A Bolton resident has been nominated for a national award given by the YMCA.
Ian Cook, aged 19, has been nominated for the Young Achiever of the Year of the year award for his work on a skate education project funded by the Cash Panel.
The Cash Panel, run by Bolton Council since 2006, is made up of young people who assess and interview applications based on the positive impact it will have on the local community. The YMCA Skate education project received £5,400 in 2009 to build up a positive relationship with skaters in Bolton.
Ian was unemployed and not in any formal education or training, he used to spend most of his time hanging around the town centre with a group of skaters. Once approached by the outreach project to get involved he recognised an opportunity to do something that that would change the perception of skaters in Bolton.
Ian’s work at Bolton’s YMCA involved: securing Cash Panel funding; getting the best skating equipment; managing budgets; organising events; sourcing prizes; becoming a member of the YMCA’s youth council to represent skaters; and providing tours of the skating area to local councillors to help dispel the myths about young people using them in an anti social manner.
His personal development has soared as he has taken part in training courses and learned a range of new skills. This includes getting a new job as a landscape gardener as well as applying for the Platform2 programme where he hopes to go overseas to help build communities in poor areas.
Graham Reaburn, a young person who works with Ian said: “Ian helped me move on from being bullied to being well known at the skate park and YMCA. He is kind and caring and has taught me how to skate, he has come a long way from being a trouble maker to someone I respect and look up to!”
To vote for Ian as Young Achiever of the Year, visit the awards website. Deadline for voting is Wednesday, November 3.