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Amazing young people at YOPEY’s birthday party
By Sophia Hehn of Bedford Sixth Form
More than 200 people filed through the door of The Vincent Building at Cranfield University last Friday evening to begin what would be an extremely powerful celebration of young people in our society.
Among them were the ten finalists of the YOPEYs; 16 people (because one finalist was a pair and another a group) who were recognised for their selflessness and admirable attitude to helping others.
YOPEY was set up by former national newspaper Tony Gearing 11 years ago
Our six fantastic runners-up
As a bit of fun – and to save YOPEY founder Tony Gearing – having to rewrite his 10,000-word script, we have copied and pasted each finalist's story exactly as it appeared in the script, including stage directions etc.
Over the course of the day of the awars, during rehearsals and prior to the acutal presentation, items may have changed... that's all part of the fun and learning process for the volunteers of Bedford Sixth Form who put on the awards ceremony at Cranfield University.
Runner-up – Keliyah Morodore-Spencer
(BSF’s presenter 2)
GIVE IT UP FOR KELIYAH MORODORE-SPENCER!
An inspirational girl has coped with family tragedy yet still manages to think of others first.
Keliyah Morodore-Spencer's life was turned up side down when her nan had cancer and another close relative died in childbirth. Yet despite the traumas she always ensured her family was cared for – before herself.
Fourteen-year-old Keliyah was nominated by a Brownie leader, who oversees several Girlguiding units in Luton.
Rachel Halyer said:
Runner-up – Max Moncur
(BSF’s presenter 4)
A ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR MAX MONCUR!
Losing a loved one to cancer is a devastating blow. Max Moncur’s mother Caroline died after an 18-month battle against pancreatic cancer. Her death came days before his 18th birthday and weeks before Max sat his crucial A-level exams.
The teenager – with his father Andy and younger brother Sam – had supported Caroline during her illness. When Andy fell ill Max became the temporary head of the family as well as the main carer to his mum.
Runner-up – Ben Wright
(BSF’s presenter 3)
PUT YOUR HANDS TOGETHER FOR BEN WRIGHT!
A teenager volunteers much of his spare time educating the public about the police and supporting local events as a police cadet.
Eighteen-year-old Ben Wright is passionate about his involvement with the Bedfordshire Police Cadets, something he pursues while also having a full-time job. His evenings and weekends are dedicated to events and schemes designed to bridge the gap between young people and the police service.
Ben, from Clapham, was nominated by the Administrator
Runner-up – Tegan Hues
(BSF’s presenter 2)
LET’S HEAR IT FOR TEGAN HUES!
Tegan Hues’ aggressive behaviour at a mainstream primary school won him few friends. When classmates had birthday parties he was rarely invited and being bigger than the other kids made him stand out.
He had been diagnosed with special needs but it was not until he was seven that he was identified as being on the autistic spectrum. When he was placed in a special needs school his behaviour changed for the better and now – at St John’s Special School & College
Runner-up – Nicola White
(BSF’s presenter 1)
LET’S HEAR IT FOR NICOLA WHITE!
Nicola White overcame acute shyness and lack of confidence to volunteer with disabled young people.
Nicola was introduced to the Bedford Mencap when she was a quiet 15-year-old and helped with their summer playscheme. Since then she hasn’t looked back.
Now aged 23, Nicola has provided invaluable help and support to young people with physical and learning disabilities for eight years.
Shortly after joining the Mencap scheme, she also became involved
Runners-up – Hannah Place and Jade Moss
(BSF’s presenter 4)
GIVE IT UP FOR HANNAH PLACE AND JADE MOSS!
While many of us were sunning ourselves on a beach this summer, Hannah Place and Jade Moss were battling driving rain, fog and gales as well as barbed wire and slippery rocks.
The teenagers raised over £3,000 for cancer research and multiple sclerosis – charities close to their hearts.
They did this by tackling over 100 miles of the famous Wainwright’s Coast to Coast path – and its notorious weather!