Yopey 2014: March student, 16, among early nominees for Cambs wide contest that recognises achievements of young people

Shannon Barrow Shannon Barrow

Thursday, April 17, 2014
10:32 AM

A March teenager who likes to take the lead and organise events is in a Cambridgeshire-wide competition that hails the giving of young people.

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Shannon Barrow, of Marsh Close, devotes many hours to the community. She says she refuses to take ‘no’ for an answer when it comes to good causes.

Now she has been nominated for the Linx Young People of the Year (YOPEY) for young people who give to others and her chance to share prize money of £2,000.

Shannon, 16, was nominated by Jason Wing, the principal at her school Neale Wade Academy.

Mr Wing said: ³Shannon is a hundred per cent mature, sensitive, caring and a superb role model. She also has immaculate presentation, is confident, positive, and a pleasure to work with.”

Much of Shannon’s spare time is spent volunteering for 20Twenty productions, a youth arts organisation.

As part of the national Big Music Project she is organising ‘Our Big Gig’ locally. As well as finding talented musicians and asking what people want to hear, she is also writing the press releases. The event will be held in March Town Hall on July 13.

Last August Shannon completed a four-week National Citizen Service project, which involved organising events for disabled people and young carers.

³During the third and fourth week we had a party for young carers in the town hall. It was really well received,” she said.

Three years ago Shannon joined Fenland Youth Council and is now chairman.

Last Christmas Shannon was organising a charity ball for Children in Need, and had gone so far as to print tickets, publicise the event and organise caterers, as well as obtain a bar licence for drinks, when at the last moment the event had to be cancelled as only 30 tickets had been sold.

“I had done everything, maybe it was too close to Christmas. It was in a school and maybe people thought it was a like a prom,” she said.

“I set a target of 60, two live bands and a sit-down meal. It was really disappointing.”

However Shannon is so determined that she refuses to accept it cannot be done and will try again as a “I am determined to give March a ball and make it happen as I really don’t like to fail.”

YOPEY was founded by Tony Gearing, who said: “Shannon is a very determined young lady, who refuses to give up. She provides great entertainment for the area, and gets involved in all sorts of different groups to try and help bring about change.”

As well as Cambridge Regional College and Linx, the international supplier of industrial printers based in St Ives, this year¹s YOPEY is also sponsored by Hutchinsons of Wisbech, G¹s of Ely, LifePlus of St Neots, TTP Group of Melbourn, ARM, Building Services Design, Cambridge Assessment, Kiss Communications, Stratagem IPM, Mathworks, all of Cambridge, and Peterborough Regional College. The awards ceremony will be held at Ely Cathedral in the autumn.

# Do you know somebody who deserves the title Young Person of the Year? To nominate logon to yopey.org or write, enclosing a stamped-addressed-envelope, to YOPEY, Woodfarm Cottage, Bury Road, Stradishall, Newmarket CB8 8YN for a paper entry form.

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