Award joy for youth group

A GROUP of teenagers are today celebrating their nomination for an award after securing nearly �20,000 to provide a youth centre in their village.

A GROUP of teenagers are today celebrating their nomination for an award after securing nearly �20,000 to provide a youth centre in their village.

The nine youngsters, aged between 14 and 15, made a film about local facilities in Shotley aiming to break the stereotypical view of young people in their community.

The film was launched in front of around 100 people and as a result Suffolk County Council awarded the group a total of �19,500 to provide dedicated youth workers for a year to train community volunteers to work with the youngsters and convert a shipping container to be used as a base.

The group has now been nominated for the Suffolk police young people of the year (YOPEY) award giving them the opportunity to win a �1,000 top prize.

The YOPEY scheme, endorsed by the Prime Minister, hands out a total of �4,000 to young people in Suffolk and Norfolk who are positive role models who give to others.

The Holbrook High School pupils were nominated by Jill Barton, community development officer with Babergh District Council.

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Ms Barton said: “This group is a shining example of young people who can really make things happen.”

Working with an Ipswich-based film company the teenagers spent four months making the film 'Shotley Youth News', quizzing local residents on their views about young people in the village.

Josh Ling, 15, of Great Harlings said making the film was great fun to make.

He said: “All of us are glad that the movie made a difference. Everyone is really pleased that we got all the money that we asked for. We are looking forward to the new facilities, not just for ourselves but for those who follow us.”

A spokesman for sponsor Suffolk police said: “These youngsters knew what they wanted, approached the authorities and succeeded in getting money because of their determination and hard work.”

You can nominate the group on www.yopey.org before the contest closes in October and the awards ceremony is held in November.

n. What do you think of their efforts? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or have your say at www.eveningstar.co.uk