Whether through achievement, working for others or caring for someone, there are inspirational young people in all our communities.
Ten young people and one group were each awarded a special High 5 by Swans star Leon Britton at the awards ceremony at the Liberty Stadium on Thursday 17 October 2013.
2013 High 5 award winners
Achievement award up to 13: Leilah Hughes
This award is in recognition for the courage Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr pupil Leilah has shown during her life and especially over the last 12 months. She has battled major back surgery but has always kept smiling through sadness and pain. Leilah loves to sing, she has a beautiful voice which she has used on many occasions raising money for a number of charities. Her friends have no doubt that Leilah is an inspiration to others.
Achievement award 14 to 19: Twins Samantha and Claire Mead
Samantha and Claire won the High 5 award for the courage and determination they showed to leave their family home at a young age to change their own lives for the better, living independently and working hard to develop successful caring careers. With the support of the Lifelong Learning and Employment Training Service they have become role models for other young people.
Community Awards up to 13: Aaron Davies
Cefn Hengoed pupil Aaron has not allowed personal issues to affect his performance in school or his involvement in school life. He is a keen volunteer helping out in the school office, at lunchtime, securing funding for the school's new Garden Club and running a car boot stall to raise funds for St Samlet's Church. He is recognised for his reliability, trustworthiness, and positive attitude.
Community Award 14 to 19: Alexandra Atkins
Young carer Alexandra Atkins packs in studying at Carmarthen University with being a carer for her parents and volunteer with several organisations in Swansea. Although Alexandra is a young carer and is dyslexic and dyspraxic, she has completed hundreds of hours of volunteering and speaks on behalf of young people and young carers at the highest level including the Welsh Government. She proves that no matter what may be happening in your life, you can always achieve positive things for yourself and for others.
Environment Award up to 13: Thomas Fisher
10-year-old Knelston Primary pupil Thomas is one of the youngest members of Gower Young Farmers Club and already a champion of the environment. He is the young guardian of the Countryside Connections Gower Tree sparrow project which meant he has to cycle across farm fields every day after school to one of the bird feeding stations to make sure there is enough seed to keep the birds fed through cold weather. In school Thomas has helped to create an outdoor learning space for the younger children. He can always be relied upon to help with practical tasks in the school grounds. He is always eager to give a helping hand and always with a big smile on his face.
Environment Award 14 to 19: William Bowcutt
Cefn Hengoed Comprehensive Deputy Head Boy William is a dedicated student who campaigns tirelessly, promoting environmental issues which have benefitted both his school and the community. He was instrumental in securing the Green Flag award for his school on two occasions, is the editor of the Green Team newsletter, and student representative on the Sustainability Focus group. He has already inspiring younger Cefn Hengoed pupils to sustain his environmental achievements.
Enterprise and Entrepreneurship: Joseph Horton
Talented 18-year-old Joseph is successfully putting music and business together by setting up his own studio and launching it as a business called Mothership Audio. At Mumbles-based Mothership Audio he provides affordable recording services for young people who are trying to find their way into the world of recording but don't have the money, experience, or confidence to go into a larger studio. He is now a mentor for the future applicants for Gower College business e-competition.
Group Award: Educating Elders
Educating Elders was a project set up by pupils at Pontarddulais Comprehensive School to help members of the community improve their technology skills. The pupils have made a huge contribution by giving up their free time to encourage older people in their community to use technology. Some of the members had their own tablets and laptops that they just couldn't use. The group not only encouraged members to access technology but gave them a social event that they could look forward to every week to chat and make new friends. The pupils earned their award for giving something back to the community.
Judges Special Awards
Shaun is a 10-year-old who has overcome his low self esteem, low confidence, barriers at home, and most importantly his fear to try anything new. The Seaview pupil is overcoming his nerves and anxiety to try new things from new foods to taking swimming lessons, and to show on the outside how is feeling inside. With his improved confidence and self esteem Shaun has become more involved with the school community attending and completing a cooking club, performing in a dance group and becoming a digital leader at school helping other master tablet computers.
Sophie is a 15-year-old who was struggling to cope with things at home. In school, she wouldn't attend many lessons and fell behind, especially in Maths. Since Sophie has overcome so many barriers. For example she attends all her lessons consistently including extra lessons to enable her to catch up in maths and has achieved all the levels for her year group at the end of the term. She has chosen her options in school based on what she wants to do at college in order to work with children or older people perhaps as a social worker. Sophie joined the Street Dance group in school run by 5x60 and performed in Penyrheol.
The High 5 Awards were organised by Swansea Council with sponsorship from Gower College and kindly supported by Swansea Sound and The Wave, Swansea Building Society, Chiquito, Stenor Environmental Services, Swansea City F.C and the Rotary Club of Swansea.