Sunday 22 September 2019

X Factor star Cheryl presents Young Achiever of the Year award

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini said the winner and all nominees were an inspiration to her
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini said the winner and all nominees were an inspiration to her

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has surprised a young person at a charity ceremony by presenting him with the Young Achiever of the Year award.

The X Factor judge and pop singer presented Adrian Maddocks with the prize at the North East Prince's Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success Awards.

The accolade was in recognition of how he had overcome bullying, special needs and post-traumatic stress disorder to succeed in the retail industry.

Fernandez-Versini said: "The Prince's Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success Awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise the achievements of young people who have turned their lives around with the help of The Prince's Trust.

"I want to congratulate Adrian on winning the Samsung Young Achiever of the Year Award. He and all the other nominees are a true inspiration to me."

Maddocks, 20, is from Wallsend in North Tyneside - close to Newcastle upon Tyne, where Fernandez-Versini grew up.

She said: "I didn't hesitate when I was asked to come and give an award. I am very proud to be from the North East and helping young people is something that is very close to my heart.

"That's why Cheryl's Trust has teamed up with The Prince's Trust to raise funds to open a new centre in Newcastle to support local young people get the chance to succeed.

"I have been lucky to realise my dreams and I think all young people deserve the chance to succeed, no matter what their background is.

"We want to be celebrating many more success stories like this here in the North East."

After meeting Fernandez-Versini, Maddocks said: "I am speechless. To win this award and to meet Cheryl has been absolutely amazing."

The awards recognise the achievements of disadvantaged young people who have succeeded against the odds and had a positive impact on the local community - with awards ceremonies taking place in every region.

Maddocks had faced bullying at primary school, where he was teased for his inability to read or write. He then attended a special needs school and went to college to study retail, but could not keep up and was asked to leave.

During two years of unemployment, he volunteered at a hospital, before joining the Prince's Trust programme Get into Retail. This helped him get a job at Tesco, and he has since been able to move into independent living.

The event was hosted by TV presenter Kim Inglis.

PA Media

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