09:42AM, Wednesday 16 November 2016
Some of the winners of Youth Voice Youth Choice grants.
A record number of votes were cast this year in a Royal Borough scheme that awards grants to individuals and youth groups.
Now in its fifth year, the Youth Voice Youth Choice (YVYC) scheme gives out grants of up to £1,500 for youth groups and projects, and up to £500 to individuals.
More than 7,000 votes were cast across four categories: individuals, youth groups, targeted groups and schools. Winners were announced at Windsor Guildhall on Thursday last week.
Applicants had to explain how funding would benefit themselves or young people in the borough.
Natasha Airey, cabinet member for children's services, said: "It's something that is really close to my heart.
"It's one of my favourite events that the borough does.
"I think it's really important we continue to invest in our young people, and it's fantastic to see how it has developed over the last few years."
Livvy Beer, 16, from Charters School in Ascot, entered the individual category for funding to buy a new guitar so that she can continue writing music, and to help to with her studies.
The talented A-level music student also performed two of her own songs at the awards. She said: "It's such a nice place, it's so cool to be asked to perform here."
Year eight students from Dedworth Middle School were awarded £1,500 for a new multi-surface sports area. PE teacher Claire O'Donnell said: "The students have done so well. We're all very proud."
Also in the schools category, The Windsor Boys’ School was awarded £1,500 for electronic pianos to improve teaching and learning opportunities.
George Nelson Firth, 12, also from Dedworth Middle School is a level five kayaker and currently the best 11-year-old in the country. His individual award will go towards buying a new kayak. George said: "I want to be the world champion by the time I'm 18."
Winners in the youth groups category included Windsor Rugby Club, and Student Youth, who were awarded £1,500 each for outdoor activities.
In the targeted groups category, military children were awarded £1,240 to support in learning to develop resistance and team building through building outdoor space.
While the Esteem project in Maidenhead will use its £1,500 award to help build self-esteem and self confidence through new activities.
Visit www.wamster.org.uk to keep in touch with council’s services for young people.
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