Teenagers and young people have an extremely important role in society, writes Coun Kay Cutts, Nottinghamshire County Council leader.
What they do, what they achieve - it all has an effect not only in their personal future, but the future of society as a whole.
They are the next generation.
With this in mind, I am confident Nottinghamshire’s future is in extremely safe hands, if the achievements of the recent 4Uth Award winners can be used as a gauge.
Around 100 young people, their families and friends, came together to celebrate the achievements of the county’s seven district winners at the awards finals at County Hall.
The overall county winner was Darren Yemm, 20, from Newark who is a wonderful ambassador not just for the county - but nationally too.
He’s appeared on BBC’s The One Show for helping shape the future of care services for children – having been in care himself.
A member of the Children in Care Council since 2010, he recently met Anne Longshaw, Children’s Commissioner for England, with the aim to develop a coordinated regional pledge to Children in Care.
The district winners for Mansfield was Josh Sheppard, 18, from Meden Vale, who despite medical conditions and other challenges in his young life, has become a fantastic role model for other young people.
And the district winner for Ashfield was Jak Boden, 13, from Huthwaite, who cares for others including his mother and is heavily involved in community projects
All seven district winners received awards during the evening in recognition of their achievements and I met them, along with Coun Sue Saddington and Coun Tracey Taylor, respectively chairman and vice-chairman of the council’s children and young people’s committee.
The winners can also put their award on their CVs and their achievement will be recognised by future employers and educators.