This year’s Leicestershire Young Person of the Year award has been given to a teenager who delivered food parcels to vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic – overcoming grief and bullying in order to help his local community.
A group of 16 remarkable young people from Leicester and Leicestershire along with their families and friends joined the Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire at County Hall on 27 April, for an awards ceremony to celebrate their achievements as 2023 finalists.
Joshua Bailey received the top prize of the evening, becoming the Lord-Lieutenant’s Young Person of the Year for 2023.
He was also named ‘Young Person of Courage’, for displaying inner strength and determination to overcome grief and bullying in order to help others in his local community.
This included him supporting the village Covid-19 response team by delivering food parcels and talking to residents he delivered to, who were in need of company. He also wrote a supportive poem that was published on the BUPA Mental Health website and volunteered to hand out Christmas parcels to all the children locally that were less fortunate than himself.
In the words of his nominator, “Joshua has been the most amazing role model… He encourages the younger generation to strive for success! He is no longer threatened by the bullies … what an achievement!!”
Responding to his success, Joshua, who attends South Charnwood High School, said: “I’m feeling shocked and amazed at how well I’ve done, I didn’t realise that I’d be chosen for both awards. This has given me more courage to carry on doing what I do best.”
Other young people recognised on the night, were:
Young Volunteer – Sofia Omar, who attends Crown Hills Community College.
Young Artist of the Year – Jessica Mawby, who attends Sir Jonathan North Girls’ College.
Young Leader – Clem Beardmore, who attends the Priory Belvoir Academy.
Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Mike Kapur OBE said it was a privilege for him to host the event.
“I’m honoured to have been able to share their stories with our guests at the event and more widely within their communities – they are an inspiration to us all,” he said.
“As Lord-Lieutenant, I’m privileged to be able to meet some of our city and county’s extraordinary young people and see truly humbling examples of volunteering, community engagement, and personal achievement which require dedication and commitment of the highest order, that too often go unnoticed by the wider community.
“I hope that these awards will continue to highlight the talents and dedication of our communities’ young people and urge anyone who knows a young person they think deserves recognition and encouragement for their endeavours to look out for details of my 2024 awards later in the year.”