A TEENAGE volunteer at Settle stories has won one of the awards at a top county event.

Catherine Sawyer won the young people volunteering award at North Yorkshire County Council’s annual community awards recently.

The awards, now in their third year, recognise and celebrate voluntary work by individuals and organisations countywide. They were presented at the North Yorkshire Wider Partnership Conference at The Pavilions, Harrogate.

There were 102 nominations for 85 community groups, organisations or individuals from across the county in total and from these nominations, a shortlist was drawn up and finalists selected in each of the four categories.

Catherine has volunteered at Settle Stories for two years and has been instrumental in the delivery of their Heritage Lottery-funded project, Tom Twisleton 100.

Her ideas were at the forefront of the grant application and upon receiving the grant she has been at the heart of the strategic thinking for the project and has been a key member and contributor to the steering group. 

She has rounded up all her friends and managed to get peers at her school interested in engaging with local heritage and has communicated on behalf of other young people and helped the project staff think about the project from the perspective of what will engage local teenagers’ enthusiasm.

The awards showcase the voluntary work done by people to make their neighbourhoods better places to live and to help the council to deliver critical services, such as providing social networks that reduce isolation and enable people to live independently for longer.

The judging panel, including representatives from the County Council, volunteer organisations, employers and young people, was impressed by the quality of the nominees.

Councillor Helen Swiers, Chairman of the County Council, said: “These awards celebrate the contribution so many people make to supporting North Yorkshire’s residents of all ages.

Organisations and individual volunteers make such a big contribution to the lives of people across the county.

“It was difficult to select the finalists and even more difficult to choose the winners. All the

entries show how much hard work people put into helping their communities.  We have so many people in our county who are willing to give their time and share those skills to the benefit of others. Without the tens of thousands of hours the volunteers give, life for so many people would be much poorer.”

The winner of each category receives £1,000 for the relevant project, group or nominated local charity in the case of the volunteer awards. Runners-up each receive £250.

In the other categories, the best community project was won by Men in Sheds based in Pickering and Kirkbymoorside; the best community group was Yorkshire Coast Sight Support in Scarborough; and the volunteer of the year was Su Morgan of Tadcrafters in Tadcaster.