Bedfordshire '12

Young People of the Year

Revealing, Recognising and Rewarding Positive Role Models

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Local dignitaries, sponsors and young people are YOPEY's judges

Below you can read about the sponsors of this YOPEY and some of our dignitary judges.

However these are not all the judges. Every YOPEY since 2006 has been judged by young people or Youth Judges as well as 'great and good'. Youth Judges' opinion and votes are as valid and carry the same weight as those of adult dignitaries and sponsors.

YOPEY's aim is to have as many Youth Judges on every YOPEY as dignitary and sponsors. If you are aged from 10-25 and would like to be a Youth Judge, please contact us via our Contact Us form, telling us a little bit about yourself and why you would make a good Youth Judge.

The dignitary judges tend to include a representative of the Queen*, a senior clergy from any religion, a top police officer, the local MP and councillors as well as representatives of the businesses and other organisations sponsoring this YOPEY. We are very grateful for their support.

If a dignitary judge's photograph shows them as a teenager, child or even a baby, smile, they were young once!

* The Queen is represented by the Lord Lieutenant of the county in which the YOPEY is held or the Vice Lieutenant or a Deputy Lieutenant. The High Sheriff, who also represents the Queen in legal matters, can also judge.


Army Cadets Colonel Chris Sharwood-Smith

I was born on the Hertfordshire/London boarders in 1960, and educated at University College School London and University of Hertfordshire. I spent 36 years working in the public sector before moving to the private sector in 2010, writes Chris Sharwood-Smith, Colonel Commandant of the Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Army Cadet  Force.
I run a Training & Resilience Consultancy carrying out contracts for the US State Department, the United Nations and Bedfordshire Police. I am also on the list of Deployable Civilian Experts

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Town Mayor of Houghton Regis 

David Jones was born in Coventry in 1951, and brought up there, the only son of a baker and confectioner.
An accountant by profession, he specialised in corporate taxation from 1978 onwards.
David moved to Houghton Regis in 1986 after gaining a job in London.
He is married to Anne, a nurse at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital. They have two grown-up sons, both of which still live in Houghton Regis.
He hecame a Town Councillor in 1999 and has served continuously ever since. His principal interests...
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Allan Tresidder, President of Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes Boys' Brigades

I joined the Junior Section of the 2nd Bedford Boys' Brigade Company (based at Brickhill Baptist church, Bedford) in 1976 and had a great time 'Living the Adventure'. There was;  Football, Canoeing,  going to the Annual Camp, the competitions against other BB Companies, playing in the Band, having a great group of friends and ultimately becoming a Christian.
I then set off on my travels, being the Founder Captain of 4th Bedford (1993), and then a year later founded the 1st...
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Motorbiking councillor Caroline Maudlin

I am delighted to be one of the Judges for this year's YOPEY Awards. It is a very difficult but enjoyable task.

I have lived in the Sandy area of Beds for most of my life and come from a local farming family with a long-standing tradition of service in the community. I am now settled here with my partner and two dogs, Daisy and Mable.

I have been a Councillor for Central Bedfordshire Council since it formed in 2009 and now look after the Sandy & Blunham Ward.  In May 2012 I was elected to Vice Chairman of the Council and really enjoy...
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Andrew Selous, MP for South West Beds

Andrew was born in 1962 and married Harriet in 1993 and they have three girls. They live in the South West Bedfordshire constituency in Studham, near to Whipsnade Zoo.

Andrew is on the council of reference of South Bedfordshire Community Family Trust and is the President of the Leighton Buzzard branch of the Parkinson’s Disease Society and Patron of Leighton-Linslade Homeless Service, Patron of Homestart Central Bedfordshire and Leighton Buzzard Brain Tumour Action. He was a Territorial Army officer for 12 years and served in Germany, Cyprus, the Netherlands,

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Claire became councillor to give back

Councillor Claire Meakins-Jell writes: "I was born in 1980 at our local Luton & Dunstable hospital and have lived in Dunstable for all of my 32 years.  

My mother, a recently retired Local Government Officer, and my father, a retired police officer still reside in Dunstable.

I attended local schools in Dunstable where I gained many GCSEs and A-levels and went on to achieve a BA Hons in Criminology at a local university.

In 2002 following completion of my degree I took a ‘temporary’ job at a Local Authority,

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Kempston Mayor has a black belt in judo

Cllr Adrien Beardmore writes: “I was born on 19th December 1947. My father was a Bedford boy who joined the Royal Air Force in 1937 for eight years. His final base was Stanbridge, near Leighton Buzzard, where I lived for the first six years of my life. We moved back to Bedford in 1953, where I attended Clapham Road School, then Goldington Road School, and finally finished my schooling at Newham School.
After finishing School I intended to train as a farmer, so went to work on a farm. After about a year the dairy farm was sold to a large milk

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Retired headteacher turned backpacker turned mayor

Roy Tebbutt was born on New Year’s Day in 1943 and grew up in a small Northamptonshire ‘boot & shoe town’ as a working-class lad who went to local secondary modern.

He says his “real education started at 15, when I attended Kettering Technical College and gained 11 O-levels and three A-levels in the sciences – biology, chemistry, and physics . He worked at Wicksteeds Park throughout “O” & “A” levels during summer weekends and holidays. Now realises what my parents gave up for

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Born out of fire – Luton Mayor Syd Knight

Born in a missionary’s home in Antigua in the West Indies, Syd lived there with his parents and two siblings when at the very end of The Second World War at the age of two-and-a-half a major fire destroyed the entire building and he can remember being lifted over a garden wall by neighbours while watching the building going up in flames.

His father’s photographic studio in the buildings was raised to the ground. For many years after, with his father unemployed, the family lived in abject poverty and again he can remember when 

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New Lord-Lieutenant joins YOPEY judges

Helen Nellis was recently appointed by HM The Queen as the Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire and began her term of office on 22nd February 2012.

She says of young people: "The world in which young people are growing up today seems far more complex that ever before. Yet everywhere I go, I see young people excelling and seizing opportunities to help others and drive our world forward to a better place.

"Youth is a time to explore who you are, and to make a few mistakes along the way. Never be afraid to stretch yourself and to reach for

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