Bedfordshire '15

Young People of the Year

Revealing, Recognising and Rewarding Positive Role Models

Branding Image for yopey

Our four fantastic winners

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.

Night of shining young stars

A student who promotes understanding and brings communities together in Luton is Bedfordshire’s Young Person of the Year.

Dawood Masood won the ‘YOPEYs’ – ‘Oscars’ for young people who give to others. He won £800 – £400 for himself and £400 for a charity he set up.

A Luton teenager who fundraises so her disabled sister can walk won the Junior YOPEY and £200, in a lavish awards ceremony at Cranfield University, near Bedford, on Friday evening.

Twenty-year-old Dawood,

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Young Person of the Year – Dawood Masood

(BSF’s presenter 3)

Now for the first of tonight’s finalists…


Dawood Masood promotes understanding and brings different ethnic communities together in Luton.

Twenty-year-old Dawood was nominated by his father, a former Iman who runs the Al-Hira Centre, a Madrasa or Islamic religious school in Luton.

Prof Akhtar Masood said: “From the age of 16 Dawood started volunteering at the Al-Hira Centre, where he

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2nd place – Bethany Sinfield

(BSF’s presenter 4)


Bethany Sinfield went to bed a fit and healthy 17-year-old, dreaming of a career as a veterinary nurse, and woke up unable to speak or move.

Taken to hospital, staff thought she was drunk or had taken drugs. The next day a scan revealed she had suffered a massive stroke. It looked as if she would never walk or talk again, and would have to be fed through a tube.

That was three years ago. Now, she is walking and talking and has returned to education. Aged 20, Beth is

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3rd place – Connect

(BSF’s presenter 1)


A group of Bedfordshire young people are raising awareness of mental health and want to reduce the stigma attached to mental illnesses.

Seven young people who have used the county’s mental health services have formed a group called Connect.

The Connect group was nominated by the participation officer at the Bereavement Trauma & Emotional Wellbeing Service, known as ‘CHUMS’. Niki Scott said: “This is a group of amazing young people. They work together

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Junior Winner – Divashya Parmar

(BSF’s presenter 3)


The first time Divashya Parmar saw her new little sister she was being taken in an incubator to an ambulance. The ambulance then took the baby to London for emergency surgery. Divashya thought she would never see her again.

Ganaya was born at the Luton & Dunstable Hospital premature at 32 weeks and weighing just 3lbs 7ozs. Then, within days, she contracted a deadly infection which damaged her intestine. At Lewisham Hospital surgeons carried out a successful operation

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And 16 young people who didn't quite make final

(BSF’s presenter 3 at taller microphone)

When you see the quality of the young people tonight, you might be tempted to think ‘surely this is it – all our fantastic young people in Bedfordshire ’. You’d be wrong! The finalists are just the tip of an iceberg of young people who give to the community across Bedfordshire. Here are just some of this year’s fantastic entries who narrowly missed out on being finalists tonight.

(BSF’s presenter 3 – photo 1)

Sisters Freya and

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Beds leaders congratulate YOPEY on its 10th birthday

Bedfordshire leaders have spoken out in favour of YOPEY on its 10th year in the county.

Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, said: “YOPEY has played a significant role in helping us to celebrate our fantastic young people. Over 10 years we have seen them strive with determination, passion, creativity and compassion to help us build ever-stronger communities. 

“Congratulations to YOPEY and all who have participated - what a difference you are making!"


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© YOPEY registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales as charity number 1145573
Registered with the Registrar of Companies for England and Wales as company number 7751145

Teaching Resources - YOPEY on TVYOPEY on radio - YOPEY movies made by young people