Demi-Leigh Hall, Level 2 Law student, recently won the prestigious Rochdale Young Person of the Year Award for 2022 for her outstanding contribution towards enhancing the wellbeing and mental health of other young people and their local communities.
Demi-Leigh has volunteered with young people since 2021, running activities relating to anti-bullying, mental health awareness and building healthy relationships. She has been inspiring, positive and supportive to other young people in the area, whilst providing a listening ear. Demi-Leigh has also been proactive in teaching and recruiting others to show support, and raise safeguarding concerns.
“Sometimes all young people need is to feel supported, to have someone listen to them and know that they are understood,” says Demi-Leigh. “I volunteer on anti-bullying workshops and help other young people to resolve their problems.”
Although Demi-Leigh says receiving the award was ‘overwhelming and unexpected’, she feels very proud of what she has achieved and continues to push her work in this area.
Not only does Demi-Leigh volunteer in her spare time, she also fundraises for events and charities.
“I’ve raised money for charity by taking part in ‘wipe out’ obstacle courses. I also plan day trips to bowling and roller-skating, alongside planning residential weekends away,” says Demi-Leigh.
Janet De-Havillan, Demi-Leigh’s tutor, says she is ‘incredibly proud’ of Demi-Leigh and all of her achievements.
It’s not just Demi-Leigh who has found this experience exceptional. Councillor Aasim Rashid, the Mayor of Rochdale, said: “This event is a real highlight in the calendar for every Mayor. These young people shine so bright and I hope they are proud of all they are achieving.”
Councillor Rachel Massey, Cabinet member for the children’s service and education at Rochdale Borough Council, described the event as ‘uplifting’ as attendees celebrated stories of personal growth, development and community spirit, saying: “What comes across loud and clear is how passionate and caring young people are and the pride they have for their borough. Well done to everyone who was nominated and to the winners, you are all doing amazing things to support those around you.”
Demi-Leigh says the highlight of the event, alongside winning her award, was sitting at the same table as the Mayor. “I felt so privileged to be there,” she said.
Beth Kilgallon, presenter at the award ceremony, said: “Thank you to all individuals that took their time to nominate young people, and congratulations to all who were nominated for continuously making a positive contribution to the local community. You have all done something amazing and should be proud of your achievements.”
Alun Francis, Oldham College Principal, was thrilled by the news and says: “Learners at Oldham College continue to thrive and make the local area an outstanding place to live. They contribute to the community in a range of different ways, from mentoring and litter picking to fundraising, and everything in between.
“Well done Demi-Leigh, we’re incredibly proud of your achievements!”