Celebrating our Young Heroes!

Young Bristol joined youth organisations and individuals across the city to celebrate Bristol’s Young Heroes, on Wednesday 16th December 2020. 

The annual event, The Bristol Young Heroes Awards, recognises and celebrates the valuable contribution of young people aged 11 – 19 throughout Bristol. Young Bristol were thrilled to hear that all four of our nominations for the Bristol Young Heroes Awards were shortlisted as finalists, as well as the Young Bristol team, in a new category the ‘Team of Heroes’.

Yesterday evening’s event hosted by Community of Purpose, was held virtually due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, but that didn’t stop the event being a humbling evening reminding us of the inspiring generation of young people that make up our city.

We would like to congratulate Rob, winner of the Action Hero Awards, Action Hero finalist Ashanti, Sports Hero finalist Archie, and Arts & Culture Hero finalist Shannon. We would also like to thank the Bristol Young Heroes Awards for the recognition in the finals of this year’s Team of Heroes Award.

We are so proud of our finalists, and would like to recognise them for this fantastic achievement. You are our heroes!

Young Bristol’s 2020 Young Heroes

Rob first first joined Young Bristol in 2013 when he was 9 years old attending summer holiday club sessions. He had struggled with his academic education due to dyslexia and ADHD; relatively hidden disabilities which are not always recognised or understood by people. He began attending the Young Bristol Kayak Club in 2016, quickly learning the skills needed to be a proficient paddler. After 12 months of regularly attending the Kayak Club, Rob was at a stage where he could help the instructors to deliver sessions. Rob began helping on general activity sessions, volunteering after school and during school holidays. Two years running, Rob joined a group of Young Bristol canoeists to paddle a staggering 100 miles. In 2018, Rob also began volunteering on the Young Bristol Instructor Training Scheme. He now began to use his skills in paddling to help beginners to become instructors. Through the training scheme he was also able to broaden his own skills into other activities such as rock climbing and archery. He achieved his rescue training in paddling and is now prepared to complete his kayak instructor course in 2020. Rob is naturally accepting and understanding of difference in children, through his own experiences. His constant drive to give up his time to volunteer hundreds of hours each year to benefit other young people in Bristol, makes Rob stand out as an Action Hero!

Ashanti volunteers at her local Youth Club Avon Club for Young People, the Police Cadets and is part of the youth led group Youth Voice. When Ashanti started out volunteering with the club, she was shy, finding it difficult to find her voice in large groups and being unsure of how she could contribute. Her volunteering and involvement in numerous groups over the last year has really helped her development into a very strong, opinionated, confident young person, who has others well-being at the heart of what she does. Avon Club for Young People leader said “Ashanti’s volunteering at the club gives us additional support to the staff and our young people. We have been able to run more sessions that young people enjoy with her help. She engages the young people to find out their interests and applies that to the sessions she runs. She is a great role model for the young people, and inspires everyone with her passion and ambition. I am proud to have her as a member of our team.”

Archie has lived in South Bristol for most of his life, leaving school and college with few qualifications and low self-confidence, finding himself lacking in motivation to expand his world beyond. Archie joined the Instructor Training Scheme in 2016 after his dad gave him a flyer. Despite Archie suffering with a variety of health conditions, after just one year of joining the scheme he had completely changed his life around, with a more positive outlook and hope for the future. Through the programme he has gained confidence, made some lifelong friends, and has also achieved qualifications in coaching and powerboat driving. He is also currently working towards his kayaking, canoeing and high ropes instructor qualifications. Archie has gone on to volunteer hundreds of hours to Young Bristol teaching a wide variety of sessions to young people. He has also volunteered on schemes for older people, and with the Inland Water Safety Group who patrol Bristol Harbour.

Shannon started working with the Young Bristol Creative Team in 2018, where in an animation session she created a simple and beautiful stop frame movie about her family. Throughout 2019, the team worked with Shannon on her Arts Award Bronze. The Arts Award involved a skill share where the young person teaches creative skills to someone else. Shannon and her friends chose to run a printing workshop at their local residential care home (which proved to be really popular). Off the back of this, Shannon started volunteering at the care home, showing a real commitment to her local community. Shannon is also a member of the youth led group Youth Voice – raising awareness of the needs of young people, and challenging stereotypes. Shannon is great at bringing passion to a group, encouraging others to speak up and take part. Her natural artistic talent is inspiring for her peers, and is why she has been nominated for the Arts and Culture Hero!

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