Youth council aims for £1,000 award

PUBLISHED: 10:21 18 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:56 11 May 2010

A GROUP of youngsters who are trying to improve facilities for young people in Royston have been nominated for a £1,000 prize. The Royston Youth Council has been nominated for an award in the third Hertfordshire Young People of the Year (Yopey) contest. C

A GROUP of youngsters who are trying to improve facilities for young people in Royston have been nominated for a £1,000 prize.

The Royston Youth Council has been nominated for an award in the third Hertfordshire Young People of the Year (Yopey) contest.

Chairman of the youth council, Rosalind Johnson, 17, said: "We are grateful that Yopey is showing the positive things that young people do.

"It's great that people who do make a difference get the recognition they deserve."

The youth council formed earlier this year, and have taken part in several events since then, including the Royston May Fair and Family Fun Day, where members had a stall selling smoothies.

They have also put on Royston's first youth music festival, Event Horizon, and persuaded the management of the town's leisure centre to markedly lower the prices for youngsters because they felt that the costs were deterring young people from using it.

North Herts District Council's community development officer for Royston, Alan Fleck, nominated the youth council for their award.

He said: "The members are ace people, who are enthusiastic, articulate and active on the organisation. They are immense fun to work with.

"They are committed to making the voices of young people heard in Royston and to make it a better place for them as well as improving the image of young people in the town."

Rosalind said that the group wascurrently looking into other projects, such as the staging of a film festival in Royston.

She said: "We are also keen on trying to get reduced transport fares because they are expensive for young people who have limited incomes but are expected to pay full fares."

Yopey was founded in 2005 by Tony Gearing, to reflect the positive contribution young people make to society today.

Mr Gearing said: "Because of the recession, we're not able to award as much as in previous years, but the important thing is we're back.

"Despite tough times, the county of Hertfordshire still wants to recognise its young unsung heroes."

Nominations are still being taken for the awards, and a total prize pot of £3,000 will be spread between the winners.

Yopey is open to young people aged 10-25, who give to others and are positive role models.

Last year's winners were invited to 10 Downing Street for a reception with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who hailed them as "ordinary people whose willing commitment to a cause or community has informed and inspired us."

To make a nomination log on to www.yopey.org, or write to Herts YOPEY, PO Box 103, Hare Street, Ware SG9 0XD for an entry form.

Young people can nominate themselves.

Entries will close on February 28 2009.

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