Organised by the OPEN Youth Trust, a city centre youth charity, the annual Norfolk Youth Awards is a ceremony intended to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of young people in a variety of categories, spanning the arts, volunteer work, sports and more.

Earlier this year a ceremony celebrated a whole host of inspiring nominations, and the stories of all those present were humbling, proving how essential such an event is in order to recognise the achievements of those who could otherwise go unnoticed.

One such story was that of Maisie Lossau, the winner of the Indigo Swan Perseverance Award. In 2016 Maisie endured a 7-hour operation to partially remove a brain tumour, leaving her unable to move. After a year of setbacks including a tracheostomy and radiotherapy, she was slowly regaining movement, raising the profile of her condition and targeting walking by her 16th birthday.

Maisie’s mum Dawn Lossau said: “Winning the award was a huge boost for her, she has been through so much and sometimes you need something to show you just how far you have made it! The Perseverance Award was so fitting as every day we face a new challenge and her perseverance and never give up attitude is what gets us through”.

Next year’s awards seeks to celebrate equally outstanding achievements and stories of perseverance, courage and selflessness. The number of nominations is set to be higher than last year and are made online or by picking up a form from OPEN’s café or box office, nominees must be aged between 11-19 (or up to 25 years for those with additional needs) and living in Norfolk, with the exception of the Hero Award, sponsored by Norfolk Constabulary. The deadline for submissions is 31st December.

The main sponsors for the awards are City College Norwich, Norwich City Football Club and Norfolk County Council with the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News media partners. Spire Solicitors are kindly sponsoring the Outstanding Achievement Award which will be announced during the ceremony on Wednesday 24th April 2019.

Photo Caption: Maisie Lossau receiving her award from Emily Groves from Indigo Swan at the 2018 Norfolk Youth Awards – credit Simon Finlay Photography