A Blackpool teenager has been awarded a British Citizen Youth Award (BCYA).
Twenty-six inspiring youngsters from across the UK were recognised at this year’s for their extraordinary contribution to society, charities and good causes.
Ellie Toth, 15, from Blackpool, was honoured for her efforts at a formal presentation held at the Palace of Westminster, attended by 120 guests including host, Rt Hon Lord Blunkett, patrons Dame Mary Perkins, Nicky Cox MBE and presenter ex-Pussycat Doll Kimberley Wyatt.
Now in its fourth year, the BCYA, in association with Specsavers, highlights individual acts of bravery, kindness and compassion from young people under the age of 18 across the UK.
Ellie has been fundamental in supporting the Blackpool HeadStart Resilience Revolution, a whole town approach to make Blackpool a more resilient place to live, grow up and thrive in.
Ellie has volunteered across many initiatives in the project. She sits on the Young People’s Executive Group, a committee of young people that have the final say on what projects are delivered and how.
She is instrumental in the digital team to support young people sharing stories via the Resilience Revolution, on YouTube and was also on the committee to fundraise and arrange for a Resilience Pathway to be built through the town to remind young people and families what steps they can do to improve their wellbeing. This is now a permanent fixture and has received local and national news coverage, including a regular column in the Gazette.
Ellie is also part of a group called the Resilience Researchers, volunteering her time to conduct youth-led research projects about issues important to young people in the community.
As an example, Ellie conducted a small research project to identify activities that young people in the town like to do. This research was then used to help adults caring for young people and adult volunteers, to build better relationships with young people, by planning activities that they can do together and enjoy.
For the last three years, Ellie has been dedicated to making a difference in her community and encourage others to do the same. She volunteers her spare time to making a difference in Blackpool.
Kimberley Wyatt said: “I am honoured to present the British Citizen Youth Awards. This awards programme shines a light on the efforts of our youth and is something to be revered.
“The world needs more young people like these leading our communities”.
Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers and BCYA Patron said “These unsung heroes are the stars of the future, let us shine a light on them and celebrate!”
By Louisa Gregson