THE countdown has begun for this year's Pride of Somerset Youth Awards.

Remarkable young people will have their efforts recognised at the ceremony, which will take place on  Thursday, May 16, 6.30pm-9pm at The McMillan Theatre, Bridgwater.

The awards were created to honour the achievements of young people from across the county.

The award categories are:

  • Art & Culture Award: 
  • Care Award: 
  • Championing Positive Mental Health Award: 
  • Charity / Volunteer Hero: 
  • Community Hero: 
  • Environmental Award: 
  • Outstanding Courage Award: 
  • Sandy Padgett Award: 
  • Sporting Achievement Award:  
  • Young Person of the Year Award.

One lucky person will be in with the chance of winning the Sandy Padgett Award, named after superintendent Sandy Padgett, who tragically passed away from natural causes in 2009.

Last year, winners and their families joined together for a night of entertainment and celebration at the 2023 ceremony, which was held at the Taunton campus of Bridgwater and Taunton College.

Singers from the Bridgwater and Taunton College Show Choir kicked off the event, setting the tone for the talent and bravery of young people.

Winners included Barnabus Kerr, who travelled to Kenya to help orphanages and schools, and Hope Relph, a member of the Priorwood Army Cadet Force who acted as an inspiration to other cadets.

Sponsors for this year's awards are "delighted" to help celebrate the achievements of young people.

Andy Berry, principal and CEO of Bridgwater and Taunton College, said: “We are delighted to sponsor these awards. Young people from across the county go above and beyond, often in the face of adversity, achieving amazing things.

"This is an opportunity to reflect on and recognise their achievements. I am looking forward to hearing their amazing stories and celebrating their accomplishments.”

Claire Pearce, from Gravity Smart Campus, said: “Gravity is immensely proud be the main sponsor of these awards as well as the ‘Environmental’ award.

"We welcome the opportunity to recognise and promote the inspirational young people across Somerset who go above and beyond for their communities.

"We are also delighted to introduce our key partners at Bounce Forward and Bridgwater United Community Sports Trust as sponsors of the ‘Championing Positive Mental Health’ and ‘Community Hero’ awards, respectively.

"The Gravity work on environmental and social governance is a team effort to contribute positively to the locality and help prepare and inspire young people about the future ahead.”

Other sponsors include:

  • The Rotary Club of Taunton:
  • Avon & Somerset Police:
  • Bounce Forward:
  • Bridgwater United Community Sports Trust: 
  • Passion for Somerset:
  • Somerset County Gazette: 
  • Somerset Larder:
  • Young Somerset.