THE red carpet will be rolled out in St Neots next spring as the town is set to host the Cambridgeshire Young People of the Year (YOPEY) Awards with The Hunts Post as media partners.

THE red carpet will be rolled out in St Neots next spring as the town is set to host the Cambridgeshire Young People of the Year (YOPEY) Awards with The Hunts Post as media partners.

Now in their eighth year, the YOPEYs celebrate unsung heroes who are aged between 10 and 25. The aim is that the award-winners become positive role models and inspire younger generations to make better choices as they grow up.

"It's important that kids are celebrated somewhere worthy that reflects their achievements," YOPEY co-ordinator, Tony Gearing, said. "Last year we were at Ely Cathedral, the previous year at Peterborough Cathedral, and when I was approached by the Mayor of St Neots about hosting the awards at the Priory Centre I thought it was the perfect location.

"It's fantastic that the town council has got behind the YOPEYs, and now we have six months of work ahead to bring next year's awards to life."

The former journalist, who started YOPEY in 2004, said the nature of the awards was deliberately very broad to encourage nominations of as many youngsters as possible.

"We're always looking for 10-25-year-olds who go the extra mile, think of others and give back to the community," he said.

"I would encourage anyone who works with young people - carers, teachers, support workers and parents - to think about nominating."

Since 2004, the awards have been rolled out across the UK and adopted by many schools and colleges.

"Over the next six months we'll be visiting schools, giving assemblies and citizenship lessons and getting the message out there about what we're looking for," Mr Gearing said.

"It's just as important to nominate the 10-year-old who's raised £50 for charity on a sponsored walk as it is to nominate someone who's travelled to Africa and worked in an orphanage."

Cllr Barry Chapman, who was responsible for bringing the awards to St Neots, told The Hunts Post: "This is a celebration of Cambridgeshire's inspirational young people. It's absolutely marvellous news that the county's premier town has been chosen to host the 2013 awards."

INFORMATION: To nominate a youngster visit www.youngpeopleoftheyear.org