THE 15th Pride of Somerset Youth Awards highlighted the remarkable achievements of young people across the county.

A group of 10 winners received their awards at a ceremony hosted by BBC Somerset presenters Claire Carter and Simon Parkin at Bridgwater and Taunton College’s, conference centre in Taunton.

The awards are jointly organised by BBC Somerset, the Rotary Club of Taunton and Somerset Day, with sponsors Avon and Somerset Police, YMCA Dulverton Group, Young Somerset and the college.

Winners, family, friends, VIPs and supporters heard tales of determination and success at the ceremony, which included entertainment from the Bridgwater and Taunton College Showcase Choir.

James Rew and George Thomas, who attend Kings College, were recognised for their achievements in cricket having recently represented England U19s in the World Cup Final.

Seren Rodgers, from Taunton, who attends Richard Huish College, was honoured for her determination and success as a pentathlete who is “fearless and tenacious, with a tremendous drive to succeed”. She has recently secured a sports scholarship for an American University and qualified for the U18 European Championships in Jerusalem.

Reagan Gallagher, from Taunton, attends Taunton Academy and won an award for winning medals in the Swim Wales Winter Nationals and earning selection for the English Regional Schools Team.

Tai Lovell, from Bridgwater, aged 11, initiated a project to help children in Ukraine. He created ‘Smile Boxes’ filled with colouring books, soft toys, and happy gifts, with 150 boxes given to child refugees at the Ukraine border.

Emily Saville, who attends All Saints’ Primary School in Montacute, suffered pain and struggled to walk after catching Covid. But she managed to raise thousands of pounds for the NHS by doing laps around her garden as she re-learned how to walk.

Keyworker's daughter Jasmine Pollard, 10, from Taunton, made more than 1,000 'Thank You' keyrings to deliver to schools, the NHS, the police, funeral homes, supermarkets and our fire departments.

Miles Chiplen, from Taunton, raised funds by having his long hair cut off to raise funds for the Little Princess Trust, which provides wigs for children who lose their hair during cancer treatment.

Charlie Hedger, who attends The Castle School, Taunton, busks in the town and supports Rotary charity events, playing guitar alongside other musicians.

The Sandy Padgett Award went to Hannah Buckman, 18, who studies radiology at Plymouth University. As a volunteer, Hannah has for many years, coached trampolining at Quayside Gymnastics Club in Bridgwater. She also supports Taunton Street Pastors and is currently the youngest member of the team offering support to patrons of the night time economy. She volunteered at Taunton’s two vaccinations centres and is an active member of St James’ Church where she in the amateur dramatic group. She spent time shadowing NHS staff in Derriford and Launceston hospitals.

Giving the thanks to supporters and sponsors, Claire Carter paid tribute to Taunton Rotary president Peter Renshaw, who was unable attend, but who led and initiated this year’s event having been involved from its first inception.

Pictures taken by County Gazette photographer Steve Richardson.