“Encouraging, inspiring, endearing!” Celebrating the achievements of Hertfordshire’s Young People
06 November 2015
The 2015 Hertfordshire County Council Youth Connexions Young People’s Awards ceremony took place on Wednesday 4 November at County Hall, Hertford in the presence of the Deputy Executive Member for Children’s Services, County Councillor Maxine Crawley and the Deputy Director for Children’s Services, Education, Andrew Simmons OBE.
Fifty young people from across the county had their outstanding achievements recognised in one of five categories: development in personal and social skills; commitment to volunteering and supporting other young people; contribution to the community; contribution to youth democracy; or resilience in overcoming challenges.
Timed to celebrate National Youth Work Week, the evening placed a strong emphasis on this year’s theme: ‘Have your voice heard’. Youth Voice was the week’s hot topic, and the award winners clearly illustrated the ways in which young people are helping to ensure that their voices and those of their peers are heard.
Award winner Bradley from Letchworth was recognised for the tremendous progress he has made to overcome difficulties. Working with his Youth Connexions Personal Adviser to build his self-esteem and resilience Bradley completed a successful work experience placement and has gone on to start a work study programme. Everyone who knows him says he has now invariably a big smile on his face! Bradley said after the ceremony: “Great evening! Encouraging, inspiring, endearing! Here’s to many more successful young adults!”
Rhiannon from Hemel Hempstead stated “I would like to start by saying thank you to Youth Connexions for everything they've done since the beginning! Honestly if it weren't for the Youth Work Team I wouldn't be where I am now! I love my new self and even now they are still helping me and giving me support!”
The evening celebrated the successes of young people and highlighted the range of support provided by Youth Connexions. In 2014/15 Youth Connexions worked with almost 17,000 young people around the county delivering over 9,000 youth work sessions; supported 637 young people into training or work through the Youth Contract and supported 7,200 young people to take part in work experience through their school.
The Deputy Executive Member for Children’s Services, County Councillor Maxine Crawley, who presented the young people with their awards, said “It was an honour to be asked to present the Young People’s Awards 2015. The young people receiving awards tonight are from a variety of backgrounds and the breadth of their achievements is amazing. They represent a small proportion of the young people in Hertfordshire who, supported by Youth Connexions, overcome challenges, take the opportunities available to them to improve their outcomes and those for their peers and communities. I would like to congratulate all of the youngsters, their parents and carers as well as the inspirational staff and managers of the Youth Connexions teams.“
Mr Andrew Simmons, Deputy Director for Children’s Services, Education, who spoke at the event stated “Young people constantly impress me with their achievements and their drive to make the best of themselves and for those around them. Tonight was about celebrating their success and recognising the work of Youth Connexions. We are all aware that the transition between childhood and adulthood can be challenging. Never more so than now with the pressure young people face in order to succeed. Youth Connexions staff support young people, frequently going above and beyond, to ensure young people have a successful transition and the best possible start in life. Congratulations to all.”