Sunderland’s brightest and best youngsters were recognised for their achievements last night in a glittering ceremony at the Stadium of Light.
The annual Young Achievers Awards, organised by Together for Children, celebrate the bravery, talent and positive contribution children and young people have made to the lives of their families, communities and the city.
This year’s Overall Winner was Chantelle Beaney, 14, from Houghton, who took home the award after picking up the Academic Achievement Award earlier in the evening.
Chantelle, who attends Biddick Academy in Washington, has developed and flourished at school thanks to her hard work and determination.
Despite missing a lot of school when she was younger, with a positive attitude and an outstanding work rate, Chantelle has now exceeded her target grades across all of her subjects, and is one of the top performers in her year.
Chantelle said of her win: “I feel really proud to win the Academic Achievement Award. And for my name to be added to the list of overall winners is such a great achievement – it feels amazing.”
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Sunderland, Councillor Doris MacKnight, who presented Chantelle with her award, said: “All of our winners tonight should be hugely proud of their achievements and I’d like to extend my congratulations to them all.
“I was delighted to present the award to Chantelle, who has made such fantastic strides in her education. She thoroughly deserves to be recognised for her achievements and I wish her the very best for the future.”
Sue Carty, Acting Chief Executive of Together for Children, said: “The awards are a fantastic opportunity to hear the stories and achievements of our city’s young people. As a company, our vision is to ensure children are kept safe from harm and have the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Judging by the success stories we have heard tonight, I’m confident these young people have bright futures ahead.”
Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, Councillor Louise Farthing, said: “I was proud to be invited to help present the annual Young Achievers’ Awards, which recognise the skills, talent, dedication and community spirit of young people in our city. This annual event is recognition of their individual and shared talent, and commitment to improving their own lives and the lives of all those around them.
“These young people are the future of Sunderland and surely what we have heard tonight confirms it will be a bright future.”
The Young Achievers Awards, which are open to anyone aged between eight and 20 and are nominated by the public, crowned winners and highly commended across 10 categories.
The night’s winners included Sophie Louise Bulmer, Daisy Pringle and Houghton Brass Band (Music and Performing Arts); Summer Allen and Kyle Johnson (Personal Achievement); Daniel Bolton, Aidan Loadman and Sunderland Youth Parliament (Service to the Community); Emily Watt (Academic Achievement); Zach Marshall, Joshua Waddell and Houghton Albion Under 9s (Sport); Jennifer Lindsey and Ella Simpson (Young Carer); Blaine Richardson (Volunteer); Ellie Foggin (Young Apprentice); Fatfield Academy (School Council); Thornhill Academy (Anti-bullying Team).
This year's award sponsors were Gentoo, R&B Group, Wearside Orthodontic Centre, Everyone Active, Sunderland College, Sunderland Carers’ Centre, Sunderland Council and Sun FM.