THE achievements of young people in Bemerton Heath were celebrated at a special awards evening.

The inaugural Rise: 61 celebration evening was held on Saturday at St Michael’s Community Centre.

Rise: 61 is a charity set up by local residents from Bemerton Heath to help improve and develop the community.

that supports activities for the community of Bemerton Heath.

Professor Sir Al Aynsley Green, who was the first Children’s Commissioner for England, was the keynote speaker for the evening and praised the “incredible job” being done by the young people.

The award winners were:

Young Bike Mechanic of the Year, Kieran White. He was commended for his involvement in a community bike project and an after school bike club and praised run in partnership with Sarum Academy, was for being a “skilled mechanic”, “enthusiastic and positive” and “always wanting to help”.

Sports Volunteer Award, Shala Gariba, was recognised for being “incredibly generous with her time” to help with a football project run by the Doorstep Sports Team and Rise: 61 as well as wider projects in the city.

Young Entrepreneur Award, Che Nugent. Che set up a clothing brand and was commended for his creativity and artistic talent” and his leadership of a team of peers” who developed the stock and sold it at local markets.

Young Musician Award, Katie Jeffcoate. She was commended for her commitment to attending the School of Rock which has seen her confidence grow in singing and performing. Ross Sanderson, of The Sound Emporium who runs the project, said: “She has just achieved time and time again.”

Little Jesus Award, Elise Hurst. Elise is involved in the Rise: 61 Life group on Monday nights and was praised for “embodying the teachings of Jesus and for being an amazingly encouraging influence on the group”.

Young Volunteer of the Year Award, Hannah Bridewell. She was recognised for her voluntary work in the Life group team and was said to be “always enthusiastic, helpful and positive — demonstrating incredible maturity for her age”.

Project of the Year, Sophie Wort. She received the award for her “instrumental” work helping set up a micro-enterprise cafe project, Cafe Boost, and her leadership in running a pop-up cafe and catered events.

Young Artist Award, Lauren Stewart, was praised for her “skill and talent” as an artist and for running her own stall at the Salisbury Teenage market. She also gave back to the charity by volunteering her time to design a thank you card.

The adults that volunteer with the charity were also recognised. The Volunteer of the Year award went to Clare Yeates for her “dedication, generosity and commitment” to the Life group which has seen her grow in confidence as a leader.

Robin Imeson, the director of Rise: 61, said: "We were thrilled to be able to showcase the fantastic achievements of some of the young people we work with. We believe that with a bit of support and encouragement young people can achieve amazing things and be a really positive force in our community. And, as the night, showed they already are.

"We would like to thank the amazing Sir Al Aynsley-Green for his support on the night and for all the generous people who volunteer time or give money to support the charity.

"We hope to run this as an annual event and are already thinking of how we can involve young people more in the planning and delivery of next year's celebration."

He added: "Bemerton Heath is a great place to live and we are looking forward to developing more assets and services that young people can access to help them develop and improve their future prospects."

The evening was also attended by local MP John Glen, who presented one of the awards on the night. He said: “There are some real issues and challenges around funding and services for for the Heath and they will continue to be a high priority for me. But Rise:61’s contribution makes an enormous difference in this special community in Salisbury.

“This is a significant milestone in the development of the charity in terms of the visibility of the output and demonstrative impact on young peoples lives in so many areas. I would urge the people of Salisbury to give generously to support the work of Rise:61.”

For more information about the charity go to