Meet our trio of inspirational Innovative Young People
We’d like to introduce you to our three amazing Innovative Young People of 2021 winners.
The competition shines a spotlight on those who’ve shown excellent entrepreneurial or community-minded spirit and demonstrated inspiring ways to further their education or boost career aspirations.
At the end of 2021 members of the public submitted nominations and a panel representing teams from across The Nottingham met to decide the outstanding candidate in the 10-13, 14-17 and 18-21 age categories.
Each winner received a £250 tech voucher and the honour of being one of our Innovative Young People of 2021.
Head of People and Development, Anne Leivers, says: “We received really high calibre submissions however we are confident we’ve chosen extremely deserving winners.
“They are all positive examples of how dedicated and inspirational so many of our young people are, and the innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to support others in the community so many of them possess.
“Our aim is that by showcasing their stories and providing resources through our online Career Academy, which contains lots of information about how careers can be achieved, that we can help and guide many others to achieve their ambitions too.”
Eve Woods, 13, from Searby in Lincolnshire
Eve was nominated by family friend Julie Andrew, who described the incredible lengths she goes to in helping some of the most in-need and vulnerable people in the community.
Julie said: “Despite her own challenges due to dyslexia, Eve is incredible. She gives up many hours of her time volunteering for We Are One Poverty Alliance, including spending most weekends working at a food bank and soup kitchen for the homeless.
“Eve and her mum also arranged to collect food from a local food manufacturing company that was nearing its sell by date, for the charity to use. She ended up with soups, sauces and porridge pots which could all be used to support those in difficult circumstances.
“Last year Eve also organised for friends and neighbours in her local village and surrounding areas to donate easter eggs so that people attending the food bank and homelessness shelter could each have one of their own. It resulted in a collection of 400 eggs!”
“And during one of the lockdowns Eve also raised £650 for the charity through a sponsored bike ride, and she continues to look for opportunities to support this fantastic organisation.”
Sidra Husejnovic, 16, from Sneinton in Nottingham
With the support of youth empowerment charity ThinkForward progression coach James Barnsley, Nottingham Academy sixth form student Sidra has risen from a Year 9 pupil lacking in confidence to someone who aims to become a commercial pilot.
And her business ideas have certainly taken off!
James, who nominated Sidra for the award, said: “Sidra has been demonstrating her entrepreneurial skills since the age of 15 when she started buying cheap cars. Her dad, a former army mechanic, did the repairs and the vehicles were sold on at a profit.
“In 2021 Sidra moved into the pallet business, buying job lots of returns from retailers. She sorts through all the items and sets up a spreadsheet with the recommended retail price, the price she will sell the product for, and the profit she will make. The goods are mainly sold to neighbours or via Facebook.
“Sidra has put 75% of all her profits towards the cost of learning to fly and the rest towards building a deposit to buy a house with her parents. She has researched mortgage options and wants to let out the property to students. The profits will help support the cost of learning to fly.
“Last year Sidra started writing poetry and took part in a spoken word event where she performed poems based on her personal experiences. She enjoyed it and it has been good preparation for the world of work - giving her confidence and taking her out of her comfort zone.”
A runner-up prize of a £100 tech voucher and the honour of becoming our Young Community Champion of 2021 has also been announced as a discretionary award in this category – to 14-year-old Amina Hussain from Wollaton.
Nottingham Girls’ High School pupil Amina has undertaken many hours of volunteering in her free time, including getting involved in a library summer reading challenge, running the tuck shop at her local mosque and supporting food banks at both the Hope Nottingham and Guru Nanak’s Mission charities to provide meals for those who need them the most.
Brandon Louth, 19, from Eastwood in Nottingham
Brandon has become an inspiration to his peers, making real difference to young people across Nottingham through his work with The Wolfpack Project - leading to him being nominated by the charity’s Founder and CEO Damien Reynolds.
He has dedicated over 100 hours of his own time to be an active and frequent volunteer for the charity that has a mission to reduce loneliness and isolation amongst young people in the city and to promote positive mental health.
Damien explained: “Since joining our Youth Advisory Board, Brandon has helped change the lives of many younger people through his volunteering and by initiating a wonderful pilot project.
“He has personally delivered assemblies to post-16 students at West Bridgford School, as well as showcasing The Wolfpack Project’s work via promotion on the school’s TVs and e-newsletters. His incredible efforts have reached over 100 students and the pilot has now been rolled out to other schools.
“As well as taking a leading role in chairing many Youth Advisory Board meetings, he has also researched and delivered reports on areas such as social media engagement, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and the Covid vaccination programme and the impact of that on younger people specifically.”
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