Lowestoft teens in line for awards

YOUNG people from Lowestoft and Waveney have been named as finalists in the Bernard Matthews Youth Awards 2011.

All the teenagers shortlisted are now in the running to secure �1,000 as prizewinners in their respective categories.

And they could also carry off the prestigious overall title as 'winner of the winners'.

The six finalists in the Community Support category include Charlie Dinsdale, 17, and Witney Catchpole, 16, from Carlton Colville, for being the driving force behind the Shelter a Hoodie Project. As previously reported in The Journal, the project was formed to help resolve complaints about noise from older residents and provide somewhere for young people to meet.

Together with friends, Charlie and Witney raised �9,500 which has funded a new teen shelter in Carlton Meadow Park, off Lowestoft Road, where young people can get together without disturbing other members of the community.

Their efforts have already earned them a Suffolk Young People of the Year award and the Unite Award for 'team activity' in the regional vInspired awards, run by the national service for youth volunteers. They will find out soon if they have been selected as national finalists.

In the Sporting Achiever category, the nominees include Annabelle Block, 17, from Henstead, for her dedication to and excellence in horse riding in a range of disciplines. She has won a range of accolades in the sport over many years.

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In the Charity category, the finalists include Nathan Ward, 14, from Lowestoft, who was nominated for his work helping a support group for people with multiple sclerosis called SHIMS. He also works with the Norwich Sci-Fi Club to raise funds for a number of different charities, and he has raised money for Beach Radio's Help an East Coast Child appeal.

Judges say the standard of entries was extremely high and they faced a tough task picking the finalists for the awards which are supported by The Journal's sister paper the EDP, the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, Open Youth Trust and The Garage.

Lorna Cousins, marketing controller, corporate communications, at Bernard Matthews, said: 'This has been an exceptional year. The standard of entries has been extraordinary and as always a humbling process for the judging panel.

'These awards look to celebrate the achievements of young people between the ages of 11 and 18 and every single entry we received has been remarkable. Across all eight categories we have seen examples of young people showing outstanding achievements and we look forward to celebrating with them, their friends and family at our awards event in February half term.'

The awards ceremony will be held at the Open venue in Norwich city centre.

The winner of each category will receive a �1,000 prize to help them fulfil their ambitions. There will also be a special winner of winners prize.

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