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High 5 award winners announced

Swansea celebrated the achievements of inspirational children and young people in the city at the annual High 5 Awards last night.

High 5 Awards Winners 2016 group shot

Swansea City FC captain Leon Britton presented honours to those who are overcoming barriers to be the best they can or are improving the lives of others in their families, schools or communities.

And once again the awards have proven just how amazing, resilient, hardworking, caring and determined young people in this city are.

Among the winners was a group who work tirelessly to celebrate diversity and promote harmony through understanding across Swansea's communities.

Judges honoured a young daughter supporting her mum through cancer and a teenager who won't let illness get in the way of hard work and exam success.

Other winners included a boy turning his behaviour around to make his school and community a better place, teenagers who have overcome troubled childhoods to progress in their life, and inspirational young parents overcoming the odds for their own children's future. 

Midfield ace and awards ambassador Leon Britton said: "It was a very emotional evening and one I will never forget. I feel privileged to have met some of the most wonderful young people in this city.

"The winners are all tremendous but I want every young person nominated to know that we recognise their achievements too. The judges had a very difficult task. High 5 from me to you all.

"I hope people will look at High 5 and recognise what fantastic young people there are in Swansea and how important they are to their families, our schools and our  communities. They are an inspiration to us all."

The awards, run by Swansea Council and its partners, were announced at the Liberty Stadium last night (Thursday, September 29th).

It's the fifth year that the High 5 awards have been held. More than 350 under 25s were nominated as individuals or as part of groups this year.

Nominations came in from friends, family, schools, Council staff, and voluntary organisations in a bid to celebrate their hard work and achievements.

The awards are open to a child or young person or group in three age ranges - up to 13s, aged 14 to 19 or 20-25 year olds.

They are sponsored by Gower College Swansea, and supported by Swansea City FC, The Wave, Rotary Club of Swansea, Trade Tyres Swansea, Swansea Building Society, Day's Rental, Stenor Environmental Services, Swansea Council's recycling team, Swansea Lord Mayor's Office, Dragon Events, and The Dragon Hotel.

Winners:

  • Group Achievement Award

4C's Young Commissioners

This group of 14 to 18 year olds who are looked after children  have been instrumental in improving the lives of other young people in care in Swansea and across Wales. Their work has identified resources, strengths and weaknesses in existing foster placement systems and influenced how and what services are delivered for children. They also produced a video based on "Dragon's Den" to encourage others to do the same.

  • Group Community Award

Chips, Curry and Cappuccino

This group of 14 to 24 year olds have come together to work tirelessly to celebrate diversity and promote harmony through understanding across Swansea's communities. The 19 members of the team committed over 500 hours of their time voluntarily to enable people from Bangladeshi, Chinese, Italian and Middle Eastern communities to share their stories about migrating to Swansea and also researched migration in the city with West Glamorgan Archives. The film and exhibition they produced challenges stereotypes. They also developed a teaching pack with St Helen's Primary School to teach all KS2 pupils in the city about diversity, heritage and culture in a fun, interactive, young people friendly way.

  • Achievement 14-19

John Nelson

This 17-year-old is working hard towards a promising career as a mechanic. He has not let homelessness stand in the way of taking his life forward, improving his school attendance and exam results through sheer grit, determination and hard work. He has silenced those who doubted he would succeed by getting the results he needs to follow his dream career. He is also working to support other students in college to help them continue with their academic careers.

  • Recognise 14-19

Tia Aldron

At 16-year- old Tia has steely guts and determination which has enabled her to defy the odds and fulfil her potential. In past she has helped fellow young carers. She has overcome anxiety and refused to give up on her education, challenging decisions and putting in the work to prove everybody wrong and gain success.

  • Recognise Up to 13

Sydney Norman

The incredible courage and resilience shown by 11 year old Sydney Norman is inspirational. She is a great help and support to her mum who is battling serious illness. This would be difficult for anyone, but she also had to cope with losing her father at a young age. This determined and strong girl is working hard to progress with her education.

  • Achievement Up to 13

Chiara Robinson

This 13 - year-old has shown amazing courage in the face of difficult illness but her positive attitude, incredibly upbeat personality, and sheer determination to not to allow her difficulties to control her life is inspirational. At no stage has Chiara let this affect her studies or negatively impact on school. When she is too ill to be in school she is the first to ask for work to complete at home.

  • Community Up to 13

Corey Michael

This Cefn Hengoed Community School pupil has struggled with ADHD since he was two-years-old but he has grasped opportunities to make his school and local community a better place to be.  At school he stands out for his hard work and keenness working well with others to achieve a piece of work for the school garden area. With the Boys Brigade in his community he helps with the clearance and upkeep of the grounds of a local church. He is also a great help to his mum as the family gardener too.

  • Recognise - 20-25

Lucy Fethany-Wilks

Mum Lucy Fethany-Wilks deserves a High 5 award for working so hard at becoming the best possible mum she can be in spite of her own troubled childhood and teenage years. Motherhood has changed her outlook completely and she is doing everything she can to give her little girl a much better and happier life than she experienced. Her daughter is thriving because of that dedication and determination. Lucy, who is aged 25, is also supporting other parents towards positive changes in life.

  • Achievement - 20-25

Ashley Rix

This 24-year-old has been on a tremendous life journey to become a devoted father, focused on meeting his daughter's needs and the needs of his baby son who has had a challenging introduction into the world which is also placed an additional stress on the family. Ashley is successfully managing his own health issues, improving his circumstances and most importantly has become a positive proactive parent and partner fully supporting his children and now fianc√© through their day to day challenges.  He is a role model for others.

  •  Judges Special Award Up to 13

Teigan Miles

This 11-year-old has shown bravery and determination beyond her years. Her belief things can be better than they are coupled with a determination to make them better is an inspiration to others. She experienced much as a little girl but has created the opportunity for a fresh start by taking control of her own future. Her positive attitude and huge effort means she is creating a bright future for herself and is an inspiration to others in difficult circumstances.

  • Judges Special Award 14-19

Rachael Beckett

Inspirational mum Rachael Beckett, aged 17, has been nominated for not letting life get her down, facing her struggles head on and succeeding in raising her son well.

She has overcome many barriers in life to give the best possible start to Riley and maintain her education too. Despite at one point being homeless she still managed attend college and passed her exams in Hospitality and Catering while also making sure baby Riley gets the development support he needs. She has gained a place to continue her training and is working towards building a brighter future for herself and her son.

  • Ambassador Award

Adam A'Hearne

This teenager has been the rock of his family during difficult times and is now turning his own life around in school earning rave reviews from teachers about his behaviour, manners, and ability to apply himself despite a challenging home life. He is an inspiration for trying to help his family and the way he has now started on an exciting journey of personal achievement too. His determination to succeed means future success is closer than he thinks.


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