A GLITZY presentation evening has seen the best of Tendring's youth awarded for their hard work and generosity.

The Tendring Youth Awards, now in it's fourth year, celebrates the achievements by young people across a range of categories – along with a category for adults who support young people in Tendring.

Members of the public nominated a record number of youngsters from across the district this year and the final awards were handed out on Tuesday night at a ceremony held at Clacton Town Hall.

Karen O’Connor, Tendring Youth Awards chairman, said the awards evening was an inspiration.

She added: “When we judge all of the nominations it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by the many stories of success, grit and determination displayed by young people in Tendring – and then when you meet the finalists on the night that same feeling hits you again.

“The awards are a celebration of our young people as a whole, and the winners in particular are hugely inspirational whatever your age.

“In many cases they invigorate your faith in humanity, and I hope others can aspire to the heights these young people – and adult volunteers – reach.”

The winners of the awards, sponsored by Harwich Haven Authority and supported by Tendring Council and Essex County Council, included Dovercourt Fire Cadet's longest serving cadet Connor Sharod who was named volunteer of the year.

The arts award went to Daniel Barnard from Clacton, a performer and young director, while the community improvement award went to Lads Need Dads and the young carer award, sponsored by Newsquest, went to 12-year-old Elisha Corder from Clacton who helps her step mother who struggles with mental health issues and her older sister who has learning difficulties.

Abigail Hartman, who suffers from complex speech, language and communication difficulties, won the learning achievement award for completing GCSEs in Spanish and drama and Sonny's Army, a group of young girls who fundraise to help parents of children who face long hospital stays with grants and boxes of goodies, was chosen for the outstanding achievement category.

Personal Journey awards were handed out in two categories.

Joshua Burgess from Walton won the under 13s award - he was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition which will cause him to progressively lose his sight, hearing and cause lung disease but despite this has performed with Alfie Boe at the Royal Albert Hall, starred in a BBC drama series and still volunteers in the autism hub.

The over 13s award went to Sophie-Ann Greenwood who has been in care for a number of years and faced a lot of personal difficulties as well as domestic issues, but has achieved GCSEs whilst maintaining a Facebook group for survivors of mental health, using her own experiences to inspire and guide young people in similar situations.

The environmental initiative award went to Teen Talk for its wildlife group which has had more than 90 young people involved in a variety of projects to help support local wildlife by creating habitats, completing surveys and conducting research.

The adult unsung hero winner was Sue Crotty who has committed 26 years of her life to Clacton County High School and the committee’s award was given to the cast and crew of Les Miserables from Clacton County High School for their performance.