Awards pay tribute to Arun’s extraordinary young people

All the nominees and winners alongside the Arun Youth Council and Cllr Dougal Maconachie
All the nominees and winners alongside the Arun Youth Council and Cllr Dougal Maconachie

EXTRAORDINARY young people going the extra mile to give their help and show their support have been recognised.

The first Rotary Arun Youth Community Awards (RAYCA) have been held to celebrate the wonderful work of youngsters from across the Arun district.

Members of the Arun Youth Council collecting their awards

Members of the Arun Youth Council collecting their awards

The awards ceremony, which took place at The Windmill Entertainment Centre, in Littlehampton, aims to recognise all those who have gone above and beyond and replaces the Arun Youth Awards.

Bob Pavard from the Bognor Regis Rotary Club said: “I know there was a lot of disappointment when the Arun Youth Awards were not held last year and we wanted to change that.

“We in Rotary all know that these young people are the world of tomorrow and we wanted to highlight some of the amazing things they do. All the nominees have done exceptional things in their own right.”

There were 20 awards presented and they were given to young people living in the district aged between 11 and 19.

“These awards reflect the excellent efforts and selflessness of our young people in Arun.”

Arun District Council’s chairman Dougal Maconachie

All of the nominees were someone who had shown themselves to be an exceptionally caring person, an especially brave person, someone who had given their time to volunteer or someone who had raised money from charity.

The nominations were all given to the Arun Youth Council who were given the tough job of selecting a winner.

There were also special awards given to members of the youth council.

These accolades were decided by Arun District Council’s chairman Dougal Maconachie.

He said: “My heartfelt congratulations to all the young people here today.

“These awards reflect the excellent efforts and selflessness of our young people in Arun.

“It is vital to have role models to look up to and you are all great examples of the best of our youth.”

The inspirational young people were all nominated for a whole host of different reasons.

Everything from fundraising to help orphaned children in Serbia, and working with refugees in Uganda, to brightening the lives of disabled people in Littlehampton.

In the 11-13 category there were three nominees: Frankie Bigwood, Emily Mcnestrie and Joshua Schofield, with Josh being crowned the winner.

In the 14-16 category there was a host of nominees, including: Lily Ayling, Sabine Zvirina, Dzaneta Virkava, Shelby Whiffin, Chloe-Anne Heaton, Will Palmer, Jez Farrant, Carley Greenwood, Bobby Allen, Jack Kates.

However, Jez Farrant’s work with refugees in Africa clinched him the top award.

Jessica Abreu, Emma Dymock, Katie Parmenter, Scott Willmott, Zandile Powell, Cameron Elder were nominees in the 17-19 group, with Jessica claiming victory.

The winners of the Arun District Council Chairman’s Awards were: Best newcomer – Kesjan Paszkowski and Seb Maxted; the most committed – Beth de Claire and Jay Dix; Long service – Hilary Ayodele, Beth Green and Paddy Chapman; Special achievement – Morgan Steele

The Regis School was the victor in the group category.

The awards ceremony, which was held last week, was presented by the Rotary Clubs of Littlehampton, Bognor Regis and Bognor Hotham in association with Insight Rotaract Club of Littlehmapton.

The event replaced the Arun Community Awards which last took place some two years ago. It is hoped the new awards will become an annual fixture.