South Tyneside teenager in running for a national award for young leadership

Shay Simpson.
Shay Simpson.

A teenager from South Tyneside is in the running for a national award for his work as a young leader – for being the youngest person in the country to be involved on a local partnership board.

Fourteen-year-old Shay Simpson has been nominated for the Young Leader of the Year award, which recognises a young person for their ability to make a real difference in their local YMCA.

Shay has been the driving force behind many new youth projects in central Jarrow

Anne Corrigan, Big Local Central Jarrow Coordinator

It recognises youngsters who bring about positive change, work with vision and inspire others.

Jarrow community project Big Local and the YMCA are asking people to give Shay their backing ahead of the prestigious awards ceremony this autumn, hosted by Apprentice winner Michelle Dewberry.

Shay was a shy young leader who got involved on the board of Big Local in Central Jarrow, where £1million of Lottery Funding is spent transforming the area over a 10-year period, based on a locally decided action plan.

He represents the views of young people and contributes to the action plan of where money is spent.

Shay is the youngest person in the country to be on a Big Local Partnership board, and his involvement has resulted in developing gateway signs, transformation of the basketball court and new youth activities.

Anne Corrigan, Big Local Central Jarrow co-ordinator, said: “We are overjoyed and excited to see Shay get the recognition he deserves.

“Shay has been the driving force behind many new youth projects in central Jarrow.”

Online voting runs until midnight on Friday, August, 25, at www.ymca.org.uk/awards. Votes will be combined with judges’ choices and the three finalists will be announced on August 29.