Cambridge United Stadium Manager and Head Groundsman, Ian Darler has helped launch the Inspirational YoungStars Awards...
The Cambridge Charity Fundraisers - of which Ian is a founder - and the Cambridge Independent have teamed up to launch the Inspirational YoungStars Awards to recognise the young stars of our community.
Do you know a youngster who has gone above and beyond in the community? Someone who has put other people’s needs first with an act of fundraising? A young person who has shown bravery to help others or save life? Or a young carer who has gone above and beyond what would be expected of someone of their age?
Ian Darler put together the concept of the awards in order to highlight, recognise and reward all the positive influences that young people have in society.
"As a parent I became very frustrated with all the negative publicity relating to children,” said Ian. "There are so many children doing positive things and I believe it should be celebrated and they should be rewarded.
“Every day children across the county undertake amazing selfless acts to help others from caring, charity fundraising to helping in the community and these acts should be celebrated.
“My hope is that the awards will highlight some of the positive things children do rather than the negative as portrayed too often."
There are four categories and the awards - which cover the past two years - are open for boys and girls aged between 7 and 16. The categories are:
- Young Carer – Do you know someone who is a primary or secondary carer who is going above and beyond what is expected of most people their age? It could be looking after parents or helping care for a brother or sister, doing extra jobs around the home such as cooking, cleaning or helping someone get dressed and moving around, or providing physical help.
- Outstanding Bravery – Do you know someone who has shown an act of bravery to help others or save life? Do you know someone who has shown tremendous courage in a difficult situation?
- Fundraiser – A person who has exceeded all expectations in raising money for a good cause, however large or small the amount. It could be from a marathon running, walking or cycling effort, to organising a cake sale. There are so many great initiatives and ideas that capture the imagination. Are you a charity who have benefited first-hand from the actions of a young fundraiser who is deserving of a nomination? Or did you assist a youngster in bringing an activity into action?
- Unsung Hero – For someone that may volunteer their time and make a difference to other people’s lives and deserves recognition for doing so. This category is all-encompassing but seeks to recognise someone who may do the small things that end up making a big difference. It could be someone that offers to do the weekly shop or gardening for a neighbour? Or it could be someone that just calls in to help an elderly or vulnerable person? They may be relatively simple deeds, but they can have a huge impact on the beneficiaries and the community around them.
Ian added, "I believe that the pandemic has seen a number of children come forward to help in so many positive ways during what has been a very challenging time for everybody, be it within their own families or helping neighbours, friends, acting as your carers, fund raising, running errands etc, overcoming challenging situations? We want to hear about as many of those stories as possible, and urge people not to hesitate in entering the awards."
An awards dinner will be held in the Signature Suite at the Abbey Stadium on Friday, June 17. The presenter on the evening will be BBC Look East sports editor Jonathan Park.
Event sponsors for the evening include Mick George, A R Aspinall & Sons Ltd, Camclad Contractors Ltd, CUFCLottery.co.uk, COEL, Premier Travel, Mead Plant & Grab and Cambridgeshire FA.
To nominate somebody for the award, please click here. Entries close on May 18. If nominations are not by someone other than a parent or guardian, then Cambridge Independent will make contact with the nominee’s parent or guardian to seek permission to feature their story.