Youngsters’ time to shine
Island youngsters recognised for their unfaltering bravery, hard work or kindness were rewarded at the third IW Radio Child of Wight Awards.
In a ceremony hosted by the breakfast show’s Paul Topping and Emily Wells, 11 young Islanders received awards, after judges whittled down more than 150 nominations.
Opening the ceremony, at Cowes Yacht Haven, Emily said the judges had struggled.
“The standard of nominations have once again been incredible,” she said.
“We clearly have a wealth of incredible young people on this Island who all deserve to be praised for their bravery, patience and determination and I know the judges have had a difficult time choosing who should take home each award.”
Presented by John Irvine, of headline sponsor Wightfibre, the overall Child of the Year award went to the courageous Sophie Mackinnon, who has overcome much adversity in her short life.
Six-year-old Sophie, who was born prematurely – at 27 weeks – has a number of health conditions, including cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, a bleed on the brain and epilepsy, and has, so far, undergone ten operations, including eight on her brain.
Sophie received a number of nominations and, one, from her grandfather, read: “She is the most inspirational, courageous little lady I’ve ever known.
“Sophie not only struggles with life medically but also emotionally as she just wants to be like everyone else but, unfortunately, her body just won’t allow this. Sophie has the use of one hand and needs to wear leg splints and have the help of her wheelchair as she gets tired very easily and suffers with pain.
“I am a very lucky man to have such a wonderful, courageous granddaughter. Unfortunately, I am battling terminal cancer and every time she sees me she is more worried about me and my needs than her own. I would like to thank you for considering Sophie for this award, she will always be my Child of Wight.”
From high achievers on the football field to young mental health ambassadors and everything in between, the ceremony provided an opportunity to reward young people on a wide range of achievements.
IW Radio’s managing director, Claire Willis, said: “We had such a diverse range of young people nominated this year, which meant judges had an impossible task when it came to choosing the winners. Each and every young person deserved recognition for what they had done. It’s safe to say we have huge number of wonderful young people on the Isle of Wight.”
1. The Asa Singleton Most Courageous Child award
Sponsored by Wightlink
Ediz Ibrahim Kahvechi
2. The Sporting Star award
Sponsored by Island Riding Centre
Newchurch Primary School U11 Girls
3. The Make A Difference award
Sponsored by The Needles Landmark Attraction
The Isle of Wight Youth Trust
4. The Young Achiever award
Sponsored by Inflight Peripherals
5. The Young Carer award
Sponsored by Unique Windows
Chloe May Watts
6. The Fundraiser award
Sponsored by Red Funnel
Kalli Bancroft and Millie Heelan
7. The Young Performer award
Sponsored by Hovertravel
8. The Best Friend award
Sponsored by Amazon World
9. The Best Brother award
Sponsored by Westridge Skips
10. The Best Sister award
Sponsored by Long Lane Flooring
11. Overall Child of
Sponsored by Wightfibre