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Postivie attitude proves a winner

PUBLISHED: 18:56 02 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:18 05 July 2010

A KESSINGLAND teenager who has battled homelessness, behavioural issues and personal problems has received a Youth Volunteer of the Year Award.

Nathan Shawcroft was also presented with the Achievement in the Face of Adversity accolade during the ceremony that recognises young people for the positive contribution they make as Millennium Volunteers in Suffolk.

A KESSINGLAND teenager who has battled homelessness, behavioural issues and personal problems has received a Youth Volunteer of the Year Award.

Nathan Shawcroft was also presented with the Achievement in the Face of Adversity accolade during the ceremony that recognises young people for the positive contribution they make as Millennium Volunteers in Suffolk.

The 19-year-old became involved in volunteering four years ago, after senior

youth worker Michelle Mouzer encouraged him to take on responsibilities at the local youth club he attended. Through this he learnt the skills to help him take control of his personal situation and overcome many of the difficulties that had seen him kicked out of the hostel that he had been staying in for over a year.

By helping to develop Kessingland Village Hangout he become a positive role model to other teenagers, using his experiences to help others as he took on an increasing number of responsibilities at the youth club.

Among the projects he has undertaken are planning an open day to promote positive behaviour, organising sports competitions and promoting a project focusing on healthy eating on a budget.

Commenting on his shock at receiving the accolade, Nathan said: “I was reading why everyone was put in for it, and I was just thinking there was no way I'm going to win anything.”

To his surprise Nathan also went on to win the Volunteer of the Year award, as voted for by those who attended the ceremony.

Ultimately, Nathan has gone on to get a job working within the local youth service which his nominator and assessment panels saw as a huge achievement.

Young Suffolk and its partnership organisations, Supporting Contemporary Adolescence and CSV Media, hosted the event, with 17 young people recognised for their commitment.

Other winners were Martin Robbins, from Lowestoft, who picked up the top award for personal commitment and also

for community champion, and Becky Warner, who was runner-up in the ownership category.

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