Once again, Haslemere Travel was proud to host this year’s Surrey Young Superstars Awards on May 9th, which rewarded 14 deserving young children, aged from 9 to 19 years-old, from all areas of Surrey.
The special trophies and certificates were presented by national treasure and Surrey resident, actress Dame Penelope Keith at a special awards ceremony at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, attended by Lesley Myles, Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, the mayors of Guildford, Godalming and Haslemere, as well as friends and family of the winners.
Launched in 2012, this year we were delighted to organize these awards in partnership with the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, as well as raise awareness of a local charity, Challengers.
The 2014 Group Fundraising Superstars were Beatrice St Pier, Sophie Rodriguez, Maddy Nugent, Lottie Wood, Ariane Boulanger and Jenny Glover.
Pupils from Barrow Hills School, Witley, aged between 9 and 13 years of age, they recently raised £4,000 for facilities for St Benedict’s Primary School in Burkhina Faso, West Africa. Entirely initiated by the girls themselves, they held a ‘Just for Girls Day’ at school in support of the girls in Africa and a farmers market, where they sold homemade produce.
Our 2014 Individual Fundraising Superstar (13-19 years)was Lauren Hillman. This 13 year-old winner from Worplesdon, Surrey was galvanized to raise funds after a very close family friend was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour and subsequently suffered life-threatening illnesses. She launched, promoted and organized a talent competition for children aged 3-18.
The evening raised an impressive £2,000.
The Individual Fundraising Superstar (5-12 years)was Ronan Lenane.
Inspired by the tragic loss of a friend’s father who died in the care of the Princess Alice Hospice, this 10 year-old pupil from Cranmore School, West Horsley raised more than £300 singlehandedly, by combining his love of photography with the aim to sell calendars to raise funds for the hospice.
Joint winners of Caring Superstar 2014 were sisters Jay and Robyn Parsons. Aged only 13 and 16, the girls currently care for their mother, who is often bed-bound with a debilitating illness. The girls willingly do all the shopping, housework and cooking for their mother, fitting all of this around a busy school and college life respectively.
We introduced a new category, Courageous Superstar this year and the judges chose two joint winners. The first winner, Oli Nuttall was nominated by his schoolteacher at Aldro School, Shackleford, having bravely faced a plane crash, following a catastrophic engine failure. The skills of the pilot saved their lives and Oli was airlifted to Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Unconscious for the first 24 hours, the medical team worked on his many injuries, which included broken bones and serious lacerations to the face. Everyone has been astounded by his amazing response to this horrendous experience. Just a month after the accident, Oli was back at school in a wheelchair for lessons. His courage and determination to “get back to normal” has been an inspiration to all.
The second Courageous Superstar winner, Alex Perryer, is a brave young girl from Guildford who sadly woke one morning at the age of 9 and couldn’t move her arm. Overnight she was fighting for her life and facing life-threatening illnesses. She has since endured countless surgery, agonizing tests and procedures, lost the sight in both eyes and learnt to talk and walk again. She has done all of this without complaint. She is in and out of hospital, but has never accepted her fate and continues her hobbies as much as she can. The family friends who nominated her described her as ‘the bravest girl they know’.
The final category, Volunteering Superstar, was won by Diccon James.
As soon as this 19 year-old winner was old enough to do so, he qualified as a theatre chaperone and has spent much of his time helping out at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre. Despite studying hard for his A’Levels, he has chaperoned the child performers at many shows and even after his London commute for his foundation course, still gives his free time during the evening to supporting young performers.
The top award of the day, Superstar of the Year (chosen from among the category winners by the judges) was awarded to Lauren Hillman.
Congratulations to all our worthy winners.
Please keep your eyes peeled for details of Surrey Young Superstars 2015 and how to enter or nominate.