Inspirational stories of youth achievement and pride were on display at the town hall for the Mayor's Youth Awards on Thursday, 19 April 2018.
Individuals, groups and siblings were all honoured with their own unique stories as the ceremony celebrated all that is great about young people.
'Young Person of the Year went to Molly Howarth, aged 17 from Thornham, who has shown courage, positivity and determination'
Young Person of the Year went to Molly Howarth, aged 17 from Thornham. Molly has shown courage, positivity and determination since being diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour during her GCSEs. Despite this she got fantastic results, is performing exceptionally well in her band with Rochdale Music Service and is fundraising for Manchester Children's Hospital.
Organised by Rochdale Youth Service, and young people from Milnrow Youth Club, the event saw young people from across the borough come together to celebrate the achievements of their peers.
Rochdale Music Service's wind band got the audience in the mood for a celebration and there were powerful acoustic sets from local duet Amira and Elliot.
Young people from Milnrow Youth Club presented the evening and Jackie Maxim was sign language interpreter.
More than 40 nominations were received for the awards and all nominees were presented with certificates. As well as Young Person of the Year, the following awards were presented by the Mayor, Councillor Ian Duckworth:
- The Courage Award went to Heena Batool and Hadar Shah following their incredible fundraising effort for Manchester Children's Hospital following a cousin's bone marrow transplant.
- Smallbridge Youth Group won the Community Cohesion Award for their fundraising and work with young people in the community on the Holocaust Memorial Day.
- The Shining Lights Award went to siblings Ben, Bethany, Jack and Chloe Killgallon for their work with the youth service, and the support they have shown older people in the community.
- Sophie Kilroy received the Determination Award. She has suffered with childhood cancer but triumphed in dancing and her GCSEs despite her many operations.
- The Influencing Change Award went to the MIND Young Advisors, recognising their work with the LGBT community and their anti-bullying campaign.
- Sehar Ahmed was presented with the Young Carer Award for the hard work and dedication shown to her family and younger brother.
- The Young Volunteer Award was Toby Jackson for his work on horticulture projects and volunteering at Cherwell Farm.
- Suleman Mahmood won the Resilience Award for helping his dad by learning sign language.
- The Young Leader Award went to Olivia Maxim for her work with Starlight Circus and supporting other young people.
- Tom Ferarrie won the Raising Morale Award for all the hard work and entertainment as a DJ he brings to the youth club he attends.
- The Environmental Contribution Award was presented to the Middleton in Bloom volunteers. They suggested Middleton enter the national Britain In Bloom competition and helped the town win a silver medal.
- Paige Bamford won the peer Mentor Award for all the activities she leads on at her local youth club and her commitment to support others.
- The Community Contribution Award went to Mitchell Thompson who has helped remove graffiti, litter pick and plant floral displays.
'Yasin was a proud Rochdalian and really wanted to make a difference to young people'
A new award developed this year was the Yasin Khan Inspiration award. Yasin's family took to the stage in an incredibly touching moment. His brother said that Yasin cared so much about Rochdale, was a proud Rochdalian and really wanted to make a difference to young people. His daughter spoke about what her dad meant to her and how amazed the family were at the positive support received since his death along with support from us.
The award went to Helaina Stone who has overcome her physical disabilities to achieve a Gold Duke of Edinburgh award, by helping the elderly in a local care home and succeeding in dance exams. The challenges faced by Helaina in successfully completing the expedition element was truly inspiring and fully justified this special award.
The Mayor, Councillor Ian Duckworth, said: "There is clearly a wealth of talent in our young people in Rochdale borough, which we are all very proud of."
'The stories of achievement from these young people are so inspiring and uplifting'
Gail Hopper, director of children's services, said: "The stories of achievement from these young people are so inspiring and uplifting. They should all be very proud of their achievements. They clearly have skills and qualities that will set them up for success in later life."