TWO teenage girls who refurbished a disused building to open a youth club are the overall winners of the Young People of the Year Award (Yopey) for Cambridgeshire. Belinda Theaker and Tasha Read from Bluntisham were part of a group regarded as troublemake
TWO teenage girls who refurbished a disused building to open a youth club are the overall winners of the Young People of the Year Award (Yopey) for Cambridgeshire.
Belinda Theaker and Tasha Read from Bluntisham were part of a group regarded as troublemakers because of the way they dressed.
They shook off this image by raising more than £15,000 to turn a former village hall into a youth centre, doing much of the work themselves.
After the awards, Belinda said she was over the moon at winning. "I did not think we would ever win in a million years because everybody has done so much better."
Tasha added: "It's amazing to know that we have achieved something for the village. If anybody calls us troublemakers now, we can show them our YOPEY certificate.
"We are pleased and proud to represent the young people of today. There's a lot more of them than people think."
On the judging panel, one of Belinda and Tasha's biggest supporters was Cambridgeshire Chief Constable Julie Spence, who said: "More villages across Cambridgeshire need young people like these two. They have ensured a common point of conflict between our youth and adults - 'young people hanging around and enjoying themselves' - has been turned into a cohesive force for good where young and old can live in harmony."
As winners of the SkillsTrain Young People of the Year in Cambridgeshire, Belinda and Tasha shared £500 and received another £500 cheque for the youth centre during a ceremony which was held in Hinchingbroke Performing Arts Centre, Huntingdon, on Monday night.
YOPEY founder Tony Gearing said: "We could do a lot more in this country about promoting the positive contribution of young people. All the finalists are heroes.