Northern Leaders Trust Community Champion Awards 2023

First Ever Community Champion Awards are a Huge Success


Seven outstanding young people pick up hotly contested awards 

The first ever Northern Leaders Trust’s Community Champion Awards have proved a huge success, with seven outstanding young people, all from Newcastle schools, each picking up an award.  

Guest speakers, Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle Central and Naomi Riches MBE, Paralympic gold medal winner shared their personal stories and barriers they faced on their own paths to success.  

Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle Central

Nominees, parents, carers, and friends along with Lee Kirtley, CEO of Northern Leaders Trust (NLT) and special guests, gathered at Kenton School for the glittering awards ceremony.   

Naomi Riches MBE, Paralympic gold medal winner

The event was supported by local businesses with the key sponsor being, Mike Grahamslaw of Northern Insight magazine. 

(L-R) Brian Dickinson of WDL (Award Sponsor), Mike Grahamslaw of Northern Insight Magazine (Award Partner) & David Hodgson MBE of Read, Milburn & Co (Award Sponsor)

Thanking all the nominees and attendees at the event,  Mr Kirtley said:  “I wanted to launch these awards because young people make extraordinary contributions to their communities every day and they so often go unnoticed.  I wanted to create the opportunity to acknowledge the kindness, care and support that they give to others. 

“It is heartening to see so many young people who have shown exceptional dedication, compassion and resilience in making a positive difference in their communities.” 

Each award winner received £150 of retail vouchers, a £50 book token, an engraved trophy, a certificate, and a goody bag.    

Mr Kirtley continued:  “Together, we can create a more inclusive, compassionate and supportive world for our young people.  This is just the first Community Champion awards – we plan to continue running them for years to come. 

“I would also particularly like to thank our seven award sponsors tonight for their generous support.” 

Lee Kirtley, CEO, Northern Leaders Trust

Speaking about the event and the winners, MP Chi Onwurah said:  “As a former Kenton School student myself, I was delighted to take part in this awards ceremony  – hopefully, it will be the first of many Community Champion awards and become a regular and highly anticipated event on the community’s social calendar.   

“Kenton School is a school with great potential which has undergone a lot of re-organisation in the recent past as it seeks to constantly improve until it is an outstanding school, which is good news indeed for its students and the local community.” 

Cameron Parker of Dreams2Reality

The host for the evening, Cameron Parker, whose company, Dreams2Reality, is dedicated to empowering 14-18-year-olds by fostering character, confidence, and creativity, added:  

“Events like this are a fantastic way to showcase the talent of young people.  I have really enjoyed taking part tonight and wish all the nominee’s success in the future.” 

Dr Therese Quincey, chair of NLT’s board of trustees

Dr Therese Quincey, chair of NLT’s board of trustees, who presented the final award of the evening – the Special Recognition Award – added: 

“It’s exciting to see how successful Community Champions has been in its first year and what a wonderful time we have had.  We have been asking for nominations since the awards were launched in February and there has been a good response, which we believe, with greater awareness next year, will be even better. Hopefully, after such a fantastic evening like tonight’s, more young people will want to get involved.” 

Community Champions – all prize winners came from Newcastle primary and secondary schools


Watch the highlights Community Champion Awards 2023 Video and visit the Community Champion Awards page to view the full Award Gallery

7 July 2023

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