EACS will once again sponsor the Cambridgeshire Young People of the Year awards or the ‘YOPEYs’. These contests are open to people aged from 10 to 25, who 'give to others' and are aimed at showing the positive side to young people today.
This is the fifth year of YOPEYs in Cambridgeshire (and the fourth year that EACS are sponsors), where the movement first held a contest in 2006. Since then it has spread to 12 English counties and the whole of Scotland. More than £120,000 has been won by young people to share with their communities.
In 2010 Edward Williams won first prize for raising £70,000 over four years by swimming the channel at the age of 19 to raise money for Prostate Cancer Research and later Lake Windermere to raise money for East Anglia's Children's Hospices.
Mike Dearlove, Managing Director of EACS, said: “I sponsor YOPEY because I believe in encouraging young people and in showing EACS’s support to the local community.”
YOPEY is the brainchild of former national newspaper journalist Tony Gearing, who became fed up with the ‘bad press’ inflicted on the young. He set up YOPEY to give the younger generation a fairer image and encourage more young people to give to the community.
The PM, Deputy PM, Chancellor and Labour leader have all endorsed YOPEY. David Cameron describes the social enterprise as “truly inspirational” and said of entries: “It struck me that their common trait was their own determination; their desire to succeed; and their resolve to make a difference.”
The kind of things nominees can do include:
- caring for family who maybe ill, disabled of have other problems;?
- helping run a youth club or other organization;?
- looking after abandoned or neglected animals;?
- making communities safer through initiative or behaviour;?
- raising money for charity or other good causes;?
- showing a spirit in adversity that is an example to others;?
- supporting or mentoring someone through a difficult time;?
- volunteering for projects at home or abroad;?
- working with disabled, ill or elderly people;?
- and acting heroically.??
The Cambs Young Person of the Year will win £800. Second place will win £400, third £200 and there will be a Junior Cambs Young Person of the Year winning £200. All winners give half their cash prize to a good cause of their choice and keep half to treat themselves.
To nominate inspirational young people for the Cambs YOPEY, visit www.yopey.org or send an SAE for an entry form to YOPEY, PO Box 236, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 1DP. Young people can nominate themselves. Entries close on July 31.