South Somerset’s young people and volunteers deserve a Gold Star

An enthusiastic audience was both thrilled and inspired when the red carpet was rolled out for young people and volunteers at South Somerset District Council's Gold Star Awards ceremony on Monday 23 October.

Now in its 11th year the Gold Star Awards first took place in front of dozens of people at Yeovil's Cineworld. From low-key beginnings it has become a well-loved event and last night 600 people were treated to a heartening evening singing the praises of South Somerset's inspirational people.

The Gold Star Awards primarily focus on celebrating young people and the adult volunteers working with them. Nine awards were presented on the evening as well as live performances from Kuk Sool Won of Yeovil, Dance Factory, Cary Amateur Theatrical Society and Orchard Gymnastics. The final act was Gus, Joe and Amy. Aged between 12 and 15 they overcame their nerves to produce a performance that got the audience clapping along and cheering enthusiastically.

All winners received a rousing ovation with particularly loud cheers for joint Junior Sports Club/Team of the year (Wincanton Wizards and Orchard Gymnastics) and Junior Club of the year which went to Henstridge Youth Club. The audience also heard how the Young Sports Performer of the Year, Lewis McCoy, had reached the lofty heights of National Tumbling Champion while Rising Artistic Star of the Year, Beth Jarvis, had successfully auditioned for the Royal Ballet School.

The coveted Lifetime Achievement award was won by Gina Westbrook who has dedicated many years providing arts opportunities to young people - often in the most deprived areas of Somerset.

Councillor Sylvia Seal, South Somerset's Portfolio Holder for Leisure & Culture said, "South Somerset District Council is committed to supporting young people year round and this awards ceremony gives well deserved recognition to so many of our local heroes.

"These dedicated volunteers, coaches and young people enable many of the rural villages to run the clubs, facilities and activities that are the lifeblood of their communities. It is fair to say that every person nominated deserved an award. This event is about giving something back to these people as well as sharing some remarkably inspirational stories."

The winners of the 2017 awards are:

  • Adult Volunteer of the Year - Warren Lee (Keinton Mandeville Sea Scout Group)
  • Junior Sports Club/Team of the Year - Wincanton Wizards / Orchard Gymnastics
  • Junior Club/Group/Organisation of the Year - Henstridge Youth Club
  • Adult Sports Volunteer of the Year - Grace Channing (Pen Mill Football Club)
  • Young Sports Performer of the Year - Lewis McCoy (Orchard Gymnastics)
  • Somerset Play Forum Play Achievement Award - Rosie Pike
  • Rising Artistic Star of the Year - Beth Jarvis (Dance Factory)
  • Young Volunteer of the Year - Tim Batty
  • Lifetime Achievement Award - Gina Westbrook

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Photo above: All shortlisted nominees (photo credit: Len Copland)

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Phone above: Warren Lee (Keinton Mandeville Sea Scout Group) with Cllr Sylvia Seal and Cllr Mike Best and Claire Carter (photo credit: Len Copland)

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Photo above: Junior Sports Club/Team of the Year - Wincanton Wizards / Orchard Gymnastics (photo credit: Len Copland)

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Photo above: Junior Club/Group/Organisation of the Year - Henstridge Youth Club (photo credit: Len Copland)

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Photo above: Adult Sports Volunteer of the Year - Grace Channing (Pen Mill Football Club) (photo credi: Len Copland)

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Photo above: Young Sports Performer of the Year - Lewis McCoy (Orchard Gymnastics) (photo credit: Len Copland)

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Photo above: Rising Artistic Star of the Year - Beth Jarvis (Dance Factory) (Photo credit: Len Copland)

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Photo above: Young Volunteer of the Year - Tim Batty (Photo credit: Len Copland)

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Photo above: Lifetime Achievement Award - Gina Westbrook (Photo credit: Len Copland)

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Photo above: Gus, Joe & Amy perform (Photo credit: Len Copland)

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Photo above: Orchard Gymnastics perform (Photo credit: Len Copland)

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Photo above: CATS perform (Photo credit: Len Copland)