Newark's Darren Yemm wins Nottinghamshire County Council's 4Uth award
A young man from Newark has won a county award.
Darren Yemm has been named as Nottinghamshire's County Council's 4Uth county award winner at an awards ceremony last night.
The 20 year old, who appeared on BBC's The One show for helping shape the future of care services for children, has been a member of the Children in Care Council since 2010.
He is one of just 0.2% of UK care leavers who make it into higher education, having just started his first year at the University of Lincoln.
The 4Uth awards are a county council initiative to celebrate the achievements of young people across the county.
Darren said: “Winning the 4Uth awards is so special. The past eight years have made me who I am and I am now moving onto university. I say to everyone out there, just go for it. You are not going to lose anything by trying new things, you are just going to gain new experiences.”
Nottinghamshire County Council Leader Councillor Mrs Kay Cutts MBE said: “This year’s 4Uth award finalists were all exceptionally good applications but Darren’s especially stood out for me because he has taken control of his own life.
“He decided what he wanted out of life – his home circumstances had not always been so helpful and he came into the care of the county council when he was a teenager. He then decided he was going to take advantage of all of the things that were offered.
“I have a huge amount of admiration for him. I think what an outstanding young man he is, a real tribute to himself, and also his foster carers who made sure he has got the best out of life.
“We are all very grateful to him for his work steering other young people and I think he will go a long way. If he continues to make an impression on other young people and the rest of the world, I’m sure he will have a huge amount to contribute.”
Nottinghamshire County Council Chairman, Councillor Mrs Sue Saddington said: "All the winners from each district and borough were worth the award, but I do feel Darren, who has worked in care homes and helped give advice to others, just went that extra mile. I was delighted he was chosen as the overall winner, it was well deserved."
Mr Steven Tupper, County Commissioner, Nottinghamshire Scouts, nominated Darren for the awards, along with county council youth workers Emma Betteridge and Debbie Swanwick.
Mr Tupper said: “Darren works at a local, regional and national level, and for someone that’s had so many challenges in life I think that is amazing. He will never meet the majority of young people nationwide who will benefit from his work. To come through the care system, recognise he could put something back into the care system and get a University place is a real achievement.”
There were approximately 80 4Uth nominations this year – with entries received from friends, family members, youth workers and people working in the voluntary, public and private sector. Judging panels decided the district winners, and a separate judging panel assessed the final seven.
For more details about the awards visit the Nottinghamshire County Council website: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/4Uth.