Early nominees for youth awards
Below are some of the early nominees for the 4Uth awards, one per district, with pictures below.
Ashfield Nomination: Jamil Oppal, 14, from Walesby Drive, Kirkby-in-Ashfield
Jamil is a 14 year old young man who attends the youth club at Kirkby in Ashfield called “The Acre”. Jamil has a twin brother, Shafiqe (who also attends the youth club) but both young men are very unique in their own right.
Youth worker Scott Johnson said: “When I took over at the youth centre at the beginning of 2017 both Jamil and Shafiqe were not allowed in the centre for various reasons, but when I took over it was new a ‘brush sweeps clean’ scenario so all past transgressions were put aside. Both young men have difficulties within full time education and prefer the more hands on approach when it comes to learning which some schools cannot facilitate but Jamil manages to cope with this better than his brother.
“However even with all their reputation preceding them, when we first met I found Jamil to be very an articulate young man, somewhat misunderstood, very clued up and a very bright young man.”
The reason why Scott has nominated Jamil is because of his excellent behaviour within the youth centre and his continued positive outlook within the youth club. Jamil is well behaved in the youth centre and respectful to all staff within it, he respects the building and its equipment and sees the youth club as a place he wants to be part of, and if he damages anything within it then it’s not there for him to use the next time he wants to use it.
Scott and another worker went to Jamil’s and Shafiqe’s parent’s home a few weeks ago as Jamil was running late and thought he would get into a considerable amount of bother, so I spoke to a family friend and told her that Jamil would be late but we would drop him off home.
They explained that we at the youth centre want them inside the centre as much as they can and that they are well behaved in the centre. Scott met dad Majid, a few weeks previous and told him the exact thing and he was delighted because he sometimes hears negative feedback regarding their behaviour so hearing this was breath of fresh air, and Scott told him they are both fun to be around.
The youth club may be the only place that Jamil can feel at ease with whoever he want to be and hopefully he will both continue attending and building further bridges for all parties.
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “Jamil is a good example to other young people in terms of how far he has come at the young people’s centre, and it is heartening to hear that he enjoys the young people’s centre and is contributing a lot. Many congratulations on his nomination.”
Bassetlaw nomination: Jack Wilson, 14, from Montrose, Worksop
Jack was diagnosed with autism at six years old. His parents had concerns that he was not meeting his development goals, especially in his communication, speech and mobility.
He attended speech therapy for a number of years. Just when Jack was making progress he suffered a setback when he lost his dad Daniel in 2011. Jack shut down and withdrew from society, and not talking for three months. Jack’s mum thought she’d lost him in terms of his confidence.
Around this time the school Jack was attending recommended he attend a special school as he would have to substitute G.C.S.E.’s for life skills. Jack’s mum disputed this and he moved to Sir Edmund Hillary and then onto Outwood Academy Valley. His effort levels are impeccable. He receives the highest grade in most of his subjects and is estimated a B at Maths GSCE and an A in computer science.
Youth worker Shane Butkeraitis said: “Jack loves coming to Valley youth club. I asked Jack why and his reply was that it was a place where he could exercise his independence. He loves to meet his friends, play games, and if he wanted to buy a can of pop or a packet of crisps from the tuck shop, he could. It was up to him to choose. He could even have both.
“Another obstacle Jack has to overcome is bullying. He can easily be led. Some of his peers take advantage of this, encouraging him to behave in a way that is not in Jack’s character. Jack will continue to grow in confidence until he gets comfortable to do what he thinks is right and not always trust what his peers say.”
Jack is an extremely active young person attending after school clubs especially Boccia, recently winning the Bassetlaw competition and coming second in the Nottinghamshire competition. Jack was voted by his peers to be their captain. Something he is immensely proud of. He is also a bit of a golfer, and although he only started playing 6 months ago, he’s doing so well that he’s been offered a complimentary membership.
Around the home, Jack thrives on routine and is brilliant at remembering everything in order, even doing his own washing.
Jack is in the process of putting on a play called Adventures of Super Stan with Acorn Young Theatre where he is playing Private Eye.
Coping with Autism is hard enough, but given the other obstacles Jack has overcome it’s remarkable that he has gone from speech therapy and not talking to performing in a play, on stage, in front of an audience is testament to this young lad’s character and can do attitude. His smile is infectious. You can see the enjoyment in his eyes. He’s a great person and I hope that his confidence continues to grow and he goes from strength to strength.
Jack’s mum Suzanne said: “Life hasn’t been easy for Jack. As a parent you strive to protect your children as much as possible while they’re growing up, but it’s been very difficult. I’m very proud of Jack.”
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Committee Vice-Chairman for the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Jack is leading a very productive and active life and he has already achieved so much at a young age. He is a very worthy nominee for our annual youth awards.”
Broxtowe nomination: Faye Appleyard, 18, from Hardy Street, Kimberley
Faye started attending Kimberley Young People's Centre a little over four years ago as a young person whom used the use the youth club services, as she found it was a warm, friendly and safe space to meet old and new friends alike.
Youth worker Irfaan Hussain, at Kimberley Young People’s Centre, said: “In this time Faye has engaged well with other peers and Youth Workers. Also during her time at the young people’s centre, Faye has interacted and engaged with other young people in an appropriate and mature manner as well as taking part in organizing both indoor and outdoor activities.
“Throughout her time at the Young People's Centre, Faye has shown a keen interest in arts, crafts and design, and often sat down with other young people encouraging them to take part in arts and craft events.”
Many of the young people who took part in arts and crafts design have all produced excellent pieces of work that are currently being displayed within the Young People's Centre.
Faye had become a senior young person within the centre, undertaking such roles as, helping behind the coffee bar, engaging in food making and preparation making cakes with young people, pizzas and other simple and quick recipes with younger peers. This appears to have gone extremely well with the younger members of the club, as they were able to demonstrate social skills, equipping them for adulthood.
Faye now has gained employment with the Young People's Centre and is looking into a future within a job that focuses upon working with young people in an early help format before young people have moved too far down the line for support from Youth workers.
She also recently, help redesign and redecorate all of the notice boards within the Young People's Centre, in bright and exuberant colours and designs, aiming to attract the attention of the members for upcoming events. Faye appears to enjoy this, as she is able to demonstrate her flare and confidence within this setting in spite of being the same age of the other members.
Faye has shown Youth Workers and other members that she is competent enough to pass on some of her own skills and experience whist still mature enough to take on and abound new learning shared with her by other Youth Workers. She is planning to use these skills to enhance her own life skills in order to gainful employment.
As stated above, Faye has consistently demonstrated a high level of maturity within the local community and the Young People's Centre. She is much liked and respected, within the community and Youth Centre. Irfaan feels that Faye has all the characteristics and qualities to develop into an excellent role model for other young people.
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Faye has been extremely busy, getting involved in a wide range of activities, and she can be rightly proud that she has been nominated for this year’s 4Uth awards in recognition of her achievements.”
Gedling nomination: Olivia Nightingale, 14, from St Mary’s Close, Arnold
Olivia has been nominated for the 4uth Achievement award, as she has been a positive influence and member of the youth centre since joining as a junior member in September 2015. She has grown in confidence and maturity, has encouraged other young people to join the club and regularly comes up with suggestions for the youth club programme.
Youth worker Cathryn Reade said: “Olivia values the provision here at Redhill Young People's Centre, and the fact that there is somewhere for young people to meet up after school and in the evenings.
“Olivia has said that sometimes she felt low and lacking in confidence, but has been able to work on these issues at the youth club, through taking part in a range of activities, meeting new friends and talking with youth workers.”
After taking part in an activity day at the Mill Adventure Base in 2016, Olivia was keen to arrange an overnight residential for other young people in her age group. She was instrumental in organising a residential for 8 young people, which took place in July 2017, and contributed greatly to the group planning process. During the residential, Olivia challenged herself through a number of adventurous and team building activities.
In 2017, Olivia expressed interest in volunteering opportunities to develop her personal and social skills, and to explore future career options in Health and Social Care. Since May 2017, Olivia has been volunteering at Gedling Sport Plus (GSP), a sports club for young disabled people. Olivia has been interacting with the group members, showing respect and sensitivity to their issues, but not treating the group members as "other" or different. She also started to learn a few Makaton signs, as she recognises the value in new skills to communicate with others who have different learning and communication needs. Maureen Fox, the group leader said that Olivia shows enthusiasm to help others, she is kind, empathetic and has formed positive relationships with the group members.
Since September, Olivia has been working on her Sports Leaders Award at school, and is aiming to use some of the practical skills she has learned with the GSP members.
Olivia's mum Zanam said: “We have recognised a wonderful maturity and understanding of diversity and that Olivia has continued to grow in confidence and self-esteem as a result of her engagement with the Youth Service.”
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Service, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “We are delighted to hear that Olivia has been so involved in a wide range of activities which has helped her develop her confidence. She is helping her peers with her efforts and it is wonderful news that she has been nominated for this year’s 4Uth awards.”
Mansfield nomination: Chloe Smith, 16, from Garibaldi Road, in Forest Town
Chloe attended the youth club regularly but initially demonstrated low self-esteem, confidence and struggled with female friendship groups. She had left mainstream education in year 9 due to bullying and was being home educated. She missed a huge chunk of not only formal education but also social education. She often presented as angry and struggled to communicate in an appropriate manner at times. This often made her very upset at times and this impacted on her self-esteem even more.
Through support from youth workers and her own will to want more, she decided that she would apply to go back into mainstream education and opted to go to the Vision School, while attending main stream education she found that she had some issues with learning and struggled with the concept of learning and making and maintaining friendships, she was very judgemental of others and found herself still becoming angry and verbally aggressive at times. She required a lot of support from within the youth club and staff.
Zoe Taylor, Youth Worker at The Garrage Young People’s Centre, in Mansfield, said: “Through this support she became part of the youth club management committee and also a senior young person who volunteered on a Tuesday evening to work with juniors. She found that if she had a focus some project that she could lead on then she could channel her frustrations into something is positive, she and 2 other young people decided that we needed to make changes to the youth club, as we had to any young people to fit into the space that we have, she became instrumental in contacting the head of service, Nottinghamshire County Councillors, local district Councillors to try and raise funds to have a refurbishment of the youth club.”
In May 2017, a close friend of hers ended his life and it became very difficult in the youth cub environment, with the young people required a lot of support and help to help them deal with the grief, and allow them to understand what had happened and why. Whilst Chloe was suffering from grief and found it really difficult to deal with the situation, she ensured other young people out of the friendship were ok and that she was always on hand to offer a listening ear and support, whilst still working on the refurbishment of the youth club and fund raising for new equipment.
She started West Notts College in September 2017 and decided to resit her level 1 in health and social care as she wanted a better grade as she had decided that she wanted to go to university one day. Through sheer determination to better herself and to gain a career has been able to achieve some of the highest marks in her class so far this year, and her tutor wants to put her forward for student of the month award.
Chloe continues to work on fundraising for the youth club and on the refurbishment and she and others have raised enough money to hire a graffiti artist to come and work with young people to create some graffiti boards to decorate the youth club walls when it has had its refurbishment, she has also planned a memorial board for the young man who ended his life, so that there is always a memory in the youth club for all young people in the community to remember him by.
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Chloe has clearly grown as a person and found the youth service has been a positive influence for her development. Despite the challenges she has faced she has got involved in many activities and good causes and we are very proud of her and her efforts.”
Newark and Sherwood nomination: Lee-Bob Sisson, 12, Swinton Copse, Boughton
Lee first attended The Dukeries Young People's Centre when he was 10 years old. He has always been very high spirited and has a strong sense of what he believes is right or wrong.
Over the couple of years he has had a problem with his anger which he has found hard to keep in control of and at times has seen his behaviour become erratic and out of character.
Recently Lee-Bob (his preferred name) has been trying to address his anger issues and asked for help with anger management sessions.
He has also identified other ways in which he can keep out of trouble and has been talking about his plans.
Adele Priestley, a youth leader at Dukeries Young People’s Centre, in Main Street, Boughton, said: “Over the last couple of months I have noticed a large improvement in his behaviour and he has been running the kitchen for me when we have been busy.
“He also asks if I need help to the point of tidying up the art room of his own initiative and helps with the behaviour of other members when the sessions are running.”
This is a decided difference to how he used to opt in and out of engaging, dependant upon the night’s activity and he has recently been helping to revamp the centre itself by taking part in a four week arts project which has seen the music room and lobby be transformed.
He has become a responsible member of this centre and his help and enthusiasm is appreciated and acknowledged.
Lee-Bob’s dad Robert added: “I have notice a big turn around with Lee. He helps me a lot at home with cooking and cleaning everything all around. He even listens to me a lot now when I am telling him things. I am really pleased how he has settled here.”
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Lee-Bob has shown tremendous courage and a will to succeed to improve his behaviour in his formative teenage years. The changes he has made benefit him and those around him and it is great to hear he has been nominated for this year’s 4Uth awards.”
Rushcliffe nomination: Roshan Singh, 13, Green Leys, West Bridgford
Over the past year, Roshan and his youth worker Patrick Manning have developed a positive working relationship built on mutual respect, trust, and understanding.
This wasn't necessarily the case straight away, as Roshan could at times find himself in the centre of disagreements amongst his peer groups and with others at the young people's centre.
However, Roshan has proven himself to be a good listener and fast learner when it comes to the expectations of the youth club, and he is now a key helper and good example to some of the other attendees.
When called upon, Roshan is keen to assist in the running of parts of the session such as helping set up the coffee bar, and helping new members complete membership forms. Last Summer Roshan had entered himself into a 5-a-side football tournament, but was let down by his team mates on the day, who failed to turn up.
Roshan didn't let this deter him from participating to his full potential and having a good time, as he agreed to join another team who were short of players. Roshan quickly became part of the new group by being a real team player, and although they didn't win all their games Roshan not only gave maximum effort himself, he also encouraged his new team mates to also do so.
Over the past year, Patrick says he has been impressed with how Roshan is maturing into a good mannered and kind natured young person, and that whenever needed, he can be relied upon to help others.
Roshan's mother Jay said: "I am so proud of Roshan. We moved from London two years ago so Roshan being nominated means more to me than possibly winning as it shows just how much he has settled in and grown and is growing as a young person. I couldn’t be prouder of the young man he is becoming and hopefully he is a good example to other young people.”
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “It is wonderful to hear how highly regarded Roshan is at his young people’s centre and he is clearly a valued member there. He can be very proud that he has been nominated for this year’s 4Uth awards.”