Reuben’s volunteering puts him in line for award

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A Fairfield boy who has never been in the scouts so impressed a scout leader with his commitment and dedication to younger children she has put him forward for a competition that hails the ‘giving to others’ of Bedfordshire’s younger generation.

Reuben King, 14, initially volunteered to help with Cub Scouts, aged 8 to 10, towards his bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. However, he enjoyed helping so much that he continues to support the younger children even though he has qualified for the award.

Now he has been nominated for the Atlas Converting Young People of the Year awards or ‘YOPEYs’ – Oscars for young people who ‘give to others’.

The annual contest has over £1000 to be won by young people who ‘give to others’.

Reuben, of Kipling Crescent, was nominated for YOPEY by Rebecca Dallas, the leader of 1st Fairfield Park Beavers and Cubs in Fairfield, near Letchworth. The two units meet weekly at the Fairfield Park Community Centre in the same road where Reuben lives. Reuben helps out with the older Cubs.

She said: “Reuben came to us a couple of years ago to qualify for his DofE Award. But even when he had completed the hours he needed, he kept coming back. Reuben has grown in confidence with the Cubs and really connected with the children.

“He stood out from the beginning because he was so good with the children. I think this is partly because he is closer in age and can relate to them. The cubs enjoy having him around.

“He is now an important part of our leadership team because he is always ready to help. I wish more children were like him. He has been a great role model and we are so thankful for his support.”

Every week Reuben joins around 20 cubs and helps organise activities like hiking and den-making.

Reuben said: “I chose to volunteer with the Cubs because I thought it was a good idea to help the leaders who volunteer and the children who attend.

“I continue to volunteer because the Cubs really want me to stay and I enjoy volunteering there.”

Reuben attends Etonbury Academy in Arlesey. When he has some spare time, he enjoys skateboarding.

About this entry, Tony said: “It is refreshing to see a young man like Reuben to commit to children not much younger than himself. He is a true role model.”

As well as Atlas Converting, which is based in Wolseley Road, Kempston, this year’s Beds YOPEY is sponsored by the county’s fire & rescue service and recruitment company Guidant Group.

The YOPEY charity has also received grants from Bedfordshire & Luton Community Foundation, the Gale Family Trust and Wixamtree.

The Bedfordshire awards will be presented at St John’s College, Cambridge, this autumn when a joint ceremony with Cambridgeshire young people will be held. But each county will have its own Young People of the Year.

As well as Atlas Converting, which is based in Wolseley Road, Kempston, this year’s Beds YOPEY is sponsored by the county’s fire & rescue service and recruitment company Guidant Group.

The YOPEY charity has also received grants from Bedfordshire & Luton Community Foundation, the Gale Family Trust and Wixamtree.

The Bedfordshire awards will be presented at St John’s College, Cambridge, this autumn when a joint ceremony with Cambridgeshire young people will be held. But each county will have its own Young People of the Year.

# 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. Entries close on July 31st.

YOPEY is open to young people aged from 10 to 25, who should live, work or study in Bedfordshire. But they do not have to meet all three conditions. They could go to school, college or university in Beds but live elsewhere and vice versa.

Typical entries include fundraisers, young carers, club leaders, volunteers on projects at home or abroad and young leaders who pass on academic or sporting skills. YOPEY is always revealing new positive role models and the qualification for entry is easy – simply, the young person has to ‘give to others’.

Schools, youth organisations, churches and charities across Beds are being urged to nominate their young people. If their nominee wins, they can share the prize money. Family and friends can also nominate but they cannot win prize money. Young people can even nominate themselves.