Young people involved with Knowle West-based charity Youth Moves shone at this year’s Bristol Young Heroes awards – with all five nominees scooping awards.
Now in its sixth year, the ceremony recognises young people who have overcome adversity and gone on to achieve incredible things.
Individuals and youth organisations from across Bristol nominate the young people for eight categories of awards. These are sponsored by businesses from across the city and given out by local celebrities at a black tie event – this year at We the Curious.
There is also an Overall Young Hero of 2019 Award chosen from all the nominees – and a prestigious accolade given to someone who “has shown considerable dedication to Youth Services in the city” – the High Sheriff’s Award.
Knowle West resident Levi Hodge (22) won the acclaimed High Sheriff’s Award for his volunteering work at Youth Moves, based at The Park in Daventry Road. His story is one of overcoming adversity to succeed – from being at the top of the police list locally at 12 for anti-social behaviour to gaining an apprenticeship at his former school as a Learning Mentor.
Levi said the award was very unexpected: “…I have been with Youth Moves since I was 12… and I have no plans on going anywhere else anytime soon. My heart and passion is with the young people in South Bristol and always will be.”
(See Levi’s story page 11).
Mitch Lyth (18) was the Overall 2019 Young Hero winner for “The best of Bristol, someone who embodies the energy, compassion and the creativity of Bristol.”
Mitch has been accessing Youth Moves services during different stages of his life – and over the past seven years has been a regular attendee at the music project, youth clubs and worked with mentors. He is now a member of the Youth Opinions group.
He was entered into the Learning Hero category – but won the Overall Young Hero award for overcoming challenges in his life.
Environmental Hero award winner – Catherine Rowe.
The award is for “a young person who is contributing to or co-ordinating activity into having a positive impact to the environment, locally, city-wide or nationally.”
Catherine first came into contact with Youth Moves at primary school, working on a Forest School programme. She then joined the Urban Escape group and helped build the roundhouse on the organisation’s Springfield Allotment site.
She has continued working on social action projects supporting a local dementia care home, and teaching local groups how to cook the produce they grow on the site. Catherine is also a young carer and has recently gone on to be elected to Bristol Youth Council as a South Bristol representative.
Learning Hero award winner – Abby Driscoll-Pike
This is for a young person “who has exceeded expectations and achieved success in education, especially by overcoming adversity or challenging circumstances.”
Abby joined Youth Moves through taking part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme, she has gone on to do the Young Leaders programme, volunteer on the Break Free holiday hunger project and take part in extra social action programmes.
Sporting Hero award winner – Kieran Jackson
This award is for a young person “who has exceeded expectations and triumphed in sport, especially by overcoming adversity or challenging circumstances.”
Kieran went to a local secondary school and at 12 was diagnosed with a form of cancer that required him to have brain surgery. He then had to teach himself to walk and talk again and has since got back into sports – playing wheelchair basketball and rugby. Youth Moves met Kieran while he was on NCS, through its work with his college where he is studying sports media with Bristol City Community Trust and Boomsatsuma.
Chief Executive of Youth Moves, Alistair Dale, said: “…Their personal journeys and what they have overcome in their lives, with the support of the staff team from Youth Moves, is truly inspiring and so it was great that this was recognised on the night by them winning their categories.”