Flying high after award nomination

PUBLISHED: 06:03 22 March 2007 | UPDATED: 21:37 29 May 2010

A MAN who works at Stansted Airport was flying high after having his name put forward for Intercounty Young People of the Year. Jon Dixon, 24, gives up several hours a week to help disabled youngsters and has been nominated for a YOPEY award which reveals

A MAN who works at Stansted Airport was flying high after having his name put forward for Intercounty Young People of the Year.

Jon Dixon, 24, gives up several hours a week to help disabled youngsters and has been nominated for a YOPEY award which reveals, recognises and rewards young people for being positive role models.

On hearing he had been nominated for the award, Mr Dixon, of Jeffreys Avenue, Cressing, Braintree, said: "It all came as a bit of a shock, but I'm absolutely delighted about it.

"I get a buzz out of seeing young people enjoying themselves," he added.

"The kids are great. I get as much enjoyment out of helping them as the kids do coming along."

The nomination means that

Jon is in the running for a cash prize in the competition with £2000 to be won by young people who give to others.

Mr Dixon was nominated by Georgina Rhymes, business development manager of the Play and Resource Centre (PARC), a registered charity based at Great Notley Country Park, Braintree.

The centre provides respite care and play opportunities for up to 250 mentally and physically disabled youngsters up to 25.

Mr Dixon, who works in the finance department of airline Ryanair at Stansted Airport, offered his services to the charity in March 2005 because he wanted to give something back to the community in his spare time.

A spokesman for Yopey said: "So while many young men of his age are off to the pub with mates on Friday nights, Jon goes to the PARC and on Tuesday nights he plays football with the youngsters. He also helps as and when he can at the charity's holiday play scheme.

"He is great with the children and is a fantastic mentor/role model for our young people, many of whom have complex needs," said Georgina in her nomination. "Many of the children and teenagers ask for him and look forward to seeing him when they come to the centre."

Mr Dixon has also undertaken training in his own time on issues such as first aid and health and safety to help him in his role.

Georgina said he is always willing to help in any way he can. "For instance, when double Olympic gold medal winner Dame Kelly Holmes visited the centre to record a piece for TV showing how money given by Children in Need was being used Jon went in on his day off to clean the centre," she said.

The competition is open to young people who give to others and are positive role models. They should be aged 10-25 and live, work or study in Braintree or Uttlesford districts.

Log on to www.yopey.org to nominate or write to PO Box 103, Hare Street, Ware SG9 0NP, enclosing an SAE before May 31.

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