Western Gazette reward young achievers
There were tears aplenty as the Western Gazette recognised incredible achievements by young people from across Somerset and Dorset.
In its inaugural YoungStars Awards, amazing acts of bravery, academic success, charity champions and sporting stars were all celebrated.
The awards were presented by editor Emma Slee at Haselbury Mill near Crewkerne at a special ceremony.
Winners included 16-year-old Cyrus Vahidi of Milborne Port who despite being given 30 weeks of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with a type of bone cancer earned three A*s and nine As in his GCSEs. He picked up the Educational Achievement award.
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Katy Rose Aldridge, 17, of Yeovil, has battled leukaemia three times in seven years. She has been left with muscle-wasting side effects but continues to amaze doctors with her outgoing attitude.
In the medical world it is simply not thought possible for a child to survive three attacks of leukaemia. This year she completed her GCSEs and has realised a dream when she started studying horse management in September. She won the Against the Odds category.
George Bartlett, aged 14, of East Coker, picked up the Sporting Hero award. George is the Somerset junior captain and is involved in the England development programme at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough.
There was hardly a dry eye in the Tithe Barn at Haselbury Mill when joint Junior YoungStar winners Logan McKerrow and Amber Partridge took to the stage.
Six-year-old Logan has raised more than £25,000 for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People after he repeatedly auctioned his homemade Olympic torch on eBay. His charity feat has seen him meet Prime Minister David Cameron and David Beckham.
Amber, 7, suffers from a rare genetic condition called CDKL5. This means in her young life she has had to experience the most horrendous seizures. Her parents were told she would probably never walk.
However, in the last year, Amber's perseverance and sheer determination to be mobile has been nothing short of astounding. She is now showing her parents what she wants through the power of walking. She has become a true beacon of hope for other families and children across the world living with CDKL5.
The awards really went to show what amazing young people live in the Western Gazette area and was a chance to showcase and celebrate their contribution to local life.
The full list of winners and their reactions will be published in next week's Western Gazette.