Congratulations to Woking YMCA for the cracking inaugural Youth Awards ceremony which it hosted on Saturday evening at the Dianthus Building in Goldsworth Park, Woking.

70 guests, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Woking, spent the evening celebrating the success and achievements of young people from across the 7 youth centres run by Woking YMCA.

Those present were also able to enjoy live music from Jasmine Little, 18, an extremely talented local singer songwriter. Jasmine was performing some her own material along with some tracks from a recent CD performed and produced by young people across Woking YMCA’s centres.

The Awards ceremony consisted of 8 awards categories in total, each proudly sponsored by a local business including: ‘Outstanding Skills’ (sponsored by Padua Communications); ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’ (sponsored by WAVS); ‘Influential Young Person’ (sponsored by The Lightbox); ‘and ‘Young Person of the Year’ (sponsored by Woking Borough Council). The nominees were put forward by youth centre staff and were voted for by a combination of staff and young people.

DSCF1700 - Gavin receiving award

Padua Communications was delighted for the ‘Outstanding Skills’ category winner. Gavin Thomas who is from the Bisley Youth Centre, developed exceptional abilities in circus skills. He has used these to help teach other young people and now works for a circus himself.

A huge congratulations to all the nominees and winners – and well done to the team of organisers and supporters for an incredible and genuinely inspiring evening.

Jon Herbert, Woking YMCA Manager, said: ” A fantastic evening has been had by all. It is important that we celebrate the successes and achievements of young people and recognise that they add a huge amount to their families, centres and communities. These awards aim to provide that recognition, while giving all the young people with whom we work greater hope in their futures and belief in what they are capable of achieving. Massive thanks go to all of our awards sponsors for their support of our work but, even more importantly, to the young people themselves for showing such commitment to their centres and to themselves in order to develop and contribute.”

Woking YMCA is a local charity supporting children, young people and the community of North Surrey. It runs a state of the art youth and community centre – The YPod Centre, and a Housing Project – Grove Court, for homeless young people. Woking YMCA delivers exciting, varied and accessible activities and programmes, responding to the needs of the community. It provides safe places for young people to belong, contribute and thrive and is part of the national and international YMCA movement. More info can be found at