Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill and Assistant Chief Constable James Vaughan paid tribute to a number of young people who had been nominated for their contribution to making Dorset a safer place to live at a recent awards ceremony held in Hamworthy.
Five individuals and six groups were recognised from across Dorset for efforts in their communities. Paying tribute to the young people Mr Underhill said, “It was a wonderful evening, which left me feeling humbled to see so many young people contributing to their communities, putting others first and making Dorset a safer place to live – an amazing achievement given their ages.”
Also in attendance was the Lord Lieutenant, Angus Campbell who presented the Individual Youth Award to Crystal-Lily Mills who spoke at the No Excuse for Abuse Domestic Violence Conference in November 2014. Despite being only 16 years old, Crystal volunteered to address an audience of over 200 professionals at the conference, and relate her very personal experience of being a child affected by domestic abuse. She also does a vast array of voluntary work, particularly in the field of equality.
The Group Award was presented by Dorset’s High Sheriff, Jennifer Coombs and was won by Budmouth School for their work around student safety. Budmouth Organisation for Student Safety, BOSS provides new students with escorts around the large school campus, have run a conference in relation to anti bullying and have raised awareness of e-safety launching their own website to highlight these issues.
The PCC Youth Award for excellence was presented by Martyn himself to Ben Howard aged 14, who had been nominated by Lychett Minster and Upton Town Council, where he has served as a Youth Advisor for a year influencing the council in relation to issues affecting young people such as the need for additional road safety measures.
The town council stated in their nomination that, ‘Young people like Ben who become involved at an early age, are the future community leaders, and should be encouraged in their interest and passion.’
The Lord Lieutenant also paid tribute to all the young people present, “Too often people have a negative view of young people and don’t recognise them for the good work they do or for what they achieve. Hopefully these will become annual awards giving young people the recognition they deserve.”