An uplifting emotional night at the Wolverhampton Young Citizen of the Year Awards

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Winner Keisha Riley.,Lisa Potts, Mayor Sandra Samuels OBE , Roger Timbrell, Louis Johnson 16, Megan Baynham 22, Molly Kerin 18, Caroline Smith 16, Ramandeep Nijjar 18, Annette Okeke 18, Emma Falconer 19, and Kye Barton on the screen

Hosted by Wolverhampton Mayor Councilor Sandra Samuels OBE, the Civic Center event paid tribute to young people in the city who have gone the extra mile to help others.

The guest of honor was Lisa Potts, now Lisa Webb, who was awarded Freedom of the City earlier this year for her charity work and bravery in protecting children from a knife at her school in 1996.

She said: “Hearing all the stories from the children and young people tonight has been so inspiring, they are all a credit to themselves and to their city of Wolverhampton.”

Keisha Riley, 15, from Bilston, picked up the main prize in the 13-18 age category. She was nominated by the African Caribbean Community Initiative for her strong support to the wider community.

She told the Express and the Star: “I’m so honored to win this award, it’s not just an award for me, it’s for everyone at ACCI and all the good work that is done there. .

“I’ve been volunteering there since I was nine and hope my example will inspire other young people to help others.”

The finalist was Ramandeep Nijjar, an alumnus of Wolverhampton Girls’ High School, who has been recognized for his service to the school and the community.

Kye Barton has had success in the 18-25 category for his work with care leavers. Out of care himself, he now works for the Strengthening Families Hub service.

Unfortunately, Kye was unable to attend the awards in person as he contracted Covid-19, so he followed the proceedings via web link.

The finalist was Emma Falconer for her outstanding leadership in the Bilston Guides and her broader community service.

The winners received a trophy and £100 for themselves, plus £100 for the charity of their choice. Finalists received a trophy and £50 for the charity of their choice.

The ceremony also saw a special recognition award given to Louis Johnson, 16, for his amazing fundraising efforts over a seven-year period which saw him raise £48,000 for 18 charities.

Another award went to Megan Baynham who campaigned tirelessly on behalf of fellow HY5 members! Wolverhampton Council Special Educational Needs Group.

She said: “To do anything in this world you have to move on and drive. I had a great night and my favorite part was getting my special plaque.”

Finalists Caroline Smith, Annette Okeke and Molly Kerin have all received funds for a charity of their choice.

The awards are run by the Rotary Clubs of Wolverhampton and are supported by organizations such as the Express & Star and the Wolverhampton Council.

Roger Timbrell, president of the jury, said: “These young people are wonderful role models.” Wolverhampton Mayor’s Adviser Samuels added: “The quality of the nominations this year was fantastic. And it was wonderful that the people who nominated these remarkable young people were able to come to the event.”

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