Young volunteer in running for award

Thirteen-year-old Daisy Rayner has been nominated for the Yopey award by pal Sophie Barley.
Thirteen-year-old Daisy Rayner has been nominated for the Yopey award by pal Sophie Barley.

A young volunteer is in the running for a Young People of the Year award after being nominated by her pal.

Daisy Rayner and Sophie Barley, both aged 13 and of Curtis Way in Berkhamsted, volunteer to visit old folk in sheltered accommodation and residential homes.

Sophie said: “When I heard about the Young People of the Year awards I immediately thought of Daisy. 

“Although we both volunteer our time, Daisy also looks after her mum who has Lupus.”

The search is on to reveal, recognise and reward the county’s young heroes of 2012.

Any young person aged 10 to 25, who is a positive role model and gives to others, can enter themselves or be nominated by anyone who knows them for the University of Hertfordshire Young People of the Year (YOPEY) awards.

The winner will bag £800, to be split equally between themselves and their good cause, and there are a whole host of other prizes up for grabs from a £2,000 prize pot put up by competition sponsors.

Daisy, a pupil at Ashlyns School in Berkhamstead, was inspired to volunteer after learning that her mum used to give her free time to helping others when she was younger.

Daisy said: “I find it really interesting. I like to talk to older people. I get on with them well. I used to have a great-grandpa and I used to talk to him when I was younger so I knew I would like it.

Daisy’s mum Rebecca has Lupus – a condition which affects the immune system – and, although not a carer for her mum, Daisy likes to help her when she is having days where her condition impacts on her life.

Daisy and Sophie volunteer with the Youth Action Entertainers project for about three hours once a month.

Youth worker Claire Lynch, who runs the scheme, described the pair as “committed volunteers who are very helpful and dedicated”.

Competition founder Tony Gearing said: “It is great to see two young girls giving their own time to brighten up the lives of others.”

To nominate a young person visit yopey.org or write to YOPEY, PO Box 236, Newmarket, CB8 1DP.

Entries close on Sunday, September 30.