Children and young people recognised for community efforts

Children and young people across Torbay have celebrated their achievements with awards as part of Children’s Week.

Awards were made in various categories: primary, secondary and 16-25-year-old person of the year, best sports team, best activity or attraction, best holiday club, and an adult award.

Designed by the Youth Council working with Imagine This Torbay and the Young Persons Panel working with children’s services at Torbay Council, there were awards for an environmental hero and a community spirit award that went to Zen Commins who has been a young carer for both his mum and dad.

The 15-year-old from Paignton goes to hospital appointments with his dad so he can help him talk to medical staff as he has had a total laryngectomy.

The award citation described him as caring, kind, supportive, non-judgemental and always willing to help. In addition to looking out for his parents, he is also a police cadet and volunteers for Rowcroft as well as indulging in his hobbies of beekeeping and other charity work.

Alphee Poole took the young person making a difference to adults award after it was revealed that not only does he regularly volunteer for the Punk Against Poverty, he has to take four buses to get to and from his home in Foxhole to do so.

The 20-year-old is keen on his charity work, particularly those that work with homeless people: “I do what I can and enjoy it, everything from working behind the till to sorting out the stock. I am also hoping to bring a few fresh ideas to help raise more money,” he said.

When he is not helping the charity, he helps at home providing support to his mum who has muscular dystrophy and his nan, both of whom need a little extra help.

No surprise then that his nomination cited: “He has multiple health challenges of his own but is hugely inspirational in the way they don’t let these stop him from helping others, always with a smile and a cheesy joke at the ready. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of recognition.”

The full list of awards:

Primary-aged person of the year: Demi and Elmer

Secondary-aged person of the year: Myfanwy Alderman

16–25-year-old: Yuly Kassner

Best Holiday Club: Indigos Goes Green run by Play Torbay

Best activity or attraction: Children’s Week and Paul Northey

The adult making a difference for young people: Cosmo the Clown

Most inspirational journey: Brody Curran

Most community spirited: Zen Commins

Best youth sports club: Watcombe Wanderers

Environmental hero: Isobel Jones

Young person making a difference for other young people: Liam Bowles

Young person making a difference for adults: Alphee Poole