From talented footballers to fundraisers and musicians - meet some of the Sunderland youngsters we can be proud of

A teenager from Syria who made Sunderland his home has been recognised for his talent both on and off the football pitch at an annual awards ceremony.

Thursday, 4th July 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th July 2019, 5:45 pm
The Mayor of the City of Sunderland, Councillor David Snowdon, who presented Mohammed Adel Nassir with his award.

Mohammed Adel Nassir, 16, from Hylton Castle, was named the overall winner at the Young Achievers Awards, organised by Together for Children.

The awards, which were held at the Stadium of Light on Monday, July 1, celebrate the bravery, talent and positive contribution youngsters have made to the lives of their families and communities.

Mohammed came to the city as an unaccompanied minor from Syria and moved into a children’s home.

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Southmoor Academy youngsters won the School Council Award.

Despite English not being his first language, the Southmoor Academy pupil excelled in school and is also a talented footballer.

He played football for both his school team and a local club, and with them is currently second in the under 16s Russell Junior League.

His achievements also saw him win the Sport Award on the night and now he is hoping for a career in professional football – with trials at the Beacon of Light lined up in September.

Mohammed said: “It is so amazing and unexpected to win this award, I always try my best and I think that’s all anyone can do.”

Jessie Dale, age 14 was runner-up in Genfactor and provided entertainment

A host of other outstanding young people from Sunderland were also recognised at the awards ceremony, with Southmoor Academy youngsters picking up a total of eight awards on the night across a range of categories.

Winners included fellow pupil Hugo Haggerty, 11, a talented skier, who picked up the Sport Award for the eight to 13 age category.

Brooke Priest, 12, who won the Service to the Community Award, after raising more than £5,000 for the Freeman Hospital Intensive Care Unit in memory of her mum who sadly died in November.

Joseph Gonzalez, 15, won highly commended Music Award, Oliver Graham, 16, and Liam Thompson, 12, won the Services to the Community Group Award for their work with the City Hospitals Sunderland - Young Persons’ Group.

The school’s student council won the Student Council Award and the school’s anti-bullying team also won the Anti-Bullying Award.

Simon Wareham, director of personal development and careers at Southmoor Academy in Sunderland, said: “We are really pleased for the students.

“Every single student that was shortlisted from the school won an award on the evening, which was amazing and something we have never had before.”

The Young Achievers Awards are open to anyone aged between eight and 20 and are nominated by the public across 10 categories.

The Mayor of the City of Sunderland, Councillor David Snowdon, who presented Mohammed with his award, said: “All of our winners should be hugely proud of their achievements and I’d like to extend my congratulations to them all.”

Jill Colbert, Chief Executive of Together for Children, said: “The awards are a fantastic opportunity to hear the stories and achievements of Sunderland’s young people.”

This year's award sponsors were Gentoo, Sunderland City Council, R&B Group, Everyone Active, Sunderland Carers’ Centre, Sun FM and Sunderland College.