Bristol's inspirational young people

December 01 2014

INSPIRING, remarkable and moving - these were just a few words used to describe the 'Celebrating Young People' awards, put on by education provider and theatre group Unique Voice.

INSPIRING, remarkable and moving - these were just a few words used to describe the 'Celebrating Young People' awards, put on by education provider and theatre group Unique Voice. 

The event, hosted at the Hilton Bristol, was the first of its kind - and with every seat taken by a mixture of teachers, friends, business owners, and the young people themselves, it proved to be a successful and heart-warming evening. 

Unique Voice, whose patron is Sir Patrick Stewart, was set-up over three years ago by Bath Spa graduates Krystal Keeley, Cat Sparkes and Claire Farnham. 

They work extensively across Bristol, using performances, classes and workshops to provide a platform for young people to explore their talents, skills, and fears. 

Unique Voice said: "We were truly overwhelmed by the support for the awards, and overjoyed with its residing success. 

"We hope that we can continue our work with young people for years to come, so to find out more about how you can help this to happen please feel free to contact us." 

A variety of high energy performances, and key note speakers, including Tim Carter, the area director of Barnardos, accompanied the many different awards handed out to young people for their achievements and triumphs. 

Tim, who has worked alongside Unique Voice to promote awareness and better treatment of children of prisoners, said: "Watching presentations from some of the young people, we all felt humbled that sometimes in the face of great adversity, the creativity, innovation and enthusiasm of young people still breaks through.

"Without Unique Voice we would not be where we are today - they are leading the way with ensuring child care professionals, teachers, social workers, prison officers and the police have a better understanding of the impact of parental imprisonment and how they can better support families left behind."

He added: "I felt privileged to speak at the awards, and proud to see a group of young people with parents in prison, who have been supported by Barnardo’s, receiving a joint award for their courage and contribution to promoting awareness and better treatment to the forgotten victims of crime."

Andrew Langridge, from PRICE Systems, who presented the 'Outstanding Achievement' award to Notton House School, said: "Every student from the school has a back story that would break most parents' hearts - students are referred here when all else fails. I am bewildered that funding for Unique Voice to engage in work [at the school] is not forthcoming, and this is a tragedy and needs urgent action to ensure continuity."

To find out more about Unique Voice, and how to support the work they do, visit: www.uniquevoice.org

Quotes  

"Such an amazing night - all the children supporting each other, inspirational children who have coped with many challenges and they still smile, come to school and help others. Real action with real measurable results." Dr Linda Newnes, University of Bath

"I was overwhelmed by the ability and application of the young people taking part in this event, their honesty, courage and comedy made the evening fly by. We are looking forward to supporting Unique Voice at next year’s awards – well done all." Andrew Langridge, PRICE Systems. 

"We have enormous respect for the work that Unique Voice does in supporting young people who are facing difficult and challenging situations as part of their daily routines. We have no doubt that you change children's lives through offering them alternative perceptions with a range of possible solutions to help them decide their own futures. Those who attended this remarkable event will remember it for many years to come, those who were given awards will always cherish the memory." Frances Cook MBE

Awards

Shining Star award, presented by Hilton Hotel Bristol

Shayla Mae from Glenfrome Primary

Educating Others award, presented by press sponsors Bishopston Voice

Skie-Louise Lyons from Orchard School Bristol

The Voice of the Community award, presented by Bristol Community Transport

Barnardos Children of Prisoners

One to Watch award, presented by Bryan Stone

Molly Harvey from Cheddar Grove Primary

Aspiring Young Person award, presented by Real Ideas Organisation

Usmand from Fairfield High School

Inspiring Others award, presented by Cafe Ronak

Poppy from Perry Court Primary School

Making a Difference award, presented by Crimestoppers

Vinnie from Fairfield High School. 

Innovative Thinker of the Year award, presented by The Fluent Self

Ben Thorne from Cheddar Grove Primary School

Digital Champion of the Year, presented by Langridge Films

Matthew Speight from Orchard School Bristol 

Outstanding Achievement award, presented by PRICE Systems

Notton House School