WIRRAL’S young heroes are to be honoured by more than 700 guests at a nationally acclaimed awards ceremony tonight.
The Youth Heroes Awards were set up in 2011 and last year received the Inspire Award at the House of Parliament for inspiring children and young people.
They were founded by local charity Wirral Youth for Christ (WYFC) as a grassroots response to the riots in an effort to celebrate the positive impact that young people have upon society.
In the summer of 2011, WYFC took a group of “young heroes” on a humanitarian mission to central India. The small group of young people raised more than £15,000 to make the trip possible and sourced thousands of crayons, colouring books and modelling balloons to give the poverty stricken children they met.
Martin Dickson, founder of the Youth Heroes Awards, said: “The riots were reported in India as a major youth uprising and it seemed that many people here in the UK felt this way too. A selfish, careless and hopelessly self-centred section of society that are a burden.
"Clearly though, there was a disparity between this view of young people and those that I knew; I felt compelled to act.
“The riots may have shown us that there's a problem with youth disorder, but it's only a small part of that picture. Wirral is home to thousands of young heroes and we set out to find the most inspirational of them.
"Our aim was to give our communities an opportunity to publicly thank and affirm their young heroes for all that they do, and to highlight them as a small glimpse of the massive majority of young people in the Wirral.”
Community groups, teachers, parents and any others who work with young people were encouraged to nominate their young heroes for the 2014 awards. In total, 27 young people and three inspirational youth workers, teachers and parents will be chosen from 10 categories and formally recognised at the Oscars-style awards event at the Floral Pavilion.
This year's categories include: Academic Achievement; Care for Others; Arts; Courage/Bravery; Enterprise/Fundraising; Environmental Concern; Sporting Achievement; Inspirational Adult; Volunteering; and, Response to Illness/Disability.
Sarah J Chinnaraja, managing director of Heswall-based Keeko Kids - who is sponsoring the Contribution to the Arts award - said: "I am particularly keen to support local events, especially those that support and encourage young people. I believe we all have a responsibility to try and make a difference and what better way than to support events that promote and encourage young people."
- For more details about the event visit wirral.youthheroes.org.uk