Previous winners

2017 Finalists

Gareth Rafferty (Winner)

Gareth was nominated by Alice Vickers, a corporate parenting officer, for his overwhelming commitment to looked after children and care leavers.
He has come through the city’s care system and co-chairs the Care Leavers Forum, which is a driving force for change to improve the lives and opportunities for LAC’s.
Over the past year Gareth has represented the forum at senior leadership meetings and hosted the city’s Care Leaver week celebrations.
When Ofsted inspected children’s services in the Wolverhampton earlier this year, Gareth chaired a meeting with inspectors and was interviewed by the BBC for their coverage of the ‘Good’ rating.
He has also won the award for youth achievement at the prestigious Prince Albert 150 Mayoral awards, and was also successful at the I-Awards, which celebrates the achievements of LAC’s and care leavers over the last 12 months.
When we interviewed Gareth, he said that he hadn’t done anything that other people in his position wouldn’t have done. We all agreed that on that particular point, he was being a tad modest.
Gareth has devoted so much of his time to helping others, despite the many challenges he has faced in his own life.
Yet he has still managed great personal success. He has just finished his studies at Willenhall E-Act Academy and is going on to study at Derby University in September.

Darram Koomer (Runner up)

Darram was nominated by Eugenio Ciliberti, a former Youth Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, who described him as ‘one of those dynamic people who go that extra mile’.
He was elected to the city’s Youth Council two years ago and has become a key voice for young people in Wolverhampton, focusing on issues including youth engagement, transport and mental health.
He made a speech in the House of Commons in November last year - which is available on Youtube and is well worth watching. I would say he could teach some of our MPs a thing or two about holding a crowd.
He was a member of The Way development team, providing advice that has helped the Youth Zone become one of the city’s major successes.
Darram has also provided the council with guidance on the city centre Westside development.
A student at The Royal School, he volunteers with Year 4 pupils, helping them to read.
He has also served as an NHS Youth Advisor, where he has raised awareness of mental health issues.
As you may have guessed, he has a passion for politics and public debate, and Darram plans to stand for the role of Youth Police and Crime Commissioner later this year.
It is fair to say that Darram is an extremely pro-active young man, with a real passion for encouraging young people to be active in their communities.

Amy Nicholas (Runner Up)

Amy was nominated by Matt Sacco from Kic FM, who says she has made an outstanding contribution to the community as part of her role in the Kicsters programme.
Amy works with youngsters that would fall into the ‘hard to reach’ category, and says she is passionate about stopping young people from joining gangs by showing them that there is something more for them to aim for in life.
She has also worked to stop vandalism in her community, with a particularly focus being on damage to graveyards.
Amy has also volunteered to help train young people in various aspects of the media, including radio, newspaper journalism, photography and video.
She has shown a passionate commitment to her local area, conducting public consultations and running youth forums and workshops.
In the coming weeks she is set to take part in a meeting with MPs to discuss how to improve local communities.
It is fair to say that she has been a role model for youngsters in and around Bushbury and Low Hill, her passion and enthusiasm proving to be an inspiration.
She has also played an active role in promoting digital citizenship, which culminated in her receiving an award for her efforts to help improve communication between the young and the old.
Amy is keen on a future career in the media, and is set to study broadcast media at the University of Wolverhampton in September.

Kathryn Safrany

Kathryn was nominated by her teacher Rebecca Brett, who describes her as a First Aid champion in her community.
She has been a member of Pendeford St John Ambulance for nearly 4 years, and has worked her way up the ranks to become the Leading Cadet.
Kathryn is the highest rated Non-Commission Officer in her unit, and was named the district cadet of the year after passing a gruelling interview process with flying colours. She also helps train younger cadets.
As part of her role with St John Ambulance, Kathryn has worked at the Molineux and the Grand Theatre, but she says her services are often required when she least expects it – such as when she was out shopping and an elderly gentleman fell and cut his head.
Fortunately Kathryn was able to save the day.
Teachers at Kathryn’s school say that she has a ‘can do’ attitude in everything she does. She is always willing to help out with charity work and other school events.
She has also demonstrated she can juggle First Aid work with school work by achieving 9xA/A* and 3xB grades in her GCSEs.
Kathryn has also volunteered with the Badgers, in a role that involves running and organising sessions to assist youth leaders.
A sign of Kathryn’s dedication – and indeed her parents - could be seen on the day of her interview for this award, when she travelled up from Cardiff.
In her interview Kathryn told us her goal is to put Wolverhampton on the map and show the world that this is a place where young people can flourish.

Megan Harrison

Megan was nominated by Smestow’s deputy head teacher, Mrs Lawrence, who says she has been an amazing role model for others by encouraging more pupils to become active in sport.

Using the Sport England initiative This Girl Can as a guide, Megan developed her own group within the school called Girls Can, with the aim of using sport to help other students to become more confident.

She targeted girls who were shy and lacked confidence, and encouraged them to participate in a variety of sports to help develop life skills such as leadership and team work, as well as improving educational achievement.

Megan has organised sports sessions in school, taken girls on external visits and encouraged them to showcase their talents through a dance and arts show.

She has also runs a weekly lunch club for the girls that she works with.

She admits that it has not always been easy, and at times she has had to battle to keep the group together.

The results have been spectacular. Many of the girls Megan works with say their confidence and self-esteem has grown immeasurably since they joined her group.

However, one of the things that really impressed the judging panel - aside from Megan’s devotion to helping others and her drive to see others succeed – is the fact that she is so determined that the project continues after she has left school.

She has already taken steps to ensure that happens, and wants to see Girls Can taken up by other schools in the city.

Amy Richards

Amy has been nominated for her efforts to help her disabled brother and for her impressive fundraising exploits.
Her disabled brother is 14 and it is fair to say that Amy has a hugely positive influence on his life.
On one occasion she actually saved him from, serious harm when he had an epileptic fit while in the deep end of a swimming pool.
Amy has completed a number of charity events over the past 12 months, including the Carvers bike ride for Sunnyside Kennels, a 5k fun run at Aldersley for Lupus UK, the Round the Wrekin 24 mile cycle event for Compton Hospice and the Onesie Walk for Dudley Zoo.
In the process she has raised hundreds of pounds for worthy causes.
As an army cadet, based in Wombourne, Amy regularly attends parades and events, and recently took part in the city’s Armed Forces Day celebrations.
At school she takes time out from studying for her GCSEs to help mentor younger pupils.
She is very much a character for whom there are simply not enough hours in the day to cram in everything she wants to do.
As her mother Debbie says, Amy is a credit to Wolverhampton. We need more Amy’s in the world. 

Brandon O'Kelly

When Brandon found out that his granddad had cancer, he organised a sponsored swim that culminated in him raising £600 for the ward at New Cross Hospital that treated his granddad.
The money was used books and a cupboard for student doctors and nurses to use to help them with their studies.
Brandon said he wanted to give something back to staff at the hospital, who he says were instrumental in helping his granddad through a very difficult time.
Brandon is, by all accounts, a super Scout.
As a highly valued member of Wolverhampton’s 37th Scout group, he has achieved his chief scout gold award and has been particularly active in helping new members of the group to get used to the scouts way of life.
He has recently joined the Young Leaders programme, and continues to help with the training and development of beavers – which are young scouts aged between 6 and 8 and a half.
Brandon gives up a great deal of his spare time to helping others, and helps out with an OAP bingo night.
He always thrives to achieve to the very best of his abilities, no matter what obstacles are put in his way

2016 Finalists

Emma Curran (Winner)

Emma joined the Wolverhampton City Youth Council in 2013. She became Chairman in 2014/15 and Membership and Democracy Officer in 2016. She has represented the City on the National Youth Parliament. She is Youth Crime Commissioner for the City.

Alfie Baugh

Alfie was runner up for the second year because he has continued his charity and community service activities. His most recent project was to walk from Manchester to Wolverhampton (15 miles a day) in aid of Diabetes U.K. He raised £5000.

Chelsea Rist

Chelsea has been taking part in beauty pageants for some years. She has used her involvement to raise funds for various charities.

Louis Johnson

Louis has been fund raising for Compton Hospice and other charities for over five years.

Maresha Grewal

Maresha was nominated by her school where she was Deputy Head girl, because she was so proactively involved in charity events. She is dedicated to the sport of taekwondo. She was a black belt at 13, has won medals at National events and has coached younger children in taekwondo and other sports for many years. She is studying sports science at Worcester University.

Orla Hartshorne

Orla was nominated by her school because she participated in many community service events to help others. She has a particular passion for the Fairtrade Foundation.

Dorothea Moriarty

Nominated by the mother of a boy who has Aspergers Syndrome to whom she showed exceptional compassion, support and kindness. Dorothea was also nominated by her school.

Sophie Thorpe

Sophie was nominated by a member of her church community for her commitment to inspiring others through Beavers, as head chorister at her church and Head Girl at her school. She has mentored younger children and has a passion for helping people in underdeveloped parts of the world. She is currently spending a ‘Gap Year’ teaching in a remote part of Nepal.

2015 Finalists

Ramnik Uppal (Winner)

Ramnik was nominated by her school for being an exceptional Head Girl. Her dedication to helping others and leadership qualities made her an outstanding role model. In addition she undertook community service at week ends in a nursing home and charity shop.

Kashmire Hawker

Kashmire was nominated by a charity called Changing Young Lives where he was a Young Leader. The Charity is a rights based organisation working with young people and adults to stand up for their rights and to be seen as people first, irrespective of their disability. In addition he was a member of Wolverhampton Youth Council and the U.K Youth Parliament and on the youth development committee for ‘The Way’. He is autistic.

Alfie Baugh

Alfie raised £680 for Comic Relief by selling red nose cupcakes. He printed fliers to advertise it and successfully asked Peter James Estate Agents to match what he raised. He writes a community newspaper for his housing estate, does litter picks, puts dustbins out for the elderly and organised a community bonfire night.

Sophie Evans

Sophie was nominated for her outstanding contribution to scouting in Bilston. She progressed through Beavers, Cubs and Scouts to win the highest award in each and became a Young Leader and Assistant Cub Scout Leader. Her dedication and leadership have been exceptional.

Gursonia Clair and Anisha Aujlay

Gursonia and Anisha were nominated by their school for their charity work. As leaders of the school Charity Committee, they organised and led activities which raised £7000 for various charities including Compton Hospice, Macmillan cancer Support, and Cardiac Risk in the Young. They have organised fun runs, discos and hot dog sales on their own initiative. In addition they volunteered to run lunch time games clubs for Reception children.


2014 Finalists

Chelsey Cartwright (Winner)

Despite her disability, Chelsey demonstrated enormous courage and determination in setting herself challenges while she still had some sight to do them. She used these activities to raise funds for charity. These included a sponsored sky dive and sponsored canoe challenge in aid of Compton Hospice. In addition she participated in charity projects at her school, which nominated her.

Tom Davies

Since the age of six, Tom has been a dedicated Beaver, Cub Scout, Scout and Explorer Scout. When he was 18 he took out a warrant as Assistant Scout Leader. He worked towards his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and was Deputy Head boy at his school.

Jamie Griffiths

Jamie overcame serious illness in his second year at Secondary School to grow as a valued member of the school community. He organised front of house work for school productions. He showed enormous commitment and selfless support for others and was an excellent role model for his peers. He was elected Head Boy at his school.

Courtney Haynes

Courtney was a member of Wolverhampton Pioneer Ministries. She was nominated because of her dedication to supporting church activities such as I.T. support at services and creative dance projects. She helped run an urban skills course for adults who live at the YMCA and helped with those with learning difficulties.

Perry Hewson

Perry was nominated because he was a key helper at community engagement events put on by his local neighbourhood police team and Junior Fire Fighters courses. He became a role model for young people in the community ensuring that they stayed safe. He continually put others before himself at home and in the community.

Jack Quinton

As a young scout leader for some years, Jack trained scouts at camps and was selected to go to the World Jamboree in Japan. His kindness and selflessness was demonstrated by his willingness to help his father’s elderly and disabled aunt and to undertake charity fundraising.

Owain Roswell

Owain was nominated because he showed community spirit and leadership qualities through the Scouting movement and by undertaking fundraising and charity work in the community.