Award-winning youths celebrated at Inspire Suffolk annual ceremony
- Credit: Warren Page/Pagepix
Ipswich-based youth organisation, Inspire Suffolk, celebrated the achievements of their young people at their annual staff and student awards.
The award ceremony on September 1 celebrated staff who had made a positive difference to students, as well as the achievements of the young people who completed courses over the past year.
The four categories designated for young people were the Roger Fern Outstanding Achievement Award, the Student Engagement Award, Inspirational Young Person and Young Person of the Year.
Jude Cyrille from Ipswich won Inspirational Young Person – an award for those who have overcome challenges but are now inspiring others. He joined the Prince’s Trust Programme after being referred from the Youth Offending Team. Before Jude joined Inspire Suffolk, he had no direction and didn’t know where to turn next.
He said: “I had an apprenticeship with the council for a year after I finished school. But then I got signed off for mental health.
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"After that point I didn’t want to go back so I just did my own thing for a few years. I was sofa surfing and then ended up on the youth offending team.”
The Step-Up apprenticeship course and then eventually the Prince’s Trust Programme helped Jude to build confidence and open up more options to him. He explained that Inspire Suffolk gave him much needed stability in his life.
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“What I was missing when I was going off and doing my own thing was I had too much freedom which just led me into trouble,” he said.
Now Jude has gone full circle and is working for Inspire Suffolk’s NCS summer programme helping other young people to build confidence and learn new skills.
He said: “It’s a privilege to now be working for the NCS programme because I’m in a position to help. I’ve never really had that so that responsibility makes me feel good.”
The Inspirational Young Person Award is a stepping stone for Jude’s future plans and he hopes to continue to keep himself on the straight and narrow.
“It feels quite intense to win this award as I’ve never won something like this before. It’s surreal!
“Now I’ve done this much, I’m always looking for something more I can do,” he added.
Another young person who was recognised for his achievements was Terry Patrick. Terry won the Student Engagement Award for his determination in completing the Team Programme and developing his employability skills.
The 20-year-old was at a loss when an offer for his dream job at DJ Evans fell through due to the pandemic. But despite this, Terry continued to work hard and volunteered his time at the Salvation Army. Terry’s sister, Heather Patrick, explained how much of an impact Inspire Suffolk has had on her brother.
“Terry left college at the start of the pandemic. He was very lost and we as a family were lost to know where to go next.
“The Team Programme has opened up a lot of doors for Terry. His confidence has grown and he has enjoyed the course. He is also more confident to try things himself first whereas before he would have run a mile.”
Over the course of the programme, Terry took part in games and activities and came up with ways to improve his spelling. As a young person with learning needs, this was something Terry struggled with. Heather explained that Inspire Suffolk took the time and attention to find ways to help Terry learn.
“We found out that Terry responds better with pink pen – he processes it better. Even through school and college nobody ever picked that up. We’ve tried different coloured paper and all sorts but Kim from Inspire Suffolk found that out.”
Heather said she is overwhelmed by Terry’s achievements and the progress he has made over the course of the programme.
She said: “I’m absolutely overwhelmed. He’s worked hard for it and he’s come a long way. He was very shy at first but he’s come out of his shell."
Terry hopes to achieve his HGV licence in the future or find roles working within the community in warehousing and distribution.
To find out more about Inspire Suffolk and courses on offer see here.