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Home Gravesend News Article
A group of young people from Gravesham have won top honours for their hard work in creating a BMX park.
The Gravesham Urban Sports Collective worked for more than two years to help plan, fund raise and build the Gravesend park.
They needed to raise £10,000 and worked tirelessly putting on discos, raffles and quiz nights. Having been granted a piece of land on the promenade, they worked with the borough council’s regeneration team to source and interview prospective contractors.
After reaching their target, the facility was finally built and the group organised music, professional skaters and BMXers for the launch, which was attended by more than 300 young people. The facility continues to be well used.
Youth worker Jodie Hamilton, who nominated them, said the group had identified a need and acted on it so that other young people would benefit for years to come.
They were honoured in the citizenship category of the countywide Spirit of Try Angle awards, which celebrate the exceptional achievements and good work of young people in Kent.
Other winners in the Gravesham area awards included Enya Mitchell, 18, who took the silver award in the personal development category.
Enya, also known as Dolly, has been through some challenging times and was nominated by social worker Carol Gibbs for her success and determination in turning her life around. She has gained qualifications in food hygiene and kitchen safety and, while studying, still finds time to volunteer at a café.
Ryan Simmons, of Ridgeway Avenue, Gravesend, took the bronze award in the arts category.
Ryan, 18, has autism and, according to Sam Browne, his art teacher at Ifield School, is a perfectionist who works very hard independently to create his ideas and achieve perfect results.
Ryan won second place in the Page Turner Contemporary Art competition with his painting of a boat. which is now on display at Turner Contemporary in Margate.
Thamesview School pupil Lanre Sowami also achieved a bronze award – this time in the sports category.
Lanre, 15, was nominated by his teacher for his participation in sports but especially for his dedication to basketball. Lanre is an inspiration as a wheelchair user who has let nothing stop him from being a high achiever.
Lanre is well on his way to becoming a member of the Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Squad and is also an ambassador for the charity Whizz Kids.
Another bronze award winner, this time for bravery, was Shirley Smith.
Youth worker Penny Stotesbury said Shirley, 18, of Mackenzie Way, Gravesend, had experienced some traumatic times but had shone through. A variety of issues and circumstances made life very difficult for Shirley and she demonstrated amazing bravery in overcoming them.
She has been a senior member with her local youth project for the past three years and has completed three sections of her Duke of Edinburgh Award.
She was described as a real support to her youth workers.
Shirley is now undertaking her NVQ Level 2 in youth work and is said to have shown herself to be a brave and resilient young person who believes in doing the right thing.
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