Yopey's back with at least £10,000 in prizes

PUBLISHED: 17:01 08 November 2007 | UPDATED: 15:19 12 May 2010

YOUNG People of the Year or Yopey - the contest that aims to give young people a fairer image by revealing, recognising and rewarding young unsung heroes - is back. At least £10,000 can be won across Herts as Yopeys are held in the county for the thir

YOUNG People of the Year or Yopey - the contest that aims to give young people a fairer image by "revealing, recognising and rewarding young unsung heroes" - is back.

At least £10,000 can be won across Herts as Yopeys are held in the county for the third time.

Royston and Buntingford young people, together with their peers from the rest of North Herts, will be competing against Stevenage's younger generation for £2,000.

Among the judges will be 15-year-old Sophie Lane, a student at The Meridian School, Royston, who was the junior winner in the last North Herts Yopey.

The winners of the St John Spencer Young People of the Year - named after a Royston-based property company - will be announced at an awards ceremony in February.

Yopey founder Tony Gearing is hopeful of finding more sponsors to add to the prize pot and take it above the £10,000 already raised.

"If more organisations come forward there can be even more money to win," said Tony.

In North Herts, Yopey is already being supported by St John Spencer Estates and Develop-ments, Johnson Matthey, North Herts District Council, Letch-worth Garden City Heritage Foundation, Melbourn technology development company TTP and Royston accountants Hardcastle Burton.

The county final is being sponsored by international training organisation SkillsTrain, and the youth advisory service Connexions Hertfordshire and Hertfordshire Police Authority.

Tony, from Great Hormead, said: "The Yopey volunteers, professionals and myself wouldn't be able to put on these competitions without sponsors' help. The prize money is the icing on the cake and the young winners share the cash with the community.

"More important is recognising young unsung heroes and promoting them as positive role models for other young people.

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