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Shayden crowned this year’s Nottinghamshire Outstanding Achievement 4Uth award winner

An inspirational Nottinghamshire teenager is celebrating after winning a prestigious youth award in recognition of his tireless voluntary work and the support he provides young people in his community.

Shayden West was named the countywide winner of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Outstanding Achievement 4Uth Award for 2023 at a glittering ceremony at County Hall on Friday 24 November.

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The 17-year-old, who attends Quarrydale Academy in Sutton-in-Ashfield and is also a former Member of Youth Parliament for Ashfield, was nominated for the award by Zoe Taylor, a Youth Worker at Quarrydale Young People’s Centre.

She said, “Shayden supports with weekly group sessions to help young people be more positive and have a better outlook on life.

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“He sets a topic for each group session to discuss male mental health and how they can make changes to live their lives to full capacity.

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“There are a lot of young people that need his help and appreciate the support that he offers them. Year 7s, who have started coming to the centre, will see him at school and ask him questions or for help with things, because they feel more comfortable”.

Shayden also volunteers at a homeless centre at weekends, alongside his Saturday job, and has helped to set up a sensory garden for adults with learning disabilities at an allotment in Sutton-in-Ashfield.

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Dedicating four nights a week to volunteering at the Quarrydale Young People’s Centre, whilst juggling his A-level studies, Shayden’s kind and helpful nature is appreciated outside of the centre as well.

Councillor Tracey Taylor, the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, hailed Shayden’s dedication to helping others improve their lives.

She said, “Shayden’s relentless efforts to support the young people in his community could not go unnoticed.

“Supporting with weekly group sessions at the council’s Quarrydale Young People’s Centre, alongside working towards his A-levels, is a huge commitment for somebody of his age.

“I commend him for taking on such responsibility and helping to make a positive and influential change to those around him whilst doing so.

“The passion and enthusiasm that he has shown for being a mentor and providing a regular support network to aid those with mental health challenges is inspiring to so many.

“I am thrilled that he is the countywide winner of this year’s awards and delighted that he and the other young people could join us for the awards evening, so that we could acknowledge them in person for their efforts.”

The annual event at County Hall brought together all the county’s seven district winners and their proud families, who watched videos showcasing their triumphs and inspirational stories.

The event was attended by around 100 guests, including members of the youth service and County Council Chairman, Councillor John Ogle.

He said, “It’s always a pleasure to be able to gather and celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of Nottinghamshire’s young people.

“This is the 12th year of the 4Uth Awards and each year we are consistently amazed at the difficulties they manage to overcome, whilst managing to help and support others as well.

“They are all very deserving and should be extremely proud of themselves, as I am sure Nottinghamshire is.”

The other district award winners are:

  • Leah Cholerton,16, from Broxtowe, has overcome barriers having been born with several health conditions. She has grown in confidence since joining Stapleford’s Young People’s Centre and shown sheer determination in developing and moving forward.
  • Edward Robinson, 11, from Bassetlaw, has become a substantial support for his family when dealing with the additional, complex needs of his younger brother.
  • Jamie Thorley, 20, from Rushcliffe, has overcome ‘many personal challenges’ to become a voice for young people who are in care – drawing on his own experiences and ‘personal struggles’ of once being in care himself.
  • Mia Louise Smith, 14, from Mansfield, has overcome her shyness and worked to help others by tirelessly devoting many hours to fundraising in the community.
  • Megan Towers,15, from Gedling, manages challenging health issues with dignity and bravery and has become a positive mentor for her peers at The Loco Young People’s Centre in Netherfield.
  • Reece Martin, 16, from Newark and Sherwood, has proven to be a key ‘asset’ at Dukeries Young People’s Centre in Ollerton, where he ‘helps out so much’ and ‘volunteers in the local community’.

For more details about the Outstanding Achievement 4Uth award, visit the Nottinghamshire County Council website: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/4uth

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