Carer, student, part-time worker, cadet: Stories of the inspirational youth of Nottingham

Two youth award winners: Ebony & Sam

Seven young people with incredible accomplishments have been named district winners for the Nottinghamshire Outstanding Achievement Award 4Uth.

On Friday (October 27) a celebration of the ‘super seven’ will be held at County Hall and end in the announcement of an overall county wide winner which will be decided by a panel of judges.

One of the seven winners is 17-year-old Ebony Pearson who lives in Warsop.

Ebony Pearson

Ebony is a young carer who looks after both her parents who have health and mobility issues while also supporting her brother with ADHD and autism.

She’s currently studying her A-levels, has a part time job and is a member of cadets.

Ebony said: “It made me feel like I could achieve things – it boosted my confidence massively.

“I was shocked – I didn’t think I would win after being nominated, I was incredibly overwhelmed.”

Ebony was nominated for the award by Kerry Musgrove who works in Nottinghamshire County Council’s Family Service intervention.

Kerry said: “Ebony’s attitude and motivation to everything she does never fails to impress me.

“While she sometimes feels a little overwhelmed with the many things she deals with in her life, she always adopts a determined attitude of getting on with things and will brush herself down and carry on.”

Despite all her commitments and care duties Ebony still manages to exceed in her studies and her parents are very proud.

Ebony’s parents are very proud of her exceeding in her studies despite her commitments to the family.

Her mum, Hazel said: “”e are overwhelmed that Ebony has won this award as it helps to give recognition for everything that she does.”

Another one of the ‘super seven’ is 17-year-old Sam Walton from Calverton.

Sam was born with scoliosis, a spinal condition that impacts a persons ability to move and function.

At the age of seven, he was told he wouldn’t be able to continue playing football at his local team because of it.

Determined not to let his condition hold him back, Sam carried on practicing football and eventually joined a local football team for people with disabilities.

Within months he was representing Nottinghamshire and soon after he was representing the country in an international disability football tournament held at St George’s Park where the national teams train.

Sam’s medical condition isn’t the only personal challenge Sam has had to face.

In 2016 Sam’s mother, Michelle, died due to lung rejection following a double lung transplant in 2015.

During this time Sam cared and supported his mum whilst taking his GCSE’s.

Sam’s dad Jim said: “I’m very pleased about him getting the award – Sam didn’t want to go to the awards originally because he doesn’t like being in the limelight but I managed to persuade him to go!

“We’re proud for his mother too.”

He was nominated by his youth worker Sean Ryan who said: “Sam’s unwavering attitude in the face of adversity, setbacks and tragedy, has earned him much respect and admiration from his peers.

“He has become a humble role model who carries a powerful and inspiring message about courage and perseverance.”

Eighty-five people were nominated for the award this year, which celebrates achievements of young people across the county.

The other five district winners are:

Connor Sharman, from Ashfield, a carer for his family and someone that has overcome significant personal problems.

Ellie-May Bott, from Manton, a tireless fundraiser for local charities and winner of Britain’s Junior Miss Eco award.

Kaitlin Rose, from Beeston, a very active member within her school and sufferer of Cerebral Palsy.

Leah Pearson, from Newark, a swimmer who does not let her condition, Elhers Danlos Syndrome, get in the way of succeeding in the pool.

Jacob Hill, from Cotgrave, OCD and depression sufferer that has succeeded academically, gained full-time employment and is very active at his local young people’s centre.

Around 100 people are set to attend the finale, including family and friends of the finalists, youth workers and Nottinghamshire County Council Leader Councillor Kay Cutts and Chairman Councillor John Handley.

Councillor Cutts said: “I am truly inspired by the stories of young people and their achievements during this 4Uth campaign.

“All seven of our district winners deserve lots of praise for what they have done.

“We are delighted to be hosting an event for all of our finalists to reward them for their significant accomplishments.”