It was an absolute pleasure to be invited to ‘The Spirit Of Try Angle Awards 2017’ today where the best of the best were being celebrated.

The whole ethos behind Educational Life is to provide an outlet for positive and inspirational news stories from our community and, in particular, young people who are so often portrayed negatively in the media.

The awards, which have been running since 1994, are a celebration of the hard work and dedication of young people throughout Kent who really TRY, often with little or no recognition, to do their best. Today’s event was the County Final of a number of District awards, with twenty four Spirit Finalists being put forward by their respective judging panels.

This year’s Awards were held in the majestic settings of The Ashford International Hotel, a fitting venue for such a worthy ceremony. As we were ushered into the main hall by young volunteers from local schools, it struck me how smart everyone was. This was a formal occasion (I even wore shoes) and the nominees, their guests, and the VIPs all looked the part.

Special guests from the worlds of politics, local government, emergency services and youth work were on hand to present the awards and this just seemed to add to the sense of occasion. Entertainment was provided throughout the afternoon by an array of the County’s young talented singers and performers.

Each story that was read out throughout the afternoon was met with admiration and applause as the young finalists took to the stage to receive their awards. There was a really nice atmosphere throughout the afternoon and mutual respect was evident as the young people congratulated each other on their efforts and achievements.

The final guest to be introduced was Gold medal winning Paralympic Skiing Guide, Charlotte Evans MBE, who spoke about her own personal achievements before announcing the overall ‘Spirit Of Try Angle 2017’ winner.

Congratulations to this year’s Awards winner, Anna Strutt, from Gravesham.

I would like to thank Maria Kelly for inviting Educational Life along to this fantastic event. Both myself and John had a really great afternoon and were inspired by the stories we’d heard throughout the ceremony. I even bumped into a former student who I’d worked with a couple of years ago – it was good to hear how well he was doing now.

Please browse our gallery of the event and feel free to share this page with anyone who may be interested.