Shuttleworth College students showed they are
worthy of awards themselves when they volunteered to help out
behind the scenes at the fantastic Young People of the Year
(Yopey) ceremony which was staged at The Mansion House in Old
The “Yopeys” are co-sponsored
by Bedford College and Principal Ian Pryce was there to help
present the awards.
This was the fifth Bedfordshire and Luton
Yopey awards and as always they attracted some outstanding entries.
A final ten were selected for the awards ceremony.
The overall winner was Joanna Mayes, aged 19,
who was nominated by Aragon Housing Association for her marvellous
personal journey - overcoming depression and self-harming prompted
by bullying to become a football coach and inspiration to younger
people. She was presented with a cheque for £1,000.
Second was Natalie Wilson, aged 23, who
despite suffering from Downs Syndrome volunteers to help others
almost every day. Natalie, who is from Dunstable, was once a
student of Bedford College on a special NVQ course in
“employability” skills - so it was fitting that her prize of £500
was presented by the Principal of Bedford College Ian Pryce.
Said Ian: “We have 18,000 students across
Bedford and Shuttleworth Colleges and Natalie would be an
inspiration to the them all.”
Third prize went jointly to Stephanie Knight,
aged 17, who was presented with her prize by the Mayor of Luton
Cllr Tom Shaw and Scott Hayhurst, aged 22, who was given his
prize by Cllr Peter Hollick of Central Bedfordshire Council.
The Junior Prize of £250 went Mo Ahktar, aged
15 of Luton. He is using rugby to help put others youngsters back
on the right track and is a Gold Ambassador for the 2012 Olympics.
He was presented with his prize by Area Commander Tony Rogers of
Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service (BLFRS). Said Tony:
“This is the first Bluelight Yopey awards in Bedfordshire and last
year BLFRS was the first Fire & Rescue Service to sponsor this
now UK-wide project. We do much work with young people to keep them
safe and hope our association with Yopey will help spread those
The remaining five finalists were all also
given £50 each thanks to the support of the sponsors: Beds Police,
BLFRS, Beds Ambulance Trust, Bedford College, Central Beds Council,
Luton Borough Council, Blue Arrow and Beds and Luton Community
All cash prizes were donated on condition the
recipients give half to a worthy cause - and keep half for
themselves as a reward.
Nominations for future awards or
young volunteers should go to www.yopey.org