12:01 Thursday 23 January 2014

Graham Barker rotary award is open for nominations

Written byJOANNA CRAIG

NOMINATIONS are open for a ‘prestigious’ award for young people celebrating ‘outstanding’ achievements.

The Graham Barker Rotary Award for Young People was launched three years ago in memory of Mr Barker by the Rotary Club of Uttoxeter.

He was a well-known local businessman who ran Hixon-based HD Fuels and he was also a highly-esteemed member of the Rotary for 33 years.

He was always very supportive of any charities which benefited young people, especially in the Uttoxeter area.

His colleagues at the rotary club and his family felt an appropriate way of honouring Mr Barker would be to dedicate an award to him which recognises the contribution made by young people for the benefit of others.

The 2013 award was given to Eleanor Slaney who had spent some time in West Africa as a volunteer.

Miss Slaney was declared the winner after taking part in a week-long charity commitment during her half term holiday from Thomas Alleyne’s High School when she was just 17.

She spent the holiday volunteering with WYCE in Gambia where she was the youngest in the group and had to raise a considerable amount of money to take part.

While in Gambia, Ellie helped fix bicycles, taught basic maths and English lessons at the school as five teachers were off sick with malaria and help make concrete tiles.

She also helped save a local boy from drowning after he got into trouble in the sea.

In its first year in 2010 the winner was Maxine Broadfoot who was declared the winner after dedicating much of her teenage years to raising money in memory of her brother Connor.

In 2012 it was Thomas Alleyne’s High School pupil Ellie Hall who took home the award for her work with Rakemark Respite, a holiday club for children with special needs.

The award is open to all young people who are aged 12 to 18 years on December 31, 2013 and who live or go to school within an area of five miles from Uttoxeter.

The award is offered to both individuals or groups of young people and each entry or nominee will be asked to say in no more than 500 words what the young person or group has done to benefit others through charitable, sporting, social or other ways.

The closing date for nominations will be April 4, 2014 and a monetary prize will be awarded to the winner deemed by the judges to have benefitted the community the most.

The judges will be the Mayor of Uttoxeter Councillor Martin Blencowe, Graham Barker’s widow Jamila Barker, the president of the Uttoxeter Rotary Club and representatives from the Advertiser and Post and Times.

Terry Davies, of the Rotary Club in Uttoxeter said: “We think it’s important to celebrate young people who have gone out of their way to benefit others, for example through charitable ventures, sporting activities or other ways.

“Those who wish to enter a young person for the award who they think is deserving should make their nominations online at www.uttoxeter-rotary.co.uk or pick up a form from a member of the Rotary Club, the town hall or the Uttoxeter Advertiser office.”

Further information is available on the Rotary Club’s website or on their Facebook page.

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