Young Volunteer of the Year is a very special award and is given to young people from across our borough who demonstrate a commitment to making a difference in their local communities and are positive role models to other young people. Our panel felt that two of the nominees were quite simply exceptional.
HIGHLY COMMENDED –
Shree Gujarati Hindu Youth Club
This group of young people undertake various activities, such as arts and crafts, and charity walks, in order to raise money for children less fortunate than themselves. They encourage community cohesion by learning about different religions, values and respecting other people’s beliefs. We felt they were role models to other young people, as they are instrumental in breaking down cultural barriers and demonstrating the positive benefits of engaging with other communities.
MAIN AWARD –
She encourages other students with mild learning disabilities to act as role models to new students, in order to increase their confidence and self-esteem, particularly around activities with they may have found daunting or challenging.
Emily also arranges social activities and was instrumental in accessing the Youth Opportunities Fund, securing a grant for ‘We Socialise Too’. This club runs monthly trips/activities giving young people with disabilities opportunities to socialise, eg Zumba, bowls, meals out, crazy golf and cinema outings.
In addition to young people with learning disabilities socialising on a more regular basis, a really nice added bonus to the club has been the parents of the members forming their own support/social group.
Her nominator has described Emily as
“An inspiration, giving credible support to her peers and indeed, everyone she comes into contact with. Emily is incredibly thoughtful, motivated and visionary, even though she herself would not recognise that, but we are working on that!”
To see the film that was made about Emily, please click on the picture below: