WINNER: Amy Kirwin, Euro Cars: Bury St EdmundsRising Star of the Year - Post 16 - winner

Amy is described an inspiration to other young people, for the way she has faced and overcome prejudices and obstacles in her life whilst keeping a positive attitude. Despite her and her young sister being placed into foster care, she worked hard to achieve good GCSEs, completed an apprenticeship and now works as the firm’s fleet manager. Her positive outlook on life and her ability to work hard to succeed is a positive story for other looked after young people, who may feel that they may not be entitled to fulfil their dreams.

Shortlisted Finalists

  • Robert Nesbitt, Easton & Otley College

Robert was nominated for his passion for helping others and his perseverance. He has needed support and help, but has refused to stop trying. Following  his own experience of how hard it is to learn something new with a disability, he has become a swimming coach and used his own learning to teach others swimming and to train as an official. He wants to show everyone that having a disability does not mean you cannot achieve your dreams. It may take longer, but with good support and an understanding team everything is possible.


  • Shannon Spurdens, YMCA Stowmarket

Shannon has faced a number of struggles and challenges, and is an inspiration to other young adults. She discovered a love of dance, and through losing herself in that, she became much more able to cope with other aspects of her life. She is a hard worker who always does everything the best she can. She is also determined to do her best to be a good example to others, and now works with pre-school children. Shannon loves trying to give them the understanding and care that she feels more able to because her life has been so difficult.