A 21 year old from Lancaster has been named as the High Sheriff of Lancashire’s Young Citizen of the Year 2019.
Sophie Burba (pictured right) topped a list of more than 38 young and inspiring people from across the county who have made a real difference in their community.
The announcement was made during a special award ceremony at Lancashire Police headquarters in Hutton on Thursday, March 21st.
The awards were presented by the High Sherriff of Lancashire and Assistant Chief Constable Jo Edwards. Sophie was praised by judges for her work in helping other young people to change their lives around and being a role model to many of her peers.
She joined the Lancashire Youth Challenge at the age of 14 and since then she has helped over 50 young people affected by mental health issues, drug and alcohol addiction and criminal/anti-social behaviour.
At home she has helped over 40 young people complete expeditions such as the National three peaks and a 90 mile canoe of the Great Caledonian Canal – all resulting in young people re-engaging with life, education or employment. But she has also taken her work further afield, being one of five young volunteers to help refugees in Calais.
Tony Attard, The High Sheriff of Lancashire, said: “The Young citizen of the year award allows the High Sheriff to reward a number of young people that have really made a difference to our County this year.
“Young citizens are tomorrow’s leaders and their vision and responsibility essential in safeguarding our way of life into the future. The judges and I were extremely impressed by the entries and found it very difficult to select the winners. I would like to congratulate all the young citizens that were entered into the awards and to thank the many sponsors for taking the time to write the commendations.”
A panel of judges including the current High Sheriff, the Lancashire Partnership Against Crime (LANPAC); Russell Millhouse, Regional Projects Lead from the University of Central Lancashire and the former High Sheriff Rodney Swarbrick, who initiated the award, also selected a second and third place.
Runner-up Patrick Maynard, 16 from Blackburn, was congratulated for his work in helping people living with dementia. Outside of school, he volunteers at EachStep dementia care home, dedicating his time to getting to know the residents and making them feel valued, especially those who do not have regular visitors.
He is also a police cadet and has undertaken lots of fundraising activities to raise money for young carers.
In third place was Pacey Bramwell, aged 16, from Blackpool. When Pacey was walking home from school recently she came across a man who had collapsed in the street with a suspected heart attack. She calmly rang emergency services while beginning first aid. When paramedics arrived they said Pacey had been successful in starting the man’s heart again.
She is also the Vice Captain of her school, representing her fellow pupils at events and helping with anti-bullying issues.
Lancashire Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable, Jo Edwards, said: “It is an honour to continue to host the Young Citizen of the Year Award here at our Headquarters. Every year we are impressed with the standard of the entries and this year is no different. We have a lot of inspirational young people in our county and it is a pleasure to recognise them in this way.
“I would like to congratulate this year’s deserved winner Sophie and the fantastic runners up, Patrick and Pacey. “They have made a huge difference to the communities where they live and their hard work, dedication and community spirit is fantastic.”
Russell Millhouse, Regional Projects Lead, Office of the Chief Operating Officer, University of Central Lancashire said:
“Through commitment of time, energy and expertise to help individuals and communities less fortunate than themselves, these awards highlight what being a good citizen is really all about.
“This year it has been really inspiring to see so many examples of selflessness, initiative, determination and bravery from our young people across the county.
“It was extremely difficult to pick a winner but Sophie, and runners-up Patrick and Pacey, are fully deserving of the recognition this award brings.”
Pictured left to right: Patrick Maynard (second place), Sophie Burba (winner), Pacey Bramwell (third place)