4Uth 2018 winners
Mansfield winner: Josh Sheppard
Josh is 18 and lives in Medan Vale. He was nominated for the award by Ian Bradley and Geoff Vincent, Youth Workers on the West Mobile Young People’s Centre. Josh has been nominated for the positive way he has overcome numerous and varied obstacles in his life and developed a resilience which has enabled him to play a constructive role in his community.
Geoff said: “From an early age Josh has had to face a wide range of obstacles in his life. Josh built up ways to be more resilient during this time.
“When Josh reached secondary school he had to face other issues that he needed to deal with. He was found to have dyslexia and ADHD during this time which made just doing some of the simple things his friends did in class even harder. Along with learning difficulties, Josh also has hypoglycemia which has resulted in him not being able to do things which he wanted to do.
“Josh’s home life was also difficult as he took on the role as young carer for his father, who had Motor Neurone Disease. Whilst there were carers coming in to support the family, Josh always wanted to do his bit to help his mum look after his father. Sadly Josh’s father passed away in 2013 when Josh was only 13. Because of the caring role he had taken on at home, Josh found school commitments difficult to maintain. He was always tired and even when he managed to sleep, this would never be for long.”
During his time at secondary school he was diagnosed with anxiety and he has to work hard to overcome feelings of depression, but showed his resilience by winning a Distinction at his school.
Josh lives at home with mum Claire and stepdad Sean, and has a twin sister Kay. Claire said: “It’s absolutely amazing that Josh has won. He attends the youth club every Tuesday and also has a full-time job working at Asda in Forest Town. Winning the district 4Uth award is a fantastic achievement for a young lad and we are so delighted as he is very loving and a considerate son.” Geoff said:
“His confidence has grown like his resilience and he has been a very good advocate for others. Josh also plays an active role in the planning of the youth work activities in the local area where he lives and is often seen talking to local councillors about what young people would like to see happen in their area.”
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The 4Uth award seeks to recognise young people who have overcome considerable hurdles in their lives and it is clear that Josh is certainly one of these people. Despite medical conditions and other challenges in his young life he has gone from strength to strength and is a deserving 4Uth district winner for Mansfield.”