Inspirational stories of some of Kent’s most dedicated young people were heard at the annual Spirit of try Angle Awards event at the Ashford International Hotel.
The 24 finalists from across Kent and their guests were joined by Sir Roger Gale, President of the Try Angle Foundation, Bill Butler who founded the Awards in 1994, KCC Chairman David Brazier, and Roger Gough, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Education.
The overall Spirit of Try Angle recipient was 13-year-old Anna Strutt, from Gravesend. Although nominated for just one category of Personal Development, her story falls into several categories. From being a bullied pupil with low self-esteem, Anna has changed her life, taken several courses, achieved various qualifications and she now volunteers as a Senior Member at two youth clubs.
She has overcome many personal issues and, not content in improving herself, she is making a difference to many other young people including a 21-year-old disabled male, helping him engage and enjoy the life she is now enjoying herself.
Anna’s award was announced by the guest of honour, winter Paralympic Gold Medallist Charlotte Evans, who said the nominees were “truly inspirational and deserving finalists”.
Entertainment for the afternoon was provided by singer/songwriter Matt McDermott, singer Harry Thomas, Harrison Pettman, Jodie Wallace, Layomi Foyemer Coker and a finale treat by Matt, Layomi and the hosts, Princess Higgwe and Chidera Nweze, singing “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough”.
The eight award categories are:
Arts; Music; Sport or outdoor activities (demonstrating sportsmanship, fair play and commitment); Community action (recognising the contribution made to the community or in such initiatives as school councils, youth forums, charities or environmental projects); Good friends and young carers; Personal development (recognising special achievement in education, training, or other activities not covered in other categories); Courage (recognising acts of courage displayed in coping bravely with illness or other adversity); and Positive intervention (where an individual or group has prevented harm, bullying, discrimination or damage).
All nominees receive a Try Angle certificate in recognition of their nomination. District winners receive a certificate and a trophy and the 24 Spirit finalists are invited to the celebration at the county final.
The Spirit of Try Angle Finalists were as follows:
Personal Achievement in Arts: Ivory Coast Class (14-16), Shepway; Matisse Connelly (19), Dover; and Luke Prowse (16), Ashford.
Personal Achievement in Music: Harrison Pettman (17), Gravesend; Rob Ayers (19), Swale;
Elijah Akinfenwa (16), Thanet.
Personal Achievement in Sports: Hamish Reilly (15), Maidstone; Rhys Bonnel (15), Gravesham;
Broadstairs Cricket Club, Thanet.
Community Action: Joseph Peal (17), Maidstone; Daniel Davies (16), Swale; Jordan Savegar (17), Ashford.
Positive Intervention: The Abbey School Peer Mentors (11-16), Swale; Jodie East (16), Ashford;
Natasha Gilmurray (15), Dover.
Courage: Georgia Almond (16), Maidstone; Lucy Boyce (17), Canterbury; Vikram Singh (12), Gravesham.
Good Friends & Young Carers: Tessa Villiers (11), Dartford; Honor Tress (17), Tunbridge Wells;
Christina Wootton (16), Maidstone.
Personal Development: Kristen Love (18), Thanet; Alfie Lee (14), Swale; Anna Strutt (13), Gravesham.