sheer determination and love for their sport and their team can pay off. Despite struggling to secure financial support, the team have continued to excel and frequently wow audiences at competitions and carnivals with smiles on their faces.

• Under 12’s Young Carer Award: Lucy Evans. Not long after starting secondary school, both Lucy’s Mum and Auntie were diagnosed with cancer. Lucy has showed tremendous maturity, positivity and resilience by supporting her family both practically and emotionally, whilst continuing to thrive at school and in her own personal achievements.

• 12+ Young Carer Award:  Cain Collins. Since the loss of his younger brother six years ago, Cain has supported his parents and siblings throughout their bereavement. Despite having to deal with his own grief, Cain consistently proves himself to be a responsible and caring young man, with a big heart.

• School Council Award: Amy Brown. Despite being ‘the new girl’ at Melksham Oak school, Amy has settled in extremely quickly and has overcome her shyness to become a house leader. Amy also mentors other students, helping them to improve their confidence and social skills and is a positive role model for her peers.

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