Youth projects celebrated

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YOUNG people became prom kings and queens in an American-themed awards night celebrating their achievements in youth projects.

The Oscar style event - dubbed the YOFSCARs – was organised by young people to honour their peers, aged 11-19, who took part in three competitions.

The ‘Fear Horror House’, based in Crawley, was awarded ‘Best Youth Opportunity Fund (YOF) Project’. It was built with just £350 from the YOF to raise money for St Catherine’s Hospice. With 12 friends from the local drama school who volunteered as “scare” actors, Sean Rouse raised more than £200 for the charity.

The West Sussex Children In Care Council (CICC) won ‘Best Locality Youth Forum’ for producing a user-friendly care assessment booklet with social services, and one for young people entering the care system.

The CICC has also held three consultation events giving children and young people in care a voice on how to improve services they use. It has also been working with the Corporate Parenting Panel to produce a pledge from West Sussex County Council, to get the best care provided.

Worthing Youth Council won ‘Best Community Project’ for producing schemes that have had a positive effect on the community. One of these projects involved an exchange visit with Worthing’s twin town in Germany. It has also created the ‘Use It Don’t Abuse It’ environmental campaign that was supported by Norwich Union and the volunteer organisation V.

The three organisations were awarded £500 each. Former County Council Cabinet Member Pat Arculus and Youth Mayor Matthew Badcock gave out the cheques.

Nigel Peters, West Sussex County Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Children and Families, and Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, also gave out awards for Takeover Day, where young people get the chance to ‘take over’ job roles in organisations, including the County Council.

Nigel said: “The night was a great example of young people’s achievements, giving their peers the chance to benefit from activities and services available to them.”

Young people, who have benefited from Youth Opportunity and Youth Capital funding, gave performances, from cheerleading and steel band playing to boxercise and circus acts.