Yorkshire Young Achievers 2017: See winners from Leeds ceremony

Youngster of the Year: Presented to Evie Addelman by Pammy Gilman on behalf of GMI Property.
Youngster of the Year: Presented to Evie Addelman by Pammy Gilman on behalf of GMI Property.
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It is now becoming an historic annual tradition where the region’s most-deserving youngsters are recognised for their stunning achievements, often earned in times of adversity.

And on Thursday, Leeds once again played host to the YEP-backed Yorkshire Young Achievers Awards as it celebrated its 25th anniversary since being formed.

Personality of the Year, presented to Lizzie Jones by Peter Banks on behalf of Rudding Park.

Personality of the Year, presented to Lizzie Jones by Peter Banks on behalf of Rudding Park.

Leeds youngster Lucy Sherman, a 2016 Young Achiever winner, opened proceedings at Elland Road’s Centenary Pavilion with a solo performance of Disney’s Part of Your World track, in front of a packed crowd of guests.

The awards, sponsored by McCormicks Solicitors in Harrogate, mark the achievements of young people across eight categories, from the arts to sport, and are organised by the Yorkshire Young Achievers Foundation.

Winners on the night included Evie Addelman, 12, who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2013 when she was just eight.

The year eight pupil, from Alwoodley, was presented with the Youngster of the Year title for her tireless fundraising for a Crohns and Colitis charity

Achievement in Management and Enterprise, presented to Russell Bisset by Caroline Murphy on behalf of the Wetherby Whaler.

Achievement in Management and Enterprise, presented to Russell Bisset by Caroline Murphy on behalf of the Wetherby Whaler.

She said: “It was really special to win the award.

“I was so shocked when the video came on and I looked up and saw my name and said ‘oh my goodness!’.

“It has been fun fundraising and its raising money for a charity that’s close to me.”

Previous Young Achievers winners were among dozens of guests to attend the glittering ceremony and gala dinner, including Gaynor Faye, Kelvin Fletcher and Bailey Matthews.

Special Award presented to Christine Talbot and Duncan Wood by Kate Breese on behalf of Walsh Taylor.

Special Award presented to Christine Talbot and Duncan Wood by Kate Breese on behalf of Walsh Taylor.

The Yorkshire Young Achievers Foundation has now raised more than £1.2m to support young people in the region.

The final award of the evening was presented to Halifax mum Lizzie Jones.

The widow was honoured with the Personality of the Year award, in recognition of her fundraising and campaigning for heart screening following the death of her husband.

Welsh International Rugby League player Danny Jones who suffered a cardiac arrest during a match in 2015.

Achievement in Education presented to Dally Purewal by Stephen Burwood on behalf of Positive Tax Solutions.

Achievement in Education presented to Dally Purewal by Stephen Burwood on behalf of Positive Tax Solutions.

Mrs Jones went on to touch the hearts of the nation after she sang Abide With Me at the 2015 Rugby League Challenge Cup Final in an emotional performance, just months after
his death.

Post mortem results showed that he died of cardiomyopathy, an inherited condition leading to the thickening of the cardiac muscles.

Collecting her award on-stage on Thursday, Mrs Jones told guests: "I could not be prouder to win an award that is for people from Yorkshire.

"I'm so proud to be a Yorkshire mum and everything I'm doing is hopefully benefiting Yorkshire as well.

"I'm so thrilled, it's such an honour to receive awards and spread my message even further."

Elsewhere, Leeds' own Dally Purewell, who runs a business in Chapel Allerton, scooped the Achievement in Education award.

There was also victory in the Achievement in Management and Enterprise category for Russell Bisset, who runs the popular Northern Monk Brew Company in Leeds.

Chairman of the awards, Peter McCormick OBE, said: “Once again we had some wonderful winners with some truly inspiring stories of courage and determination and it
proved a very fitting way to celebrate our 25th anniversary.

“These awards are also our main fundraiser of the year and none of this would be possible without the support of our sponsors and our guests, many of whom have been
with us for many years.”

ITV presenters Christine Talbot and Duncan Wood were honoured with the ceremony's Special Award, which recognises those who have gone the extra mile to help raise funds to support young people.

The duo have supported the awards almost since their inception, and co-host the ceremony event every year.

They also became patrons of the charity in 2017.

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