Inspirational Kimberley teen receives special award for 'rising above adversity'

A Kimberley teenager was presented with a special honour at an awards ceremony aimed at shining a light on inspiring youngsters.

By Lucy Roberts
Thursday, 21st April 2022, 10:47 am
Aston Walls, winner of the Rising Above Adversity Award.
Aston Walls, winner of the Rising Above Adversity Award.

Aston Walls won the ‘Rising Above Adversity’ award at this year’s Live Our Best Life Awards ceremony, organised by Nottinghamshire Police.

The teenager was honoured with the award for being an inspiration to other young people, despite his background or upbringing.

The awards ceremony was held on April 19 at Nottingham Forest Football Club with a packed-out audience and special guests treated to entertainment and videos showcasing the winner's achievements.

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The Live Our Best Life Awards 2022 ceremony, organised by Nottinghamshire Police, was held on April 19.

The awards focused on those aged between eight and 18, who have shown incredible resilience, selflessness or have done something inspirational throughout the last year.

Nottinghamshire Police also welcomed Baroness Lawrence and Rt Hon Stuart Lawrence, who attended the ceremony and presented an award.

The Live Our Best Life Awards form part of the police service’s celebration of Stephen Lawrence Day on April 22 and were supported by the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation.

This year was the first time the awards had been held in person since launching in 2021.

Chief Constable Craig Guildford, Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry, Baroness Lawrence and Rt Hon Stuart Lawrence.

With nominations open to schools, parents, carers, youth workers and other adults, the awards received a record number of entries – over three times higher than previously.

This year’s winners were:

- Rising Above Adversity Award – Aston Walls, 16, of Kimberley, Nottingham, for being an inspiration to other young people.

- Lyrico Steede Award – Emanuele Raimondi, 17, of Sneinton, Nottingham, for making significant progress and inspiring others to make positive decisions and better life choices.

- Young Performer of the Year Award – Khushi Kaur, aged 17, of Carlton, Nottingham, for displaying amazing talent.

- Young Leader of the Year award – Riley Morton, aged 17, of Clifton, Nottingham, for leading by example and being a role model to their peers and other young people through student, sports or youth work.

- Young Inspiration Award – Grace Jenkins, aged 9, of Chilwell, Nottingham, for doing something inspirational during lockdown and doing something selfless to help others.

- Bringing People Together Award – Taona Makunganya, 17, of Arnold, Nottingham, for bringing the community together or fighting to eradicate hate or racism.

The winners received an iPad, £100 gift card, a certificate and trophy, and unique experiences of visiting the police dog kennels and a VIP visit to the Defence Animal Training Regiment.

Nottinghamshire Police’s youth outreach worker Romel Davis, who works within the Citizens in Policing Department, launched the awards last year (2021).

He said: “I would like to personally thank every single person who nominated someone, took part in the event, attended, the sponsors, hosts, presenters, my colleagues and finally Baroness Lawrence and Rt Hon Stuart Lawrence for their continued support and for attending the ceremony.

“The Live Our Best Life Awards were launched as a way to shine a light on young people for all their hard work, recognise their incredible achievements and for being an inspiration to others.

“This is the first year we were able to hold an in-person ceremony and I’m so proud of everyone who attended and got to hear the stories of the six incredible winners.

“Compared to last year we received over three times the number of nominations and we hope that next year we can go even bigger and better again and really do everything possible to celebrate young people.

“It is so important that as a police service events like this exist so we can showcase the incredible work of young people throughout Nottinghamshire.

“We are passionate about working with young people throughout the county and local communities to celebrate their achievements and give them opportunities.

“Policing isn’t just about arresting people. Engagement work also plays a huge part in what we do to motivate young people and give them opportunities and work with them and this is something we will continue to do to really shine a light on extraordinary youngsters.

“The awards were a huge success and I would once again like to thank everyone that played a part, and say a huge congratulations to every single winner for being a truly inspirational person.”

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry, said: “It was a fantastic evening and unique opportunity to showcase the inspirational young people in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – congratulations to all the truly deserving winners and for sharing their stories.

“I am delighted that Baroness Lawrence and Rt Hon Stuart Lawrence were in attendance and supported our awards.”

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