Kent Youngsters have been recognised for their accomplishments at this year’s 21st anniversary of the Spirit of Try Angle Awards.
The 24 young achievers – picked from regional rounds of the Try Angle Awards held in June and July – were given their trophies at a ceremony that took place at Ashford’s International Hotel on Sunday, 6 December.
Now in its 21st year, the awards were hosted by Nafi Asova and Hattie Celebioglu.
There were eight categories in total with three winners in each category.
The categories were: Courage; Positive Intervention; Good Friends and Young Carers; Arts; Music; Sports; Personal Development; and Community Action.
At the end of the afternoon, the overall winner of this year’s Spirit of Try Angle Award was announced – Hannah Simmons, 15, from Canterbury.
Special Guest, former Maidstone footballer Aaron Simpson said: “Hannah can be described as a true life saver.
“Hannah was coming home from school one night alone on the train and heard some commotion behind her. When
Hannah looked she saw that a man had collapsed. She tried to see if anyone could help or knew the man, but no one responded to her.
“Remembering her army cadet training, she immediately started to administer first aid. Hannah checked his airways were clear and kept him in the recovery position monitoring his condition closely.
“When the ambulance arrived the paramedics suspected him to have a broken rib and collapsed lung, which meant if he had been moved he may have died.
“Hannah’s intervention saved this man’s life for which he would be forever grateful. Hannah we are so proud of you and you are thoroughly deserving of this recognition today.”
The Try Angle Awards recognises the achievements of young people who try to do their best – either for themselves, their family or the community.
These are the results in full:
Maizy is an incredible dancer who has represented the country at international level in her dance specialism of Hip Hop and Breakdancing. In Netherlands she got all the top positions for solo, duo and team performances. During the championship there was a tense breakdancing battle which is designed to outdo your opponent.
Maizy won the England Hip Hop Championships for under 16’s. Maizy has just returned from Euro Championships and finished a very respectful second place and has also recently attended the World Championships competing as the only English girl amongst 32 other countries. Maizy finished an amazing fifth place in this competition. Along with her collection of awards, Maizy also gained 2nd place in the International World Street Dance Championship.
Competing on the world stage is difficult especially competing at a level above her age group. Maizy has done all this at just the age of 12!
Zoe is a very talented young woman in her field. Zoe has overcome all sorts of challenges to become a very creative in arts and crafts. Zoe has filled her house with tapestry, cushions, hats and lots of other creative ideas and designs.
Zoe has her own room – a studio where she practices her art of tapestry, felt, rag and crochet work and produces her wonderful crafts. Zoe’s parents are extremely supportive even though there front room is completely overflowing with her creations.
Michael has had some highs and lows of being a teenager but is now emerging as a talented actor. Michael’s nominator wrote ‘I was lucky enough to be in the audience to see this young man perform the part of Lenny in the successful school production Of Mice & Men’ throughout the play Michael was in character, supportive of all other performers.
Michael has also the added challenge of coping with his disability and forgets he has achieved so much whilst visually impaired and with only one functioning eye. He is a very modest young man and deflects all the praise of the production to his fellow co-stars.
Natalie Layton Rees
Natalie has a serious visual impairment and faces most days with a struggle however with her pure determination and strength she shows growing confidence and independence. For the past few years Natalie has performed for the school choir and is a very loyal member, attending all school concerts as a singer and violinist. Natalie put on an amazing performance as a soloist at a senior recital at school.
Natalie demonstrates real composure and talent as a musician.
Matthew is a young man whose approach to his music and academic study is of devotion and perseverance, where obstacles are presented to him he tackles them with his optimism good humour and grit. Matthew was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of just 6, and has a chronic heart condition – these so-called obstacles are diminished with his enthusiasm and ambition.
Matthew is a young man who is hugely committed to his skill and natural talent as a violinist playing at a high level. Matthew was selected to play The Western Front at the Imperial War Museum for The Act of Remembrance ceremony this year. As well as violin, he is a keen pianist and singer, and is a member of the Royal Naval college choir. There is no end to his talents and he has recently led the London Schools Symphony Orchestra.
All of this and he has time for his school featuring in a number of school events, carol concerts and representing the school at Rochester Cathedral, as well as doing well in all of his studies.
Matthew is now excelling in violin and voice as a Choral Scholar at the Trinity – Laban Conservatoire of music and dance at Greenwich.
Matthew always delivers at an outstanding level in everything he does and has a wonderful and positive outlook. The very popular and busy Matthew is at this moment wowing his audience at the Royal Naval college Chapel choir this afternoon.
Jayde was nominated by the Community Warden in her area who first met Jayde as this shy girl waiting to go on stage in rehearsals for a local pantomime. When Jayde started singing her song the nominator could only describe it as a voice of an angel. The cast stopped what they were doing and sat in awe just listening, the room apart from Jayde fell silent.
Jayde has dealt autism through her life as well as the occasional bully. Large crowds are especially frightening for Jayde and although frightened and agitated back stage for the pantomime performances she stepped out of the shadows and gave the most amazing singing performances overcoming all her fears. Jayde sang with confidence and professionalism, receiving standing ovations for all of her performances.
Luke has been an avid Karter since the age of 5. Following his passion he has continued to follow his love of Go
Karting and in the last 3 years has achieved over 100 podium positions. Just last year Luke became Kent Champion and Buckmore Park Winter Champion.
Luke’s ride has not been easy as in this sport the competitive nature can be very hostile. Luke has managed to deal with this with sheer grit and determination and has come out of the other side even more confident in his ability and talent.
Luke not only enjoys the sport himself, he actively encourages and mentor younger drivers to help them succeed and he is often seen as their biggest fan spurning them on from the side of the track, and always a great supporter and shoulder to cry on when needed. Luke’s super fan is his younger brother, who has autism and Luke introduces him to his karting family and makes sure he is safe and enjoys his time at the track too.
Luke dedicates a lot of time to competing and practicing this paid off when Luke competed in the Super 1 British Championship and coming an amazing 13th in the UK in just his first year.
Congratulations Luke, with all this and passing your 11 plus we know with your determination, hard work and talent you will achieve all your hopes and dreams for the future, and will see you soon on the F1 circuit competing with some guy called Lewis Hamilton soon.
Astasia has been a member of Dover and Deal Sea Cadets for over 5 years, in this time she has participated in numerous sports excelling waterborne activities.
Astasia is a complete team player and as a Sea Cadet and founding member of the Dover Pirates Sailing club mentors and encourages others, particularly younger cadets and encourages them to take opportunities that the Sea Cadets provides and take the training and gain the qualifications offered in sailing and adventure, always leading of course, by her own example.
Astasia has a huge range of qualifications from being a qualified dingy instructor, to Kayaking, Rowing and Power Boating. Astasia has won numerous awards and recently won in her class at the Kent Schools Sailing Regatta. This achievement has seen Astasia selected as a RYA Sailor, and she now travels as part of the Team GB Sailing Youth Team.
At only 15 years old (16 years old in just a few days – happy birthday for then Astasia) her dedication and participating in training sessions has led to representing her country at the European and World Youth Sailing Championships.
Astasia by setting herself her own goals, will ultimately lead to her selection as a Team GB Sailor and to represent her country at the Olympics in the next few years. She has shown what can be achieved when you really put your mind to it.
Astasia you are a real credit to both Dover and Deal Sea Cadets and Dover Pirates Sailing Club, and is thoroughly deserving of this recognition.
Kelsey attends Quarterdeck Youth Centre in Margate. When Kelsey first joined in with sports sessions she was rather shy and quiet, and this was due to her hearing impairment and reliance on her lip-reading skills, this is often difficult when participating in sport and attempting to follow instructions. However, Kelsey never let this get in her way and always participates 100% in any activity or sport with determination and always happy to give any sport a go.
Kelsey always encourages others to join in and is always helping other young people, particularly if she sees them struggling.
Kelsey has also been teaching her Youth Workers and other young people sign language so that the sessions can continue to be fun, everyone has learnt a new skill and everyone can be included no matter what.
She is described as a fantastic young person and a real credit to the group and her determination and development in both sports and for her personally truly deserves recognition and her award today. Kelsey has recently moved up to Norfolk and we have representatives for Kelsey here today which will ensure she gets her award.
Jonjo is a very special and popular young man who has achieved an amazing amount of fundraising and charity work at such a young age, raising over £200,000 for Cancer Research UK.
Jonjo has been fundraising and completing endurance challenges for the past 4 years in memory of his Nan who passed from bowel cancer he has walked and cycled almost 1000 miles in her memory and his story has travelled far and wide. People across the world now send him names of loved ones they lost to cancer and Jonjo wears their angel names on his challenge t-shirts and hold a special memorial service each year.
Jonjo regularly talks at events and is passionate about speaking with young people and inspiring them to help him on his mission to raise awareness and funds in the fight against cancer and his dream to find a cure.
He has so far walked and cycled in memory of over 500 angels which is an incredible and heart reaching achievement offering hope, comfort and inspiration for his own family and many others across the globe.
Hannah is a very busy young woman indeed with so many achievements under her belt. An enthusiastic Kent Youth County Council Member and School Council Member she campaigns tirelessly on a number of topics close to her heart such as littering and anti bullying and has even developed a number of resources for schools and youth clubs.
Hannah again gave up her half term to take part as a peer mentor for BeatBullying and courageously overcame her shyness to lead a school assembly on anti bullying. As an anti bullying mentor Hannah makes herself available to other students, giving up her own lunch and school breaks to always be available..
Hannah has even developed a safe space within school grounds where anyone who is being bullied or having any difficulty can drop in and find support and advice.
As if all of this isn’t enough, Hannah has also raised money for Heart of Kent Hospice and volunteers with Kent Search and Rescue – dog section. This includes hiding from the dogs and being found and rescued.
Hannah gives up so much of her own time in and out of school to help local community. She is a true inspiration to others, she went from being a quiet and shy young person to taking the lead in her campaigns and encourages other young people to achieve and shine.
Hannah we don’t how you fit it all in but you are recognised for all your hard work and amazing contributions to others, your school and community.
Memory Makers Lee, Shay, Kyle, Storm, Maddie and Shauna are a wonderful group from Folkestone Academy.
This year they have done some amazing and very special work with the elderly, working closely with those who have dementia by making special memory books together. Memory books help an elderly person when they go into care, or for their family to understand them and the stories which can often be lost.
A memory book can include many memories of their lifetime, from child hood, family events, favourite foods, books and films. When people suffer from dementia or have a stroke, they can find it hard to communicate to others and these books give the people working with them an a valuable understanding of their life.
Some very special and long-lasting friendships have been formed crossing some intergenerational boundaries and the families have discovered so much about their family history through this project.
Each of the group have committed many hours of volunteering and made a real difference to so many lives, congratulations and well done to our Memory Makers Lee, Shay, Kyle, Storm, Maddie and Shauna, you each deserve this award and we hope this would be a memory to inspire your very own book.
James came to Youth Offending team’s attention back in January of this year after committing motoring related offences. James was having a difficult time and even in his young life had experienced 3 very close family bereavements, all in the last 3 years, including the sudden and tragic loss of his father.
Whilst managing the emotional effects of these losses he was also dealing with the personal uncertainty of his mother’s treatment for cancer and his brother condition of severe autism (mother now has the all clear). Unsurprisingly James was finding life very challenging indeed and school was also a tough time for him.
James had to find a lot of courage and great deal of motivation to start to turn his life around with self-belief and hard work.
This year after being out of education since 2014, James returned to school and his hard work paid off when he achieved an A* for his English course work and great grades for his final GCSE’s.
Since the application for this award James and his family have made a major move to Manchester where James continues to strive to do well with his life and attends further education with aspiration to become a famous landscape gardener.
At 15 years old Jamie became homeless, and his life took a turn for the worse. From this situation Jamie understandably became depressed and suffered from low self-esteem not able to feel like he was able to maintain any life or routine to move forward in his life.
Through support and his contact with West Kent YMCA Jamie remarkably turned his life around, gaining key skills and qualifications. Jamie has given so much back to his community, constantly dedicating his time to volunteering and raising money for good causes such as organising a local youth football tournament for young homeless people just as Jamie was. The event was so successful over 50 young players attended, due to his success Jamie is now planning another tournament for this year.
Since volunteering Jamie depression has improved and he now has his own home and lives in independently. Jamie is has been studying towards his Level 3 diploma in Youth work to continue to give something back to all young people.
Josh has been a member of the Medway Parkwood Youth Centre from a young age. During this time he has had to deal with many issues which have impacted on his life.
Over the past year Josh has turned his life around demonstrating a real positive change in attitude, confidence and behaviour. Josh engaged in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and has been exploring options for his future including the Princes Trust Programme.
Josh’s self-confidence has really developed greatly and he is showing great potential for the future.
Katie is a remarkable young woman who in her own words states ‘I was born with a lot of organs outside of my body, it took 7 operations to put them back. I had more photos of my insides than of me on the outside as a baby’.
In 2012 Katie’s weight dropped dramatically and was taken to Kings College for x-rays, 72 x rays later and it was discovered that Katie’s stomach had grown huge and up the left side of her body, it turned out that what doctors thought was her stomach was actually her liver. They also discovered that Katie has dextrocardia, where the heart is towards the right side of body and can sometimes be very weak.
Katie again had to endure a series of operations and to remove and replace her vital organs. Katie’s condition affects her every day – she can only eat very little during the day and at night switches over to what she calls her ‘mickey’ button to feed her over night.
There is no name for Katie’s condition yet, she is rare and we think you all agreed Katie is a heroic and extraordinary young person that despite all she has gone through remains upbeat and inspiring to all.
Chloey is a student at the Canterbury Academy and an incredibly courageous young woman. Chloey is fighting childhood
leukemia for the second time in her life, despite being only 14.
In 2014 the results of tests at The Royal Marsden Hospital confirmed that the leukemia had returned, and she started on the long road of treatment including chemo therapy and radio therapy. In March this year Chloey had a bone marrow transplant and following this operation her nominator Sally Childs said ‘I was amazed by how cool and calm Chloey was,
her bubbly personality was still there despite going through the most horrendous regime’. We are thrilled to say this bone marrow transplant has been a great success.
Chloey has always engaged in an active school life, always throwing herself wholeheartedly into it both academically and socially, enjoying mentoring, media and is a very talented artist and photographer.
Despite the extensive and exhausting medical interventions Chloey has to undergo she remains positive and outgoing. Chloey takes everything in her stride, one day at a time and is a true inspiration to all young people.
Due to Alex’s sensitive story we cannot share the full details with you, however it is safe to say that Alex and his family have had an indescribably traumatic year. During this time Alex has not only dealt with his own grief but has also shown amazing strength in supporting his father and brother.
Alex is described as being a very bright, friendly and caring young man who has shown great courage in leading as normal a life as possible in a year that has been far from normal.
Alex we know your dad is extremely proud of you and you deserve the recognition of the courage and support you have shown to your family and how you have helped them through it all.
Chloe Collins & Ocean Smallwood
Chloe and Ocean are two very special young people. They were on their usual shopping expedition and heard some
people calling for help, they turned around and saw a house on fire. Immediately they rang 999 and then rang back to the blazing house and to see if they could help. When they got there they realised an elderly woman was trapped in her house. When they ran round the back gate was locked, so they ran to the front of her house and got her out. Luckily no
one was hurt in the fire, and the family of 7 was ok they unfortunately lost their home and belongings.
Chloe and Ocean continued to help this family after the fire collecting what they could for the family and offering to help in any other ways possible.
Chloe and Ocean we are all so proud of your courageous act. Not once did you hesitate and think of your own safety but only of others.
Evan Lebbell & Molly Anderson
The wonderful Evan and Molly are the founder members and an integral part of the Safe Project at Dartford Grammar School. Each week they selflessly give up at least 2 hours of their own time every week to this project.
Safe is a youth led project founded 2011 with funding from the James Naylor memorial fund. Safe raises the awareness of mental health issues and breaks down the stigma of mental health and offers support.
Evan and Molly have shown great dedication, perseverance and passion for the project and have delivered a number of assemblies, training and community events and have created Safe places for young people.
By all of the work Evan and Molly have undertaken they have not only raised the profile of mental health locally but have supported a number of young people to find help and support when they need it most.
Good Friends & Young Carers
Josie is an amazing young women who even when sitting her A levels regularly volunteers her time on the Urban Blue bus providing valuable care and medical assistance to anyone who needs it on busy Saturday nights in Maidstone town
centre. Josie is a trained first aider with the British Red Cross and has been a proactive member of St John’s Ambulance.
What many don’t know about Josie is that from a very young age Josie has been caring for her mum, her brother and her family in many ways. From the age of just 8, Josie overnight became carer for her mum when her mum had an operation and many complications following this.
Josie is described as being incredibly kind-hearted and selfless with the ability to remain positive and relaxed in all situations. Josie has helped others and mentored and supported other young carers and offers advice and even homework help!
Josie never complains about anything, has excelled at school in all her studies, she is an incredible young lady and this award recognises that.
Rachel is an amazing young woman who has shown extreme courage throughout her life.
Rachel is a young carer to her mother and has faced severe adversity. Rachel and her family have experienced the most extreme form of bullying, causing them to have to leave their family home. Despite the daily challenges Rachel has faced she has throughout continued to support her family and continued well with her education.
Rachel is a hardworking senior member at the Medway Woodlands Youth Centre and supports staff to run busy sessions, Rachel assists and mentors the younger members especially those young people with disabilities.
Rachel is a remarkable and truly caring young person – who despite a chaotic life has been able to move forward help others and work towards achieving her own ambitions.
Rachel is described as always smiling, no matter what is happening in her life. Rachel is currently looking for an apprenticeship and we wish her the very best of luck in this.
Charlotte is a truly wonderful young person. Charlotte’s dedication to her family is inspirational and she has given great care since a very young age of 9 years old to her mum and younger brother during a very difficult time. Charlotte prepares family meals, does all of their laundry and all the general jobs around the house. Charlotte loo
ks after all of the animals at home, and when we mean all we mean a parrot, 2 horses, a dog, a cat, ducks, rabbits and a variety of reptiles! Charlotte when not looking after her family and large zoo has worked hard at studying for GCSE’s, putting in the extra hours at school whenever possible.
Charlotte is described as someone who ‘always puts others before herself’ she deserves to be recognised today for all the fantastic things she does at home and for her beloved animals as a superb and inspirational role model.