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Worthy winners celebrate at first Warrington Youth Club Awards
2:48pm Thursday 17th October 2013 in News
IT was a day filled with tears and cheers when the Warrington Youth Club celebrated a group of kind-hearted and selfless individuals in Warrington earlier this month.
The WYC Awards recognised, celebrated and acknowledged children and young people, who had made a real difference to the community.
Eleven worthy winners were selected by a panel of judges to be one of the first recipients of the WYC awards.
This included two organisations from Warrington, who were celebrated for their unwavering help in the community.
The business award went to European Metal Recycling, the EMR Group, who has supported charities and community groups in Warrington to enable them to improve and continuing supporting children and young people.
The company have played an instrumental part in the club’s success by donating almost £20,000 to the WYC.
The community improvement award was awarded to United Utilities, who have helped make a real difference to children’s lives by providing crucial support for the WYC.
IT has been a difficult journey for Rachael Johnston but, after finding the courage to turn her life around, she is now dedicating her life to helping others.
Rachael, from Latchford, picked up the award for young entrepreneur after setting up the social enterprise Journey Back to Life.
The 22-year-old launched the company to share her own experiences of living with an eating disorder and the multitude of difficulties, which come hand in hand with the condition.
Rachael, who is currently studying counselling, said: “It was lovely to get the award. I'd heard a few people had nominated me and it just showed that the work, which the Journey Back to Life does, is recognised.”
Journey Back to Life was set up more than a year ago and aims to get people talking openly about mental health while raising awareness and providing support to those who need it.
SPORTS fanatic Gus Renshaw hasn’t yet found a sport that he doesn’t enjoy, filling his weeks with horse riding lessons and rugby matches.
The football enthusiast and Liverpool fan, from Woolston, scooped up the sports award at the WYC Awards, as his family watched on with beaming smiles on their faces.
Gus’ mum Isobel, said: “I was really proud of him. He understands that it’s a sports award and he was made up with it.”
The 17-year-old, who attends Green Lane Community School, has been forced to overcome a series of hurdles since he was born.
Gus, who has Down syndrome, has shown determination when faced with difficulties and has gone on to surprise everyone with his sporting prowess.
Isobel said: “As a parent, it was just amazing to see him get the award.”
Above and beyond
BETHANY Higton has always gone that extra mile when helping others in the community, always thinking of others before herself.
The 19-year-old, who volunteers at Brownie and Guide groups in Grappenhall, was awarded the above and beyond award for her tireless effort supporting others.
Bethany, from Appleton, who is currently studying for a qualification in independent living skills at Warrington Collegiate, said she felt ‘brilliant’ after winning the award.
Matt Dell from Freedom Cars, who presented the award to Bethany, said: “The winner of this award has brought great enjoyment, fun and happiness to the children she has worked with.”
In the future, Bethany would like to continue helping to support Brownie and Guide groups and continue the great work she has already started.
HE was heralded as ‘one of the busiest volunteers in Warrington’ when Garry Billington picked up the award for supportive adult.
The 37-year-old from Great Sankey has volunteered at the WYC for the past two and a half years as well as working with the Warrington Disability Partnership, St Rocco’s and other charities in the area.
Garry said: “It was fantastic to win the award and was a real privilege. I was overwhelmed when I found out that I had won.”
Garry gives up his spare time to helping people with mental health issues, disabilities and youngsters who simply need someone to talk to.
Garry said: “Helping others has always been my main motivation behind volunteering. At WYC you are surrounded by some incredible people who have been faced with incredible difficulties.
“It is the people at the groups who make me want to volunteer.”
Learning achievement award
TEENAGER Molly Hunt was honoured for her hard work, determination and drive when she handed the learning and achievement award.
The 16-year-old, who recently started her A-levels at Priestley College, has never been one to shy away from a challenge.
Molly, from Appleton, recently completed the National Citizen Service award, which the WYC has been running for the past two years.
Molly, who attended Bridgewater High School, said: “I felt very privileged to have won the award considering there were so many amazing people who participated and devoted their time to the NCS project.”
From redecorating the night shelter for the YMCA to organising charity raffles with prizes worth more than £700, Molly always gives 100 per cent to whatever challenge is thrown in her direction.
IT was a day of celebration for Rowan Arnold who was picked as the winner of the art award at the WYC Awards.
The 17-year-old, from Latchford, has enjoyed art from an early age and the inventive teenager would create masterpieces out of used cardboard and rubbish.
Rowan said: “I was honoured to receive the art award after such a long journey, getting to where I am today.”
Nothing is impossible as far as Rowan is concerned and, after watching Blue Man Group in 2009, decided to set himself the challenge of building his own instruments from scratch.
The talented musician, who is studying childcare at Warrington Collegiate, made a number of instruments including a PVC piano and paint drums.
In the future, Rowan hopes to help other discover a love of art like he did by setting up workshops for youngsters.
Rowan said: “I hope these will inspire children and young people to continue with music and art and, hopefully, raise awareness of how important recycling is to our community.”
A GREAT Sankey man, who has dedicated more than 10 years of his life to helping others, scooped up the volunteer award.
Juan Pujol has been relentless in his volunteer work after giving up his spare time to helping the NSPCC at the Peace Centre and the WYC.
The selfless 30-year-old said he was ‘amazed’ that he had won despite giving his time and energy to good causes at any opportunity he has, always giving his absolute all.
Juan stood out for the length of time he had been volunteering and for his unfaltering compassion.
Juan said: “I have always been brought up to support others so volunteering was the right thing for me to do.”
CRAIG Norman received one of the biggest rounds of applause from the awards ceremony when he went up to picked up the award for personal journey.
The 15-year-old, who attends a number of groups at the WYC, has overcome many challenges in the past few years and has experienced an incredible journey.
Craig said: "Two years ago my life was a mess and I did not care about anything. I was disrespecting teachers and I never listened to anyone.
"I was close to getting kicked out of school and I started hanging around with the wrong people and got involved with criminal activity."
The youngster spoke openly about his problems with cannabis and how he has now turned his life around with the help of WYC.
Candice Roberts Award
THERE wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Amber Walker walked up on stage to pick up her award.
The 16-year-old, who attends Green Lane Community School, said: “I was tearful but they were happy tears because I was very proud of myself.”
Amber, from Lymm, was awarded the Candice Roberts Award – an award named after a volunteer at WYC who sadly died on her 26th birthday after contracting a rare disease while she was travelling.
Amber has had to overcome many hurdles in the past four years.
She has dealt with emotional challenges as a result of extreme health issues, including ADHD, dyspraxia and global development delay.
In 2012, she was hospitalised for more than six months with a rare form of encephalitis, a condition that causes swelling on the brain.
At one point, the condition was so serious that she couldn't remember who her family were.
But Amber has refused to be defeated by the illness and now acts as a beacon of strength for her friends and family.
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