Contest praises unsung heroes

PUBLISHED: 15:49 08 March 2007 | UPDATED: 21:35 29 May 2010

A CONTEST has been launched to promote the positive work young people are doing in the Dunmow area. Intercounty Young People of the Year (Yopey), is offering to reveal, recognise and reward young unsung heroes and set them up as positive role models. In

A CONTEST has been launched to promote the positive work young people are doing in the Dunmow area.

Intercounty Young People of the Year (Yopey), is offering to 'reveal, recognise and reward' young unsung heroes and set them up as positive role models.

Intercounty, an estate agent with branches in Dunmow, Braintree, Saffron Walden, Stansted and Bishop's Stortford is funding cash prizes totalling £2000 for youngsters who live or study in Uttlesford, aged from 10 to 25, who 'give to others'.

The contest is the brainchild of former national newspaper journalist Tony Gearing who is fed up with the negative image of young people. "Everywhere you look nowadays young people are being condemned.

"It's almost as if every one of them is a binge-drinking, drug-taking, violent 'hoody'," said Mr Gearing, who used to work on the Daily Telegraph and The Independent.

"Yopey gives young people the fairer image they deserve by revealing and recognising young unsung heroes."

Jon Cooke, the managing partner of Intercounty, said he was pleased to be supporting the awards.

"There are many fantastic young people in Uttlesford who are doing wonderful things for others. It's just that they live in the shadow of a well-publicised anti-social minority.

"Through Yopey, we want to give them the respect they deserve and give the younger generation positive role models to look up to."

Leading politicians have spoken out in favour of Yopey. Sir Alan Haselhurst, MP for Saffron Walden, whose constituency includes Dunmow, said: "This is a brilliant initiative and I hope it will have a huge response. Let this be a showcase for the many great ways in which young people contribute to the community."

Dunmow mayor Frank Silver, said: "This is an excellent scheme to reward young people who make a positive contribution to society.

"In this day and age our youths are far too commonly depicted as all being louts but that's not the way it is. There are many people out there who work very hard and they should be recognised for their efforts.

"We should be doing as much as possible to help people take an active roll in society."

Mr Gearing added: "We want everyone to keep a look-out for fantastic young people and for them to nominate them."

You can enter or nominate online at www.yopey.org or write to Young People of the Year, PO Box 103, Hare Street, Ware SG9 0XD, for a paper form.

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