Search launched for Sunderland’s young achievers

From left: Sue Carty, Tom Smith and Coun Louise Farthing.
From left: Sue Carty, Tom Smith and Coun Louise Farthing.

The annual search for the city’s most inspiring young people is underway with the launch of Sunderland’s Young Achievers’ Awards 2018.

Organised by Together for Children, with the support of businesses and Sunderland City Council, the awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution made by young people in all aspects of life, from performing arts, to sport, culture and community.

It’s a great to feel that what you do has been recognised and the awards are a really good event for young people in Sunderland

Tom Smith

This year’s awards were launched by singing sensation Tom Smith, 12, from East Rainton, who scooped the overall award last year, as well as the Music and Performing Arts Category (8-13).

He was born with a life-limiting condition, hypo-plastic left heart syndrome, meaning only half his heart works.

But, despite his condition, Tom continues to write and perform his music, even attracting praise from X-Factor’s Simon Cowell.

Tom said: “I was extremely proud to win the overall award last year, and felt very overwhelmed at the time.

“It’s great to feel that what you do has been recognised and the awards are a really good event for young people in Sunderland. I’m excited to help launch this year’s awards and I can’t wait to see who wins.”

The Young Achievers’ Awards are open to anyone living in Sunderland aged between eight and 20, and categories include Music and the Performing Arts, Personal Achievement, Academic Achievement, Young Carer, Young Volunteer, Sport, School Council, and Anti-Bullying, Young Apprentice and Service to the Community.

Sue Carty, Director of Quality and Performance at Together for Children, said: “Every year when the nominations come in, we hear so many fantastic and moving stories about the achievements of young people in our city and I’m sure this year will be no exception.

“I’d encourage anyone who is thinking of nominating to take the time and help our city’s young people get the recognition they deserve.”

Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, Coun Louise Farthing, said: “I am honoured to help launch nominations for Young Achievers 2018, and invite people to put forward the names of young people they’d like to receive recognition for their massive, individual contribution to life in our city.

“I think it is more important than ever that we recognise the talent and commitment that exists within our young people, and I believe that these awards are a great incentive for all our young people to strive to be the best that they can be in whatever they do.”

All winners and runners-up will be invited to attend the awards presentation event at the Stadium of Light on March, 22.

To nominate online visit www.togetherforchildren.org.uk/YA2018 and all nominations must be submitted by Friday, November 17.