Outstanding citizens recognised in annual awards

Exceptional young people from across a city have been honoured at an annual awards.

WOLVERHAMPTON COPYRIGHT EXPRESS AND STAR STEVE LEATH 16/09/2021..Pics in Wolverhampton in the Mayors Parlour, of the Young Citizen Awards. At the front are winners: Parwiz Karimi from Whitmore Reans, , Dylan Wright from Pendeford and Lucy Palin from Perton. At the back are finalists and dignitaries. Sitting is Louis Johnson and AJ (Aijion Brown),  back L-R: Robyn Davies (District Rotary Govenor) Dhavina Chadha, Syed Naqvi, Alex Parker, Caitlin Jefferis, Mayoress and Mayor: Sureena  and Greg Brackenridge, Rotary Chairman: Roger Timbrell..
WOLVERHAMPTON COPYRIGHT EXPRESS AND STAR STEVE LEATH 16/09/2021..Pics in Wolverhampton in the Mayors Parlour, of the Young Citizen Awards. At the front are winners: Parwiz Karimi from Whitmore Reans, , Dylan Wright from Pendeford and Lucy Palin from Perton. At the back are finalists and dignitaries. Sitting is Louis Johnson and AJ (Aijion Brown), back L-R: Robyn Davies (District Rotary Govenor) Dhavina Chadha, Syed Naqvi, Alex Parker, Caitlin Jefferis, Mayoress and Mayor: Sureena and Greg Brackenridge, Rotary Chairman: Roger Timbrell..

The Wolverhampton Young Citizen of the Year awards saw nine people recognised for their efforts in going that extra mile to help others in their communities.

At this year's event at the Mayor's Parlour the awards were split into two age categories, with two overall winners in the 19-25 age group.

Lucy Palin, aged 23, was honoured for setting up the non-for-profit Project GIVE, which tackles the issue of period poverty in the city.

And Parwiz Karimi, 24, who arrived in the UK as a youngster with his family having fled the Taliban, was recognised for setting up the Afghan Afghan Youth Association to help bridge the gap between communities.

They edged out youth council representative Syed Naqvi and breakdancer Aijon Brown, who ran online classes during the lockdown to keep young people active.

Young Citizen Awards. At the front are winners: Parwiz Karimi, Dylan Wright and Lucy Palin. Sitting is Louis Johnson and Aijon Brown; back L-R: Rotarian Robyn Davies, Dhavina Chadha, Syed Naqvi, Alex Parker, Caitlin Jefferis, with Mayoress and Mayor: Sureena and Greg Brackenridge and Rotarian Roger Timbrell

Dylan Wright, aged 16, was the overall winner in the 13-18 age group for his efforts in supporting others during the pandemic. He beat off competition from NHS volunteer Dhavina Chadra, St John Ambulance cadet Caitlin Jefferis, fundraiser Louis Johnson, and Alex Parker, who saved a man's life.

The winners were presented with their awards at an event hosted by Mayor Councillor Greg Brackenridge.

Lucy, from Perton, founded Project GIVE in 2018 and has since provided sanitary products for more than 150,000 people across the city.

She said: "I am really honoured. It is very flattering to have your work recognised. We've got some big plans for the future and hope to take the project Black Country wide in the next couple of years, and then we'll go anywhere where people will listen and need our support."

Parwiz, from Whitmore Reans, said winning the award had helped motivate him to push his organisation even further.

"We're already working on further projects, including Help The Refugees, where we help them with things like translation and getting used to a new society," he added.

Mayor Councillor Greg Brackenridge hosted the awards at the Civic Centre

Codsall High School pupil Dylan, a Barnardo's charity shop volunteer from Pendeford, made and starred in a video that raised £1,700 for Compton Care.

He said he felt privileged to win the award and that he hoped to carry on helping others.

Mayor Councillor Brackenridge, said: "I was a real privilege to be in the company of such fine, outstanding and dedicated young people.

"It was difficult for the judges to pick out winners when we heard their back stories. We are proud of all of their achievements."

The awards is run by the city's Rotary clubs and backed by Wolverhampton Council, the Express & Star, The Way Youth Zone, Wolves Foundation, Carvers, The James Beattie Charitable Trust, Wolverhampton West magazine, Bilston magazine and Wednesfield magazine.

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