On Wednesday evening I was pleased to present awards at two events to some of the wonderful people of Southend.
The first was a small but fabulous celebration of the efforts that a young man, Tom, has made in Southend.
Tom not only sat on a group responsible for organising events and services for disabled children and young people, whilst only 17 himself, but he did so whilst tackling his own Asperger’s causing him social phobia – not ideal for sitting round in a group of professionals to give the young person’s perspective on things!
But Tom overcame these extra hurdles and made a significant impact on the group by bringing his own experiences to bear on it.
Additionally he produced a video with a friend, https://vimeo.com/34796278 , about the difficulties of living with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
Tom was nominated for the special ‘Make A Difference Award’ in the British Youth Council’s Youth on Board Awards…. and he won!
An inspiration to us all; I was honoured to present Tom with the award:
The second was to the Integrated Youth Support Service Volunteer Awards, where I met almost all of the 98 dedicated individuals who give up their own time to help the town’s young people, be it through residential camps to being an Appropriate Adult when they are being interviewed by police. Here is a nice group photograph:
A thoroughly enjoyable evening!