Funded by The Joe Humphries Memorial Trust.
Grants totaling £1,750 have been shared out to seven of Leicester and Leicestershire's magnificent young people.
They've been awarded the funds by a charity scheme aimed at helping the younger generation to reach their full potential.
Local charity Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT) have announced the Inspire Awards winners; Amar Chudasama, Chloe Share, Beth Wright, Simran Kotecha, Alicia Smith, Laura Till and Luca Michalowski. Inspire Awards are small grants of up to £500 from the JHMT.
The awards were set up to help young people aged 13-21 from around Leicestershire to fulfil their ambitions in the fields of music, arts, sports, entrepreneurism, and community endeavour.
Since the awards first began in 2014, £40,000 has been awarded to help 223 young people to achieve some amazing things.
A little more about the JHMT
The JHMT was set up in memory of Leicester teenager Joe Humphries, who collapsed and died in October 2012 while out jogging near his family home in Rothley, Leicestershire.
Joe was a victim of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) – a group of lethal heart diseases which can cause sudden cardiac death in young people.
The JHMT provides free CPR training, helps to fund community defibrillators and campaigns for better understanding of SADS, as well as running the Inspire Awards.
Let's hear it from the Awardees
Laura Till, aged 21, from Countesthorpe.
Laura has just recently achieved her goal of setting up her own business, AMBITION Sports Coaching which specialises in Special Educational Needs and working with those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The £200 Inspire grant helped to purchase the tennis equipment. “My main goal since year 8 has been to set up and run my own business. With the support of the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust, I am now on my way to achieving my dream!"
"I truly can't wait for the future, I can't wait to better myself and to better my company.” says Laura
Amar Chudasama, aged 21, from Leicester.
Amar received a grant for £250 to help him pursue a goal to be an international hockey umpire.
Having already gained vast experience officiating at every level in the sport since 13 years old, Amar is determined to ply his umpire skills at the highest levels. “Looking forward, I am targeting more national level hockey but beyond that, European and International hockey as I seek to achieve the Olympics and other world hockey events."
"The grant is an invaluable resource that will allow me to pursue these objectives and I am extremely grateful for the support of the JHMT family."
"I look forward to working with the charity and supporting more young athletes.” said Amar
Beth Wright, aged 17, from Loughborough.
Beth is one of the talented young athletes on Loughborough College’s Talented Athlete Support Scheme (TASS) Dual Career Programme which helps a select group of students balance their academic study with high performance sport. “Since I have been at the College, I have been successful in trialling for the University cricket team and are now part of the BUCS Performance team."
"I also successfully trialled for the Lightning Academy which is a great achievement for me."
"With female sport participation numbers increasing and the need for more female coaches, role models and mentors, the JHMT Inspire Award small grant £200 would not only help me but also future cricketers as I hope to develop my coaching and leadership skills.” Beth says.
Alicia Smith, aged 17, from Loughborough.
Also part of the Sport England funded TASS programme at Loughborough College.
Alicia's speciality sport is Handball and now also plays for the Loughborough University 1st team. “The JHMT Inspire award, £250, will go some way to helping me to focus on training and commit fully to education and sport without worrying about funding."
"I am already representing GB under 19's and wish to peruse this to full international status.” Alicia says.
Luca Michalowski, aged 18, from Congerstone.
Competing in athletics for around 10 years. For the past four, he’s been competing in the pole vault for Charnwood Athletic Club and has been making good progress. Luca says: “Having moved into the U20 age group, my aim is to reach more national championships, compete against the best vaulters in the country in my age group and hopefully get selected for international competitions."
"As skills develop, poles are outgrown and longer stiffer poles are required so it was fantastic news to learn about the JHMT Inspire Award grant of £300, which will help me to buy the next pole size that I need in order to make progress.” he added.
Simran Kotecha, aged 22, from Leicester.
Simran has a passion for Textiles and Interior design and wants to become a print designer making fabrics for soft furnishings like upholstery, cushions and curtains.
She's currently a member of the Young Creatives group at Leicester Arts and Museums, which allows local artists to come together and learn more about the artistic design.
Simran said: “I’m so please to receive an Inspire grant, £250, to help me launch my creative career."
"The grant gives me the ability to exercise my full creative freedom and access the right tools to put me in a much better position to create quality designs and artwork.”
Chloe Share, aged 14, from Thurlaston.
Chloe has a real love for musical theatre and a dream to perform in a West End musical theatre production.
Chloe said: “I am very grateful for the Inspire grant, £300, as it will help me to attend competition dance classes along with some support for funding some private dance lessons so that I can compete in the solo competitions as well."
"This means that I will be dancing alongside the other elite dancers at my dance school which will give me the skills to perform at a higher standard.”
Simon Taylor, JHMT Inspire lead, said: “It is hugely encouraging to see such inspirational young people stepping forward as we emerge from Covid to follow their dreams."
"The Joe Humphries Memorial Trust are so pleased to be able to support these seven special young people to help achieve their goals.”
Written by Aimee Culverhouse
Currently interning for Niche Magazine, Aimee is keen to grow her portfolio in journalism whilst studying her Master’s degree at De Montfort University, in Fashion Management with Marketing. She enjoys writing about upcoming events, sustainable fashion and retail.