Plea to nominate outstanding young people

A CONTEST that recognises and rewards the region’s young unsung heroes is open for entries.

The Young People of the Year Awards (YOPEYs) gives a total of �2,000 in prize money to people aged between 10 and 25 that have helped their community in some way.

The competition, which is in its seventh year, has separate awards for Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire and is the brainchild of Tony Gearing, a former journalist living in Great Hormead, who was upset with the negative press given to young people.

Mr Gearing said: “The list of reasons for nominating someone is endless. The only requirements are that the entry is aged between 10 and 25 and lives, works or studies in Herts or Cambs, and is a positive role model who gives to others.”

Possible reasons for nominations include caring for the ill or disabled, helping run an organisation, looking after neglected animals, making communities safer, raising money for charity, showing a spirit in adversity, volunteering, working with elderly people or acting heroically.

The Herts YOPEYs have the support of Royston-based Johnson Matthey, the Rotary Club and the TTP Group in Melbourn.

Rotary Club president Jonathan Berks said: “Our donation aims to recognise young people that play a key role in our community. We consider that YOPEY deserves special praise for the way in which it recognizes and rewards the notable achievements of our young people.”

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The awards, which will be presented at a ceremony at Peterborough Cathedral in September, have been endorsed by David Cameron, Nick Clegg and David Miliband.

Winners of the awards will claim an �800 prize, with second place receiving �400 and third �200. The Junior Young Person of the Year will also take �200.

To nominate someone for the YOPEYs visit or send an stamped address envelope to YOPEY, PO Box 236, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 1DP. Young people can nominate themselves. Entries close on May 31.