Help to find outstanding youngsters

PUBLISHED: 11:08 11 January 2007 | UPDATED: 14:57 12 May 2010

A CONTEST which aims to improve the image of young people is is searching for unsung heroes in Cambridgeshire. Skills Train Young People of the Year (Yopey) is in its second year and is the brainchild of Tony Gearing, who hopes to show the positive side o

A CONTEST which aims to improve the image of young people is is searching for unsung heroes in Cambridgeshire.

Skills Train Young People of the Year (Yopey) is in its second year and is the brainchild of Tony Gearing, who hopes to show the positive side of young people.

Mr Gearing said: "Everywhere you look nowadays young people are being condemned.

"It's almost as if everyone of them is a binge-drinking, drug-taking, violent 'hoody'.

"Yopey gives young people the fairer image they deserve by recognising and rewarding young unsung heroes."

Yopey rewards youngsters who have been involved in working with disabled, ill, or elderly people, those who have raised money for good causes, or who have helped run a club or organisation.

Jan Telensky of Skills Train, a distance learning college, which is sponsoring the contest, said: "We think the idea of promoting positive role models among the young is excellent.

"There are many fantastic young people in Cambridgeshire and the surrounding area doing wonderful things for others.

"It's just that they live in the shadow of a well-publicised anti-social minority.

"Through Yopey, we want to give them the respect they deserve and give the younger generation positive role models to look up to and to emulate."

Chairman of South Cambs District Council, Councillor Cicely Murfitt who was a judge last year said: "There are many remarkable young people in Cambridgeshire, and Yopey is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate their achievements."

The contest is open to youngsters from 10-25 who live, work or study in Cambridgeshire.

They can enter themselves or be nominated as individuals or groups.

The overall winner will receive £500-£1,000, and £500 for a supporting organisation that works with young people.

There will be a junior prize of £500 and two runners-up prizes of £250 each.

Mr Gearing said: "We want everyone to keep a lookout for fantastic young people."

Anyone can enter or nominate online at www.yopey.org or write to: Young People of the Year, PO Box 103, Hare Street, Ware, SG9 0XD for an application form.

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