Surrey Young Superstars 2014 winners rewarded in Guildford
PUBLISHED: 12:59 23 May 2014
Dame Penelope Keith was guest of honour as fourteen young children were rewarded for their efforts at the second Surrey Young Superstars awards.
Held at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, the youngsters aged from nine to 19 impressed the judges with their feats of fundraising, volunteering and caring.
Organised by leading independent Surrey travel agent Haslemere Travel, in partnership with the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, the Surrey Life supported event also raised awareness for Guildford-based children’s charity Challengers.
The winners were:
Group Fundraising Superstars
Beatrice St Pier, Sophie Rodriguez, Maddy Nugent, Lottie Wood, Ariane Boulanger and Jenny Glover
Six pupils from Barrow Hills School, Witley, aged between nine and 13 years of age, recently raised £4,000 for facilities for St Benedict’s Primary School in Burkhina Faso, West Africa, which is linked in friendship with the Surrey school.
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 an array of cakes, plants and homemade produce.
Individual Fundraising Superstar (13 to 19 years)
This 13 year-old winner from Worplesdon 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 decided to launch and organize a talent competition for children aged three to 18. After successfully promoting to schools, Brownie packs and dance clubs, she then persuaded friends to bake cakes and donate raffle prizes. The evening raised an impressive £2,000.
Individual Fundraising Superstar (five to 12 years)
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 in 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, which he did via a church fair.
Jay Parsons and Robyn Parsons
The winners, who are sisters aged 13 and 16, 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.
Nominated by his schoolteacher at Aldro School in Shackleford, the first winner, aged only 11, was given the opportunity to fly in a Gypsy Moth with a family friend just under a year ago. Sadly, the treat turned into a disaster as the plane suffered a catastrophic engine failure and crashed to the ground. The skills of the pilot saved their lives and emergency crews, quickly on the scene, airlifted our winner 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, which need ongoing surgery. What astounded his teacher and everyone else who knew him, was his amazing response to this horrendous experience. Just a month after the accident he 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 is a brave young girl from Guildford who sadly woke one morning at the age of nine 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 one eye and learnt to talk and walk again, with the help of strenuous physical therapy. 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 for this award described her as ‘the bravest girl they know’.
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.
Superstar of the Year
(chosen from among the winners by the judges)