Hunt begins for hero youngsters

Ashley Thompson, who won the 2011 High Sheriff's Young Citizen of the Year award.
Ashley Thompson, who won the 2011 High Sheriff's Young Citizen of the Year award.
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HEROIC youngsters who have battled adversity, turned their lives around and stood up for others are being urged to follow in the footsteps of a Blackpool teenager.

Ashley Thompson, from South Shore, was 15 when he picked up last year’s High Sheriff’s Young Citizen of the Year Award after beating off competition from dozens of young people across the county.

And now High Sheriff Jeremy Gorick has launched 2012’s hunt to find someone who has made an “outstanding contribution” to their local community.

Ashley had been skipping school and getting into trouble, but after joining social club Boathouse Youth he turned his life around and began mentoring other youngsters as a young leader – a transformation which impressed the judges.

This year’s awards are being sponsored by BAE Systems and operations director Ian Wood said: “We know from previous entries across the years that there are a great number of young people in the county who make an outstanding contribution to the communities in which they live.

“It is on that basis we are proud to support these awards and extremely keen to encourage people to put nominations forward.”

Anyone under the age of 21 who has helped their local neighbourhood, an individual, family member or local organisation can be nominated for an award.

Winners and runners-up are selected by the High Sheriff as well as a panel of judges from the Lancashire Partnership Against Crime, Lancashire Constabulary, BAE Systems and former High Sheriff Rodney Swarbrick, who initiated the award.

The closing date for nominations is January 31 2013 and forms can be downloaded from

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