Services for Young People Hertfordshire Services for Young People

Over 150 Hertfordshire young people are recognised for their outstanding achievements

10 November 2023

Services for Young People celebrated the resilience, determination and compassion of 157 young people from across Hertfordshire at their four Young People’s Awards events during National Youth Work Week.

The Young People’s Awards events take place every year during National Youth Work Week. They are an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of some of the young people who have been supported by Services for Young People (SfYP) over the previous academic year. The events highlight the positive impact that SfYP Youth Workers and Advisers have in enabling young people to overcome barriers and fulfil their potential. This includes young people with special educational needs and disabilities, those who are not in employment, education or training, young people who are in care, and members of the LGBT+ community struggling with their confidence or emotional wellbeing.

Hero Slinn, Director of Inclusion & Skills at Hertfordshire County Council said:

“A sincere thank you to all the Youth Workers and Advisers in Services for Young People! Your hard work and dedication have not gone unnoticed, and it is truly a cause for celebration as each award-winning young person is a testament to the positive impact of your efforts. Your commitment to the wellbeing and development of young people is inspiring, and the recognition of their achievements reflects the invaluable support and guidance you provide.”

The North Herts and Stevenage Young People’s Awards, Tuesday 7 November 

The North Herts and Stevenage area ceremony took place at Bowes Lyon Young People’s Centre in Stevenage and the awards were given out by the Executive Director of Children's Services for Hertfordshire County Council Jo Fisher who said:

“Delighted we can celebrate young people’s achievements this evening, recognising all they have accomplished with the support of our nationally qualified Advisers and Youth Workers. The award categories mirror the work we complete across Children’s Services and represent the vision and values we hold for our young people in Hertfordshire: to Be Healthy, Be Safe, Be Ambitious, Be Resilient, Be Independent, Be Happy and Be Included.”

Jo Fisher with a young person collecting her award

Emma from Stevenage, pictured receiving her award from Jo, is a regular attendee at the Services for Young People Letchworth Friday Night Project which has greatly improved her confidence and communication skills. She was delighted to receive recognition for planning and delivering a fantastic session about how her peers could be more inclusive of young people with special educational needs and disabilities. She said:

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be myself”.

The St Albans and Dacorum Young People’s Awards, Wednesday 8 November

 St Albans & Dacorum group photo from the Young People's Awards

The St Albans and Dacorum ceremony took place at Hemel Hempstead Young People’s Centre and Cllr Caroline Clapper, Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, attended to present the young people with their awards. She said:

“I was humbled and honoured to attend to celebrate the achievements of all the young people… who have shown perseverance this year and have worked with our Youth Workers and Advisers to make amazing progress and develop the skills and confidence they need as they move towards adulthood.”

 Young Person collecting their award

One of the award winners was Saavan, 17, from Hemel Hempstead, pictured above with Caroline and Terry Douris, Chair of Hertfordshire County Council. Saavan took part in the SfYP ‘Pathways to Success’ programme on which he was supported to apply for a Level 3 apprenticeship as a television production assistant. He has now successfully achieved his apprenticeship and took leave to travel from Wales to attend the event with his family. He said:

“...this time last year I was in a position with no qualifications, but fast forward a year later, I am back on track and getting to work in something I’m ambitious about. I would like to remind everyone that hope is never to be lost!” 

The Broxbourne, East Herts and Welwyn Hatfield Young People’s Awards, Wednesday 8 November

Welwyn Hatfield Broxbourne & East Herts Young People's Awards

The Broxbourne, East Herts and Welwyn Hatfield ceremony took place at County Hall in Hertford and the awards were given out by Deputy Executive Member for Education, Libraries and Lifelong Learning, Mark Mills-Bishop. In his speech he said:

“We have some extraordinary young individuals here who have made a positive impact and demonstrated exceptional dedication with passion in the pursuit of excellence. I thank you for your participation, individual achievements, and contribution to others within your projects and communities, and extend my heartfelt congratulations.”

Fiona Thomson, Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, pictured on the right of the group photo, said: "It has been a wonderful evening hearing these young people’s stories and how they have overcome personal challenges with the support of our excellent SfYP teams. The young people have grown in confidence and achieved in areas they may not have previously thought possible, and it has been wonderful to celebrate their achievements with them”.


 Councillor Makr Mills-Bishop with young person collecting their award

Roshan from Waltham Cross, pictured receiving his award from Cllr Mills-Bishop, won the award in the ‘Be independent’ category. Roshan attends the Services for Young People Focus Project at Waltham Cross Young People's Centre every week. He also took part in the summer 2023 ‘HAPpy’ activity programme with the Broxbourne Team. 

On receiving his award Roshan said, “Services for Young People helped me gain confidence and to be more social.”  

His Youth Worker said: “Roshan always brings a happy energy to the group, making others feel welcome and recognising when they need support or encouragement. I nominated him for his enthusiasm and commitment to learning new skills that will help him become a more independent adult. We have seen his confidence grow and his social skills come a long way – he thoroughly deserves this award.”

The Watford, Three Rivers and Hertsmere Young People’s Awards, Thursday 9 November

Watford, Three Rivers & Hertsmere Young People's Awards

The Watford, Three Rivers and Hertsmere ceremony took place at Watford Young People’s Centre and was attended by Paula Hiscocks, Deputy Executive Member for Children, Young People & Families, who said: 

“It is so inspirational to hear the journeys and achievements of our young people. With the support of our excellent SfYP colleagues they have shown courage and determination and have achieved work experiences, apprenticeships, and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award medals. Most importantly the support has given them the confidence to succeed and enjoy their lives.”


One of the winners, Elio from Abbots Langley, pictured receiving their award from Kips Green, SfYP Area Service Manager, and Kate Bignell, Youth Work Practice Manager, said:

"I’ve had to face a lot in my life to get here, and I really appreciate having SfYP by my side. It’s a different kind of honour to be nominated for a Young People’s Award and makes me feel really seen."

Elio’s Youth Worker said: “Elio has made huge progress with developing their confidence through their time working with SfYP. They have been actively involved in group discussions and activities, expressing their views and advocating for themselves and other young people.”

Nigel Bell, Leader of Herts County Labour Group Councillor for Holywell Ward, Watford, also attended and said: “I was delighted to attend Thursday night’s Young People’s Awards at the Watford Young People’s Centre. It was fantastic and inspiring to see and hear the important work these young people had carried out and to hear about the improvement in their lives due to the commitment they had shown in attending various youth projects.”

Feedback from other young people who won awards

“Services for Young People have helped me develop my communication skills and grow my confidence through the Focus Project, Young Commissioners and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.” Nathan

“I would like to thank the Services for Young People staff for being so supportive. I have made new friends which has helped me to grow as a person.” Theo

“Services for Young People staff have given me the confidence to re-enrol at college and helped me believe in myself.” Daniel

Feedback from parents included

“What an event you put on for young people! It’s lovely to see all the young people being recognised for the good that they do.”

“Services for Young People provide the most fantastic support. It has made a huge difference to my son. It has really helped his development and improved his confidence.”

“I can't believe how far my son has come with the support of SfYP.”

“The services are a lifeline for young people. The staff and youth workers are brilliant and dedicated to the young people – their hard work shows in the young people’s achievements and personal growth. My experience has been very positive – my son gained confidence and self-esteem. Thank you.”

The SfYP Young People’s Awards categories

More about National Youth Work Week

Find out how SfYP supports young people here: Support for young people