tv Young Citizen Awards 2017 BBC News April 8, 2017 10:30am-11:01am BST
good morning. i'm ellie crisell and i am delighted to be here in manchester to celebrate the rotary young citizen awards 2017. this year is the tenth anniversary of the awards to honour the achievements of young people who've all done something extraordinary. i presented the very first awards when they were launched back in 2007. since then, hundreds of amazing young people have been recognised. each year, rotary clubs across britain and ireland nominate youngsters for the awards. and the eventual winners for 2017 are with us today, and you are about to meet some inspirational young people. so let's find out more about this year's award winners. ourfirst award goes to teenager abbey booker. abbey is in care but works tirelessly and selflessly to ensure other children have the best experience that they can. she spends her time volunteering, helping out with a number of schemes, and tries to change the way adults deal with other young people in care. she was nominated for the award
by the rotary clubs of doncaster and doncaster st leger. this is her story. hi. mayl hi. may i have two cadbury's cream eggs. have you signed in yet? my name is abbey. i'm 15 and i'm from doncaster. i've been in care for four years. i remember the first few yea rs four years. i remember the first few years was a major struggle for me emotionally because i had so many different people and so many things going on in my life. i knew what i wanted. i knew what i wanted to say. i knew i had my own opinions on things, but i was never really given that chance. i was dismissed. when i found the courage to speak out myself, i just thought, found the courage to speak out myself, ijust thought, right, that's it. i now know that i can say this, so i'm going to let other children have that opportunity. i've just give it them. we've got sports going on... abbey is one in a million to be honest with you. she gives her time freely.
she's a great advocate for young people. she offers them support. she offers them advice. she very much helps shape the service the way the independent visitors scheme runs. for me, before i came into care, i didn't really have a childhood. i basically raised my two young brothers. i was, basically raised my two young brothers. iwas, sort basically raised my two young brothers. i was, sort of, basically raised my two young brothers. iwas, sort of, given basically raised my two young brothers. i was, sort of, given all the family's dilemmas and problems, they were put on my shoulders. care changed my life. i did things that a normal 13—year—old should do instead of staying at home and cooking meals. it was difficult, but at the same time, easy. it wasjust meals. it was difficult, but at the same time, easy. it was just a massive relief. have you signed in yet? i don't think i will ever stop doing what i'm doing, never, ever stop. for me, i'm going to take it further and make sure that every child in care has a voice and every child in care has a voice and every child is loving being in care. applause
abbey is here with me now. congratulations on your young citizen award. how do you feel? it's really, it's a whirlwind really. i never expected to win this award. i never really expected to be here with these amazing people too. but like i've a lwa ys amazing people too. but like i've always said, this award is never really for me. it's on behalf of all the children that work alongside me, the children that work alongside me, the people that work with me as well. and all the different organisations that i help. you've done wonderful work. what was it about your experience in care that made you want to reach out to other young people? well, i was never really listened to. i know how frustrating it is and annoying when you know you have something to say but you just can't say it, because people believe that you're not old enough or you don't know how to say it or you don't have the confidence. for me, i thought, i it or you don't have the confidence. for me, ithought, i needed it or you don't have the confidence. for me, i thought, i needed to stop and children needed to have that courage and confidence to come forward themselves. so i became a voice for young people. obviously, it must be quite challenging being
in care, i'd imagine it's not the easiest situation for children. you say you want to make it a happy experience for children. how can awe chief that practically?” experience for children. how can awe chief that practically? i -- how can you achieve that practically? by encouraging them to come alongside myself an the other children i work with to some of the presentations that we do, that show the fun and the work we do. and just talking to kids and explaining my story and how it's similar to other kids. and just getting them engaged and involved in different activities and showing them the positive side instead of them the positive side instead of the negative side of care. indeed. i'm sure you will go on to do more great work. congratulations. thank you. applause our next young citizen award goes to 18—year—old harry mccann from county kildare. you could call harry a real whizz kid. he founded his first business at the age of 15 — called kid tech. over the space of 16 months, he taught over 800 children to computer code. and in 2014, he founded the world's
first digital youth council. he was nominated by the rotary club of naas. let's find out more about harry. hi harry. hole low. what generally happens here on a tuesday evening, 20 or so local kids come in to learn how to code. we introduce kids as young as seven to coding and get them involved in notjust being users of technology, but also creators of technology. i'm harry, i'm 18 years old. i'm a leading student and the founder and director of the digital council of ireland. i'm an entrepreneur. i've a passion for technology and i enjoy sharing that with the kids. i think it's a great opportunity to be able to show them that they cannotjust use technology, but they can learn how to build things and control their technology as well. these kids are
very much my generation, they are just people on facebook, twitter and using youtube. but they're not. they understand that somebody‘s built it. and they understand if they put in a lot of work and understand technology, they too can build the next facebook, google, twitter, the next facebook, google, twitter, the next billion—dollar business online. i don't do it for the recognition. i've never worked to receive trophies or awards. it's always just been an added bonus. it's great encouragement for me to be able to go on and do other things after. it's a good motivator. it's great to be able to get involved in something that the kids enjoy, i enjoy doing and to be able to share a passion for technology that i have with other people, especially when the kids get to go on and have the opportunity to go and build bigger and greater things. applause congratulations harry. how do you feel? yeah, i'm honoured to receive the award. as i said in the vt, i
don't do it for the awards, or the recognition. it's nice to get at wards and it's great to be on stage with so many amazing other young people, but yeah, it's great. as i said, the kids as well, it's great that i can show other kids who are younger than me and who i'm working with that a lot of hard work and a lot of passion for something can lead to great things and this is one of them. why coding? yeah, that's a good question. why coding. i suppose it's just because i think it's the future. everyone has a phone in their pocket, everyone has a laptop 01’ their pocket, everyone has a laptop oripad their pocket, everyone has a laptop or ipad or whatever it might be. it's really important that we don't just become users of the technology, but builders of technology. it offers so many opportunities for young people and i think, they have a really great future if they understand not just how a really great future if they understand notjust how to use them but how to build things for them as well. any future bill gates amongst your lot? i bet they pick it up quickly. it's incredible. some kids
come in and code websites and build apps but they can't tie their shoe laces. who needs to tie laces! you're coming in and you think, they might be next bill gates, and they still need their mums and dads to come along with them. it's amazing. it's the future and you're part of it. harry, congratulations. thank you very much. applause our next winner is mohamed khalil. mohamed grew up in syria. he was forced to flee the country with his family when he was 10, having been shot during an attack on his school. he watched his friends die and had to play dead to survive. having moved to england, mohamed started going to leeds city academy. he was nominated by the rotary club of leeds. ian bucknell has been to meet him. mohammed is a 16—year—old, growing up mohammed is a 16—year—old, growing up in leeds, getting ready for his gcse in foot technology. nothing
remarkable about that, but how he got here, well, that's another story. mohammed was growing up in syria, when his school was attacked. he saw his friends being killed and was himself shot in the leg. to survive, he pretended to be dead until the attackers had gone. survive, he pretended to be dead until the attackers had gonelj survive, he pretended to be dead until the attackers had gone. i cry when i sleep because i can remember my friends. in my head, it's not going from my head. like, i close the room, i sit in and i cry because every time i think about the bad things that happened to me. mohammed's family fled syria and eventually made a home in leeds. his mum has had surgery for cancer and his dad injured his back at work. so mohammed looks after them both and helps support the family with money that he makes from working in a restau ra nt. that he makes from working in a restaurant. his teachers are astonished at the progress mohammed has made. in school, as at home, he's made it hisjob to help others. his story is what pushes him. his
story is what makes him want to change things. seeing the war at such a young age, he speaks about helping people that have been through that, that aren't managing as well as him. mohammed plans to dedicate the the rest of his life to helping other people. sometimes i feel like i don't need a lot of money, i want to help, if i have money, i want to help, if i have money i want to give it to other people. if you help children, you feel like happy. ? applause congratulations, how do you feel to be here? happy. you went through some terrible things in syria. how do you think they changed you as a person and made you who you are? made me more stronger and confident and to help other people who have bad life before. now you work a lot here to look after your family.
yeah. you've had some problems with things here as well. my mum get sick, she had operation of cancer andi sick, she had operation of cancer and i was very worried for her because my mum isjust all and i was very worried for her because my mum is just all the thing i have in my whole life, my mum and my family. when she got sick, i was like very worried. i went shopping for her to help her more because i'm the big and i want to help her shopping, bring my brotherfrom the school and my dad is sick as well. he can't work properly. that's why. soa he can't work properly. that's why. so a difficult time for you and you work ina so a difficult time for you and you work in a restaurant as well as keeping up with your school work. yeah, i was work in the restaurant to help more to make more money to give to my dad and my family to bring more stuff. so how does it feel now to be given this award and for everybody to be saying well done, we recognise how hard you're working. thank you. ifeel done, we recognise how hard you're working. thank you. i feel like very exciting because people read my story and i really happy about the award. i want to thank everyone who
is here. i want to say thank you to everyone. congratulations to you. thank you very much. thank you for talking to us. applause for the second year, we're presenting the rotary young citizen wheelchair sports award, sponsored by the british wheelchair sport charity wheelpower. the award goes to 15—year—old kare adenagan. kare, who was born with diplegic cerebral palsy, was inspired by the london 2012 paralympics to take up wheelchair racing. four years later, she brought home three medals from rio. she nowjuggles the life of a full—time athlete as well as taking her gcses. nick clitheroe has been to meet her. pushing hard in every training session to be the best. but fast times on the track aren't the only target for 16—year—old kare this year. maths and french revision are
just as important with her gcses around the corner. it makes for a busy schedule. guy toe school for about ——i busy schedule. guy toe school for about —— i go to school for about 8am, then lessons to apm. then an hour at home and onto the track. 0n the track for two hours. after the track session, i have home work as well. it's busy, but i know it will all be worth it injuly. well. it's busy, but i know it will all be worth it in july. kare was born with cerebral palsy diplegia. she took up wheelchair racing after watching london 2012. four years later, she came home from rio with a silver and two brms, to the —— bronze medals, to the delight of fellow pupils at school.|j bronze medals, to the delight of fellow pupils at school. i was so proud and i just, fellow pupils at school. i was so proud and ijust, i almost cried, well i did cry. proud and ijust, i almost cried, well! did cry. my proud and ijust, i almost cried, well i did cry. my family gathered in front of the tv about half an hour before the race, waiting to see her. when we saw it, it was fantastic. i was so happy for her. their support will be important this year. they're not the only ones. this sport doesn't come cheap. this
new chair has cost more than £11,000. the world para athletics championships in london are the target. expectations are high, but so is the bevel of competition.” wa nt to so is the bevel of competition.” want to medal at london 2017. i've been working quite hard and been training hard. ijust hope that i can geta training hard. ijust hope that i can get a podium finish, despite gcses and despite what a busy year it is. ijust want gcses and despite what a busy year it is. i just want to gcses and despite what a busy year it is. ijust want to be there in front of the home crowd. but she is determined that she will inspire the next generation, as she was inspired by the london paralympics. that was kare adenagan — winner of the rotary young citizen wheelchair sports award. she can't be here today, as she's at a family birthday party. we wish her well. and send on our congratulations. applause our next award goes to 14—year—old aidan jackson. aidan's raised over £16,000 for charity in just two years. he was diagnosed with asperger‘s
syndrome in 2011, so sometimes struggles with everyday situations, making his fundraising efforts all the more incredible. aidan was nominated by the rotary club of widnes. andy gill has the story. i don't like that picture. aidan and his mum caroline flick through a scrapbook of his fundraising exploits, at their home in widnes. he started on a small scale, but the death in 2014 of his close friend 0livia alice walker, at the age of just 15, really lit his fundraising fuse. i wanted to help out her family as much as possible and when they wanted to set up a charity, it was like the main, like they ignited the spark. last august, aidan filled a sports stadium with 10,500 teddies to raise money. why is it so
important to you that you do this, that you do help people? even if it's just one person, that you do help people? even if it'sjust one person, that that you do help people? even if it's just one person, that one person it's going to make a big change to their life. it's going to help them out a lot. and all this despite the problems caused by his asperger‘s. despite the problems caused by his asperger's. day to day things were a struggle. they still are. but when it comes to fundraising, he's just a different person. as well as asperger's, aidan has a condition which causes him to walk on his toes. he may need surgery, which would keep him in plafrterfor six weeks —— plaster in six weeks and in splits for a year. i have to just try and deal with it, at my own pace, just slow down a little bit. aidan's raised more than £16,000 in just two years. he'll find out next week if he does need an operation or not. applause congratulations. how do you feel? it's just brilliant to receive this
award. i mean, it'sjust showing that there's not always just bad stories in the newspapers and the tv. it's showing that there is a lot of young people doing good things, showing that it's just brilliant what people can do when they put their minds to it. it's lovely to have good news about young people. tell us about asperger's, what difficulties have you had with that? mainly social and just trying to get around really. as a child, i struggled with making friends and trying to strike up conversation was people, but during my fundraising, it's been a lot easier to actually get to know people, giving people topics to talk about and just genuinely making new friends. what drove you to fundraise? what made you think one day, you know what, i'm going to raise some money? mainly to keep my friend 0livia's memory alive and to help out other people, making sure that what
happened to her doesn't happen to anyone else. indeed. fantastic work, congratulations. thank you for talking to us. thank you. applause 0ur our next award winner is 18—year—old molly comish, was determined to act, after seeing so many homeless people living and sleeping on the streets of ireland. she was nominated by the rotary club of bray for her idea of giving packs of essential items to homeless people in her hometown. let's see her in action. i was walking around dublin in december of 2015, and ijust saw i was walking around dublin in december of 2015, and i just saw the amount of homeless people and i decided that i needed to make a difference. so i'm trying any way. i'm18 difference. so i'm trying any way. i'm 18 years old and i live in cou nty i'm 18 years old and i live in county wicklow ireland. for me, dignity is being clean. so i thought
maybe i could put together a pack of things that we take for granted to keep us clean, that homeless people might not necessarily be able to pie. so ijust decided —— to buy. i decided to put it in a rucksack as well, because it's reusable. there's everything from scarves to gloves, to socks, to ear buds, to dee ode rant, deoderant, toothpaste, pretty much everything we all take for granted but need. everyone smiling and thanking me when they receiving them... hi guys, i'm going to leave some stuff here for you. that's just an amazing feeling in itself. people are just really happy to receive them, which makes it ten times better. it makes me really sad that people do have to live that way. but i'm trying my best to help them, make it a little bit easier. winning the award is amazing. i
neverin winning the award is amazing. i never in my wildest dream that i would have won it. so to win it is incredible. yeah, i couldn't believe it. i was over the moon. applause congratulations, how do you feel? i'm over the moon. i can't believe i've won it. it's amazing. it's such a simple idea, but such a lovely thought. what gave you the idea to come up with these dignity packs?” just saw so many homeless people on the streets, i thought this isn't right. i decided i wanted to make a change. i decided to make 30 by myself. i didn't tell my mum or dad or no—one. then they caught me bringing in 30 wet wipes and they we re bringing in 30 wet wipes and they were like, "what's going on? stop putting tooth brushes on the shopping listment then i had to tell them. it's expanded. we made 120 this year. wow. what's the reaction from people when you pass them over? everyone's so poopy. they —— so
happy. they want to hug you. it's a good feeling when you put them out. are you looking to expand it? we have our stage one charity status. now we're going to stage two. we wa nt to now we're going to stage two. we want to expand nationwide and maybe to the uk as well, which would be as well. we would love to get in contact with charities and maybe other rotary groups, because they are supportive of this idea. we would love to expand out. you had some attention from people like the irish health minister. are you surprised by how much attention it's got? it's kind of crazy. i thought it would be a little thing that no—one would know about. to be up here now in front of everybody is incredible. it started off as a small seed and now it's a big tree. congratulations to you. good luck with the future. thank you soup. —— thank you so much. applause 0urfinal award goes to sisters amber and sophia cowburn, aged 23 and 24. they founded the mental health charity, invictus trust, in 2011, after their 18—year—old brother killed himself in a psychiatric unit in cornwall.
they were nominated by the rotary club of truro, as noel phillips reports. 0ur brother was a party animal, life and soul of the party. he was a fashion student. he was very popular. he wasjust like fashion student. he was very popular. he was just like the greatest person. in 2010, ben was just 18 when he took his own life in an adult psychiatric unit in cornwall. within a few hours of losing ben, we were in disbelief. it should have happened. ben shouldn't have been able to take his own life ina have been able to take his own life in a mental health hospital. his sisters wanted to keep ben's legacy alive. so they set up their own charity, the invictus trust as a way to support other teenagers with mental health problems. after ben had passed away, not very long after, my mum sat down with us, my sisters and my dad and just said that she felt really strongly that
we had to change the services, really didn't want to be a family that became bitter, because we felt that became bitter, because we felt that ben had been let down. we needed to change what was available for teenagers in cornwall and what support and services could be enhanced and better provided. after three years of campaigning for a mental health unit for young people in cornwall, it was recently announced that the nhs will be building the first ever specialist unit in the county. it feels amazing. it's been seven years now that we've been running the charity, sometimes it's gone so fast. sometimes it's gone so slow. we've been lobbying for a unit. it's been a long, hard journey. we finally have confirmation that a unit will be built for young people in cornwall. ? applause congratulations. how do you feel to be getting this award? yeah, we are so thrilled. we're overwhelmed at receiving an award. we didn't think that this would get recognised in this way. we're just really proud of
what invictus has achieved. we're a family—run charity. we're really proud. how do you feel, tell me, about how your brother was let down by the existing services in cornwall at the time? i think as a family, it was really devastating. ben was 18, but onlyjust and went into an adult unit. we felt that the care didn't suit him. it wasn't very hopeful. it didn't understand him as a young person. we really felt that it let him down. then increasingly through out him down. then increasingly through our work, we realise had he been under18, he our work, we realise had he been under 18, he wouldn't have been seen in the county, as we have no mental health beds for young people. that became what we were lorying for, that there —— lobbying for, that there should be a young person's unit. we have the news that it will be built. this is a unit uniquely 18 to 25—year—olds, it crosses that bridge. currently it's £5 million put aside to start the build next year. it's for under 18s,
put aside to start the build next year. it's for under18s, because there's no under 18 provision in patient care in cornwall. what we're really lobbying for is to go 13 to 25. our view is that ben didn'tjust turn into an adult from going to bed at 17 and waking up at 18 the next day. which of us do, you hit the nail on the head. do you think your brother would be proud of the work you have done in his memory? we really hope so. invictus is completely in his memory. it's named after his tattoos and we use the anchor logo. it's a brand, young people would want to identify with. what's next for you ? people would want to identify with. what's next for you? it's busy. we go intoa what's next for you? it's busy. we go into a lot of schools and do talks and challenge and break down the stigma, make everybody aware that everyone has mental health it just depends where you are on the tech trum on that day and —— spectrum on that day and it changes. with eare campaigning to make sure this build is innovative and cornish
children are cared for in cornwall. they're in good hands. congratulations both. thank you very much for talking to us. thank you. applause and joining me now is the president of rotary international in great britain and ireland, eve conway, who started the rotary young citizen awards ten years ago. idid, you i did, you were there as well. we we re i did, you were there as well. we were there ten years ago.” i did, you were there as well. we were there ten years ago. i can't believe. it we still look as young as we did then. of course, younger! what about the stories that you've heard here today? inspirational. that's why the awards were started ten yea rs that's why the awards were started ten years ago to show case positive young role models like the people we have here today and overcome negative stereotypes. because then as now, the headlines are so often dominated by bad news about young people. we know that the majority of young people aren't like that. with rotary, we have so many projects, young citizen awards, our
inspirational youngsters today, youth leadership awards, young musician, we know that young people are our futures. we musician, we know that young people are ourfutures. we need musician, we know that young people are our futures. we need to invest in them really. and celebrate their achievements. yes. thank you very much. eve conway, thank you for joining us. so congratulations to all this year's winners, who were nominated by rotary clubs across britain and ireland. i'm sure you'll agree we've met some very impressive youngsters. we've been moved and i'm sure we've all been inspired. i know i have. congratulations to all of you. thank you very much forjoining us this year. bye—bye. applause hello. if you like warm weather and sunshine, i think you'll find plenty to enjoy in this weekend. plenty of sunshine for many. the sunshine fairly strong, pretty high uv levels
for the time of year. and turning warm as well. as you can see, the rest of today brings sunny skies for almost all of us, just the far north of scotla nd almost all of us, just the far north of scotland sticking with more cloud, the odd spot of drizzle and breezier weather. come further south and we're looking at highs of 21, maybe 22 degrees. always cooler close to the coasts. this evening and tonight, it stays dry, under clear skies temperatures will actually drop away, quite considerably. there'll be the odd fog patch. towns and cities hold up around seven degrees, some rural spots will get cold enough for a touch of grass frost. tomorrow, one or two early fog patches. for england and wales, it's another sunny day, just extra cloud for western coasts later. clouding over for scotland and northern ireland. 0utbreaks for scotland and northern ireland. outbreaks of rain arriving here. cool towards the north west. parts of the south—east could get 25 degrees. this is bbc news. i'm maxine mawhinney. the headlines at 11:00: swedish police are questioning a man they believe is the driver of a lorry which killed four people when it was driven at
pedestrians in stockholm. police said they were unable to confirm local television reports of explosives being found inside the truck. the united states warns syria that further military action can't be ruled out over its use of chemical weapons. more disruption for passengers as rail workers across england stage another strike. there's a warning of travel delays expected around the grand national. also in the next hour, honouring seven young people who've made extraordinary contributions to their communities. we'll speak to 18—year—old tech entrepreneur harry mccann, who's helped hundreds of children learn to code. he's got faster by two tenths of a second. he has set the bar and raised it even higher.