On 23 October, the Cambridgeshire Young People of the Year 2013 Awards took place at The Priory Centre in St Neots to celebrate the achievements of Cambridgeshire’s young heroes. YOPEY is a national initiative that aims to reveal, recognise and reward young heroes, and aims to give young people a fairer image in the media and society.

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Our PR Managing Director, Justine Smith who was one of the judges was joined at the event by our Creative Director, Richard Bland.

Commenting on the awards evening, Justine said:

“The evening was a fantastic endorsement to the young people of Cambridgeshire doing amazing things to help others."

The five finalists included: - Sam Carvalho, 19, of Cambridge, despite his own health problems, is a successful online agony uncle. He has 43,000 followers on Twitter and a website where people can go to Sam for personal advice, he has been known to offer support from his sickbed. Young Person of the Year – won £400 for Mind and £400 for himself.

  • Alex Fogg, 19, of Hemingford Grey, is a dedicated volunteer with the scouts despite living with epilepsy. He is an Assistant Leader of his scout group, sits on county bodies, has been on trips abroad to help in Africa, and will be helping to run a scout group near his university. Second – won £200 for African scouts charity and £200 for himself.

  • Courtney Pettifor, 18, of Littleport, saw how much his disabled brothers got out of sport so made the decision to help run sports events. He has set up a football team at his sixth-form in Ely, and helped to build homes for Aids orphans in Africa. Joint third – won £50 for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Charity and £50 for himself.

  • Lesley-Anne Parkinson, 23, of March, has befriended a young woman with learning difficulties and takes her out 2-3 times a week. She does this as well as having a 3-year-old son and partner. Mencap says she goes above and beyond. Lesley hopes it will lead to a job with a charity. Joint third – won £50 for Mencap and £50 for herself.

  • Joshua Dodds-Mills, 16, of Soham, wants to be a paramedic after he saved a toddler who was in danger of falling off a window ledge. He was a cadet sergeant in St John Ambulance and is now looking at setting up an independent first-aid group. Junior Winner – won £100 for Liam Fairhurst Foundation and £100 for himself.

"Our congratulations go to all the finalists and also everyone that took part," commented Justine. "We hope the experience of being nominated for a YOPEY proves a stepping stone to reaching their goals.” Cambridge-based KISS Creative Group was amongst a host of local companies sponsoring the event, including CSR, Hutchinsons, LINX Printing Technologies, Peterborough City Council, ARM, LifePlus Europe, Stratagem, The Micron Group, G’s and TTP Group. -ends-