Youngsters acknowledged for inspiration acts

Young people from across the region have been acknowledged for acts of charity and supporting their communities.

Harvey Kataria was one of eight Black Country youngsters to receive the Young Active Citizen award
Harvey Kataria was one of eight Black Country youngsters to receive the Young Active Citizen award

The West Midlands Lieutenancy has rewarded the hard work of 14 youngsters from across the region with the West Midlands Lieutenancy Young Active Citizen Award.

The award was created last autumn after the Lieutenancy decided to introduce one to acknowledge the outstanding contribution young people were making during the pandemic.

Schools across the region were invited to share stories of pupils who they knew were contributing in amazing ways.

Nominations came from across the region with young people showing caring, dedication and passion to help others.

As well as dedicating many hours of volunteering, many showed initiative and imagination in how they were helping others.

These included running campaigns for kindness, promoting and operating food banks, delivering meals to those in need, setting up youth clubs and recording themselves reading books for younger children.

Each youngster will receive a signed certificate from the Lord-Lieutenant, John Crabtree OBE, who said he was delighted with the response.

He said: "We knew young people were doing some fantastic activities to help others, but the new award has provided an opportunity to find out how much is going on and how young people are contributing.

"It is hugely heart-warming to hear their stories and I am impressed with their ingenuity and the lengths they have gone to make such a positive contribution to help others.

"I am looking forward to meeting many of them later in the year and I am grateful for all the schools that helped highlight their endeavours to us."

From 38 nominations, fourteen young people have been chosen to meet the Lord-Lieutenant to receive their prize at a ceremony later in the year.

Among those chosen were eight from around the Black Country.

Harvey Kataria from St Michael’s School in Dudley supported and promoted the Black Country foodbank with a “ Kindness Is Powerful” campaign around National Kindness Day on November 13.

Emily and Oliver Lonsdale from Bristnall Hall Academy in Oldbury coordinated their own food donation scheme and promoted it to support the Smethwick Foodbank.

Jayme Nelson from Sandwell Community School used the year to turn his life around and achieve some amazing results that include winning a Young Writer’s Prize for his short poem “Stuck in the Freezer”.

Brock Daffern of Heath School in Wolverhampton used his own 3D printer to produce headbands for protective visors before distributing them to the NHS.

Ashley Copson of Pool Hayes Academy in Willenhall volunteered for Walsall Outreach and delivered hampers, fish and chips to the elderly, vulnerable and homeless every week.

Emma Wood and Chelsea Jade Grant from St Michael's School in Dudley played a major role in improving a local park and being advocates for young people in the community.

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