On Friday 5th February workers and young people were invited to the Northumberland Finest Awards at Newbiggin Sports Centre. This event is held every year to celebrate all of the fantastic youth work that goes on across the county and is presented by Northumberland County Council’s Youth Service.
This year we were nominated for four awards:
The Leader of the year Award (Karl Hanson)- Karl has been volunteering for Silx for the last 2 years and attending our sessions for a lot longer. During this time Karl has developed into a leader and mentor encouraging the other young people to get involved in activities he is also heavily involved with our six-aside football team and our In The Mix Djing project.
The Volunteer of the Year Award (Silx Young Volunteers)- We have a group of 30 young people who over the last 12 months have been actively involved in running our teen bar sessions, organising the youth festival, raising money and running health and wellbeing nights.
Community Safety Award (Silx Intergenerational Project)- This project is a partnership between ourselves and Athlone Court and was set up to bridge the gap between the older and younger generations in Blyth and improve the perception of Young people in the area. The young people have visited the home, been on trips with the residents and even put on a Christmas Party.
The Group Impact Award (Silx Teen Bar Youth Project)- We were nominated in this category after being recognised for the impact our project has on the young people in the area and receiving positive comments from both young people and their parents about how Silx makes a real difference to their lives.
The evening began with a welcome speech and a delicious buffet which the young people all enjoyed, then it was time to announce the winners……
We didn’t win in all of our categories but felt very privileged to be nominated alongside other great projects and the young people listened to all of the stories and congratulated all of the winners. The evenings entertainment was provided by Local Band Primary Colours and the very talented Sophie Cunningham.
Then came the big finale….. the final award of the evening which was saved until the end because it is so coveted. The Group Impact award was presented by Scott Dickinson (elected member for druridge bay and business chair for NCC) AND WE ARE THRILLED TO SAY WE WON! This was really unexpected and all of the workers that attended the ceremony along with the young people were very pleased. Silx is such a popular project attracting over 750 young people in the last year alone. All of the workers here at Silx are passionate about youth work and really love the job we do and this shows in all of the excellent work that takes place throughout the year. The workers and young people have a fantastic relationship and the impact we make on these young people’s lives is unquestionable- to be recognised for this, means such a lot to us!
After receiving our award and after a few words from our senior worker Jackie, the crowd were then entertained with our DVD that we made especially for the evening- showcasing the work that has taken place at Silx over the last year, the music we chose was David Bowie’s Heroes, which we believed was very fitting as we think all of our young people have a story to tell and are heroes in their own right 🙂