A pair of teenagers from Ramsey were named Cambridgeshire’s Young People of the Year or ‘YOPEY’ winners.

Corben Russell, of Great Whyte, and Tiffany Baldwin, of Fellowes Drive, won the Junior YOPEY prize of £300 in the KISS Communications Young People of the Year, held at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, last Tuesday (November 3).

Corben, 14, read on social media that many young people in his home town of Ramsey were engaged in anti-social behaviour and that this reflected badly on all youngsters in the area. Then Corben saw a group of boys taunting a pensioner in a sheltered housing scheme in the town and he knew something had to be done.

Corben discussed this with friend Tiffany Baldwin, 14, and they came up with their ‘Connecting the Community’ project to bring the generations together. They presented the idea to most age groups at their school, Ramsey College, and recruited 30 volunteers, including older sixth-formers and a few adults.

They go along to Jones Court sheltered housing in Great Whyte and Ramsey Day Centre in Stocking Fen Road, both in their own and school time, and play board games with the old folk, make crafts, bake, swap tales, and even knit together.

Corben said last night: “We want people to be at peace in the town. We don’t want all elderly people to think all youth are bad.”

Tiffany said their project also combated loneliness. “It’s really valuable – it’s good to have links with others instead of feeling like you’re alone.”

The Bishop of Huntingdon, the Rt Revd David Thomson, who was on the YOPEY judging panel with mayors, MPs and young people from across Cambridgeshire, said: “Corben and Tiffany have changed the youth culture of their town and the image of youngsters there in a way many would have regarded as impossible.”

Corben and Tiffany were presented with their £300 prize by Captain Victor Lucas, the High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire. He said: “This is a great idea that could be developed in a lot of other areas in our communities.”

More than £1,600 was awarded to young people from across Cambridgeshire in a competition sponsored by many organisations including Eaton Socon company LifePlus International. Katherine Green, 15, of Kisby Avenue, Godmanchester, was given a £25 seedcorn money prize as a possible ‘Future Finalist’.