Suzi set for a share of top prize

PUBLISHED: 17:47 24 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:59 11 May 2010

A FORMER Young People of the Year (YOPEY) finalist has nominated her best friend for this year s award. Suzi Bowden, of Sunny Hill, Buntingford, will compete for a share of the £1,500 prize pot after being nominated by her buddy Katie McArthur. Katie, of

A FORMER Young People of the Year (YOPEY) finalist has nominated her best friend for this year's award.

Suzi Bowden, of Sunny Hill, Buntingford, will compete for a share of the £1,500 prize pot after being nominated by her buddy Katie McArthur.

Katie, of Primrose Walk, Royston, said: "I think Suzi is a fabulous candidate for YOPEY. She is a very talented and thoughtful young woman because she helps so many organisations and schools with music workshops for people of all ages.

"Her leadership skills have been proven at our school where she has completed her Community Sports Leader Award. She also assists Sandon Primary School in weekly swimming lessons, teaching young children of all ages and abilities."

Katie was a runner-up in the inaugural YOPEY, held in Royston in 2005, for caring for her sick mum, Michelle. Sadly her mum died last summer of pneumonia.

"I miss her like crazy but I know she's always there," she said.

Suzi has been nominated for her work with her community, and for the last two years has organised acoustic music nights.

She said: "I wanted to organise an event where anyone who loves music and can play an instrument can have the chance to perform on stage. We got many people together from schools and the local area, from amateur to professional.

"It was a fantastic night especially when you saw children as young as 12 perform in front of the crowd. Everyone had a fantastic time and went home happy," she said.

The show was repeated last summer and Suzi is planning to have another musical night this year.

The two concerts have raised about £600 which has been split between Peace Child International and the Buntingford Young Farmers' Club.

Suzi runs the senior section of the Buntingford Young Farmers, which is for young people over 16. She also maintains the club's website, keeps the fortnightly meetings in order and has been known to dress as a daffodil to fundraise.

"Suzi is a lovely bubbly person and is very approachable. She is very good at putting her points across to young and older people alike and I think that's what makes her so popular," said Linda Watts, head of Herts Young Farmers.

"And she is always ready to put herself forward and to get involved in anything that needs doing. For example, for the last two years she has been dressing up as a daffodil to increase awareness and support the Marie Curie Cancer Appeal."

The Freman College student will compete against young people from East Herts, Broxbourne, North Herts and Stevenage in the YOPEY for Herts East 09. The awards ceremony, where at least £1500 in prize money will be up for grabs, will be held in April.

The closing date for this year's YOPEY has been extended to Saturday 7 March. To nominate log on to www.yopey.org or write to PO Box 103, Hare Street, Ware SG9 0XD.

Anyone can nominate - young people are encouraged to enter themselves. Nominees must be aged between 10 and 25, live, work, or study in Hertfordshire, and be a true inspiration to those around them.

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