Outstanding young people celebrated at University of Bolton

Exceptional young people were celebrated at the Greater Manchester Young Citizen of The Year Awards 2021 held at the University of Bolton.

The High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, Diane Hawkins JP DL, launched the awards to celebrate kindness, thoughtfulness, bravery, or actions that have made a difference to our communities.

Dignitaries from across the county attended the event, including Professor George E Holmes DL, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University.

The following young people were honoured during the ceremony:

Samuel Billing


Samuel Billings – who has shone during a challenging period in scouting whilst demonstrating resilience in the challenges of his personal life.

He said: “I go to Beavers every week and help other leaders run the night. I was once a Beaver there and I want to help other children have an equally good, if not better, time than I had. That‘s why I volunteer.”

McKenzie Fisher


McKenzie Fisher – described as “a caring and selfless young man who has been raising funds for the NHS and hospice in memory of his beloved nana”.

He said: “I have now started a little business called ‘Spidey Parties by Mckenzie’ which is really busy. I am super proud of what I am doing and I love doing it especially seeing the happiness of the children’s faces.”

Sydney Gigner-Hollies


Sydney Gigner-Hollies  - “a dedicated, motivated, caring, kind, responsible, forward-thinking, reliable, Brownie and Guide Young Leader”.

Sydney said: “I love volunteering at my local Brownie and Guide group and I have become a young leader and enjoy befriending the children and guiding them to be better people.  I am often asked to assist with church events, where I give my time to the parish community, helping the elderly members of the church.”

Holly Hargreaves


Holly Hargreaves has dedicated her time to developing a database based on crime in the local area, teaching other students how to input data.

She said: “We have gathered a large quantity of data and have looked into the types of crime, aspects associated with each crime, the status of the incident and more. These insights are inspiring others to join in and open their eyes to something new.”

Zuzanna Kolodziej


Zuzanna Kolodziej is one of two founding members of the Security and Intelligence Project, Bolton, which started in September 2021.

Zuzanna said: “I like anything law related. I really enjoyed the idea that I can help the police through them having a database that they can input instead of needing to sift through many crime logs.”

 Alice Lloyd


Alice Lloyd is a pivotal contributor in the creation of a new grassroots LGBTQ+ community group for young people.

She said: “As part of Explorers, I have planned and led my own Trans Day of Remembrance church service, as well as working on LGBT+ History Month. I feel it’s important that minority voices are uplifted in Leigh.”

 Cliodhna McClure


Cliodhna McClure is described as “a tremendous role model both at school and in her community”. She volunteered at monthly coffee mornings at Willow Wood Hospice.

Cliodhna said: “My actions, whilst small in the bigger picture, hopefully make a difference. Bringing joy to others and supporting good causes is important to help some who are less fortunate than me. I find it rewarding to give something back.”

Meghna Nathoo


Meghna Nathoo adapted her own lifestyle to raise funds to improve the mental health of young people her own age.

She said: “I combine my love for art with fundraising. So, I paint glass with famous TV and cartoon characters, which I then sell on my Etsy shop and donate half the payment to YoungMinds. This contributes to helping the mental health of young people.”

Mahammed Faizan Sharief


Mohammed Faizan-Sharief has been helping GCSE students by creating easy-to-understand, accessible educational videos on YouTube.

Mahammed said: “I provide a variety of learning resources through many platforms. With interactive quizzes and past exam questions along with covering the content, my aim is to provide as much information as possible through these sessions to help students become successful.”

Amber Shaw


Amber Shaw has been involved in the ‘Let Us Learn Too’ campaign to ask the government to listen and give equal rights to children and young people with additional needs.

She said: “I am a member of Salford Youth Council and a campaigner and advocate for disabled young people. I ensure that the voice and views of young people with disabilities are heard at every level, inspiring them to get involved and speak out about their experiences to make things better now and in the future.”

Braydon Stringer


Braydon Stringer has been a member of the 14th Bolton boys brigade for 11 years, fundraising  and always helping the other lads."

Braydon said: “I have been a member of the Boys Brigade since I was five. We have raised money for Derian House Hospice and funds to buy equipment so all the members of the brigade can go on holidays. I promised my grandma that I would help all those who need support in our community.”

Laila Sutton


Laila Sutton joined Crimson Education at the age of 13 to discuss how young people might plan to get into the top universities. She also supports Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

She said: “I am motivated by helping communities and I like to see the impact I can have on others, one ‘help’ at a time.  I donate to charities and provide necessities for those in need. I am a mission team member and carers’ champion leader. I also DJ at events such as school open evenings.”

Ellis Whitehead


Ellis Whitehead is a dedicated member of the GM Army Cadet Force and a young carer for his mother. He is “a shining example of selfless commitment”.

Ellis said: “I love spending my free time being an army cadet. However, I am also a young carer for my mum. I love being able to support her with her care, but more importantly being there to give her a reassuring hug. It can be difficult at times, however it’s all worth it when I see my mum smiling.” 

Shekinnah Wilberforce


Shekinnah Wilberforce is a member of the Caribbean and African Health Network, which addresses the need to eradicate health disparities in the United Kingdom.

Shekinnah said: “My work involves organising and promoting health events and services with CAHN, where medical professionals provide information and advice. I am also the inclusivity lead of the Greater Manchester Youth Combined Authority, responsible for Equality, Diversity and Equity.”

Related articles


Download the app for your smartphone from:

Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
RiSE pos rgb logo
QQA Scheme Participant

Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
RiSE pos rgb logo
QQA Scheme Participant