vinspired National Awards 2009 Winner

The vinspired national awards where recently held at the IndigO2 in London and Liz Starkey from East Durham College won the ‘Energy’ category, supported by Red Bull. The award was one of 10 up for grabs on the night and this category was for someone who works with young people and inspires them to volunteer.

Liz Starkey, the vtalentyear coordinator at the College, previously won the regional heat to go on to compete at the national awards. Liz said: “I love working with young people. Sometimes they just need a little bit of help!” and if anyone can provide that help and support, it’s Liz.

Before joining the College she supported a Youth Action Team in Teesside which created an Anti-Cyber Bullying campaign called ‘You are not alone’. It aimed to tackle the issue of cyber bullying in young peoples’ lives. Liz joined the College back in August 2009, her role is to support the 15 full time volunteers, aged 16 – 25, who help students at the College and promote volunteering opportunities within the College.

East Durham College are only one of two colleges in the region who were successful in gaining a contract to deliver the vtalentyear programme in the north east.

Liz went on to say: “Volunteering has given me a purpose. When you volunteer, you give something back for no other reason but wanting to give freely. vtalent is brilliant because without it I wouldn’t have the chance to support a lot of young people or recruit more volunteers.”

The awards were a celebration of the extraordinary contributions young people and their supporters had made across the country to their communities, peers and the planet. The awards attracted over 700 nominations from all over England and the judging panels were made up of young people.