YOUTH: Top award for Clitheroe Youth Forum

AWARD: Clitheroe Youth Forum members are presented with their award for Community Engagement by County Coun. John Shedwick, chairman of the county council, and chief superintendant Stuart Williams, divisional commander of southern division of the Lancashire Constabulary. (s)
AWARD: Clitheroe Youth Forum members are presented with their award for Community Engagement by County Coun. John Shedwick, chairman of the county council, and chief superintendant Stuart Williams, divisional commander of southern division of the Lancashire Constabulary. (s)

A GROUP of young people from Clitheroe who have made a significant contribution to the community were joined by celebrities and other dignitaries at a major awards ceremony.

Clitheroe Youth Forum members were recognised at Lancashire’s Celebrate Youth, event which was organised by Lancashire County Council’s Young People’s Service.

Over a period of two years, Clitheroe Youth Forum worked together to create a remembrance book and a website to commemorate the 83 servicemen and women from the Clitheroe and Ribble Valley area who died during the Second World War.

During this project, 120 medals were awarded to surviving veterans plus the widows and families of those who had died.

Many presentations took place in churches, town halls and community centres, involving representatives from the armed forces, cadets, civic leaders, members of community groups, the Royal British Legion and the county council.

As a result of this project, the eldest veteran, Sam Brearley, was, at the age of 98, awarded seven Second World War medals and invited to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council’s Young People’s Service said: “The winners of the award for community engagement should be proud of the success of this project and what it means to the families of those who gave their lives so bravely during the Second World War.”

Clitheroe Youth Forum chairman Mel Diack MBE said: “To have received this award is an honour for the group, especially as it means we are being recognised throughout the county for the work done. The young people worked hard over several years and helped many veterans, families and widows, as well as finding out about their own relatives who were involved in the Second World War.”

The awards ceremony, which took place at Park Hall, Charnock Richard, was compered by Ali Kahn, a company director at Big Comedy Shop. Ali was assisted by Daniel McLaughlin, who won a competition to co-present the ceremony.

The evening’s proceedings were streamed online, so that people who were unable to attend the event had the chance to enjoy it. Twelve youth clubs opened for their members to watch the live stream of the ceremony.

Ali Kahn has worked with the county council’s Young People’s Service on a number of initiatives. “Young people need to be more celebrated in today’s world – not all tarnished with a negative brush that we read or hear about in the media,” said Ali.