Young people, their families, Patrons and special guests gathered at Mahdlo Youth Zone on Saturday 4 March, for the annual Mahdlo Stars Awards. The event reflects on and celebrates the achievements of the young people attending Mahdlo sessions at the hub on Egerton Street and across Oldham in Saddleworth, Chadderton, Failsworth and Royton.
Split into 12 categories, including; Get Active, Get Creative, Junior and Senior Member of the Year, and the prestigious President’s award, to name a few. The awards recognise personal achievements, skills development and making the most of the opportunities Mahdlo has to offer.
Nominees and guests heard from the team at Mahdlo, who read out why they were chosen before the final winners were revealed and presented with certificates and trophies.
Get Active Award
Get Active enables young people to develop their skills, grow in confidence and take part in physical activity through fun and inviting sessions.
WINNER: Connor Dockerty
Connor approaches each Mahdlo session with an open mind, and an enthusiasm to try his hand at anything. From American Football to Lacrosse, Volleyball to Tchoukball, Connor will try anything. Connor was one of the driving forces behind the creation of Mahdlo’s senior basketball team, often lobbying to see that games were organised
Get Creative Award
Get Creative encourages personal development through self-expression, enhancing skills and talent, enabling young people to try new things, take part in workshops and perform as a team.
WINNER: Abbie Harrison
When first entering the music room at Mahdlo, Abbie doubted their own talent and ability, using her famous words of “I can’t”. She has learnt to bring out her inner voice, from karaoke, to writing and recording her own songs. She has performed in front of large audiences and is now working towards her performing arts qualification at college.
Get Connected Award
Get Connected helps young people to make a difference, have their say and become young leaders. It’s about establishing who they are within their own community and how they want to help.
WINNER: Demi Bennett
Demi has attended 735 sessions across Girls, Junior and Senior Zones. Throughout her time at Mahdlo she has taken every opportunity we’ve thrown at her with both hands. Over Summer 2022 she organised and ran a fundraising day in Holiday Zone to give back to Mahdlo for, in her words, “putting up with her for 6 weeks!”
Get Ahead Award
Get Ahead inspires, encourages, motivates and develops young people through enterprise projects and personal development training courses on their chosen pathways to a successful future.
WINNER: Jayne Vernon
Jayne won the Get Ahead award for the achievements she has made within her volunteering role. This role was something that had personal significance to this young person, and I know that she has made her family proud. She was inspired to take on this role because “she wanted to be able to do what the people who looked after her grandma did”
Get Outdoors Award
Get Outdoors enables young people to enjoy the outdoors while developing teamwork and problem-solving skills, improving fitness and increasing environmental awareness.
WINNER: Skye Howcroft
Skye jumped at every opportunity over the past year to participate in our Get Outdoors offer, whether that’s decorating plant pots, planting seeds, rock climbing, creating wreaths at Christmas time, or taking part in wildlife “I Spy” activities in her own time. She has impressed staff with her passion for nature, and her enthusiasm has sparked the imaginations of others.
Get Sorted Award
Get Sorted helps young people address their issues and access the right support. They go through so many changes and developments. It’s hard trying to find out who you are, how you’re supposed to act and understanding why things happen.
WINNER: Millie Loftus
Millie always comes into sessions at Mahdlo with an incredibly positive attitude and is always a source of support for her friends should they need her. She is always open to support from staff and honest about her own challenges, and we are all proud of her for how well she has dealt with these challenges.
Junior Zone Member of the Year
Junior Zone is for young people aged 8 to year 8, allowing them to choose what they’d like to do. They can make new friends, try exciting new things, develop interests and talk to someone.
WINNER: Ibrahim Ramzan
Having started attending Junior Zone but lacking in confidence, Ibrahim channelled his energy into helping people and making them feel comfortable, which in turn has developed his own confidence. He’s since performed at the Mahdlo Arts Slam, in front of people he’d never met, and supported an intergenerational event to prevent lonliness.
Senior Zone Member of the Year
Senior Zone is for young people aged to 13 to 19, sessions are influenced by young people’s needs and interests. Exciting activities and opportunities are available every session, contributing to members feeling safe, meeting new people and trying new things in their spare time.
WINNER: Amira Newman
Amira really comes alive when talking about subjects that they are passionate about. They worked with other Senior Zone members to plan, pitch and deliver a ‘Positive Party’ which aimed to raise awareness of mental health amongst our members, and this was attended by 70 young people.
District Member of the Year
We’re not just at Mahdlo’s main building, we go out into the community throughout the week, reaching young people that can’t make it to our centre. Every night is different, but that doesn’t stop young people being incredible.
WINNER: Kye Steadman
Kye has been supporting the Junior sessions at the Satellite since they reopened last September. He is a thoughtful, kind-hearted young person. He is a pleasure to work with and works on his own initiative as well as a valued team member.
Inclusion Zone Member of the Year
Inclusion Zone takes place during evening sessions and ensures that young people with additional needs and disabilities can participate alongside their peers, breaking down barriers and encouraging all young people to share experiences together.
WINNER: Theo Clark
Theor regularly attends Inclusive Family Zone on Sunday afternoons, and our staff have nothing but positive things to say. Since first accessing he has become a confident young man, navigating his way around the session independently and always with a happy, smiling face.
Mentoring Match of the Year
Mentoring is a voluntary relationship based on mutual respect and provides extra emotional and practical support for young people facing challenges. Mentors can make a massive difference to a young person just by giving one to two hours per week for 12 months.
WINNER: Leon Wrigley and Neil Cooper
Since their very first meeting they just clicked, it’s a two-way street and both mentor Neil and mentee Leon have developed and learnt so much from each other.
The President’s Award
This award recognises young people that have gone the extra mile, shown outstanding development and leadership qualities in their progression as a Mahdlo member.
WINNER: Jack Dobson
Jack has overcome some very difficult personal challenges over the past few years, yet he is always there to support his friends when they need him. They embrace the support that their friends, Mahdlo staff, and key people around them provide; they pay forward this care and support with everyone around them too.
Sir Norman Stoller CBE KStJ DL, Mahdlo Youth Zone President, has expressed his delight in the way in which, despite the challenges created by health and other serious issues, the team continues to ensure that our young people achieve great things by pulling together to overcome all obstacles to progress:
Every year thousands of young people from Oldham walk through the doors at Mahdlo. What awaits them is a world of opportunity, whether they want to learn to play a musical instrument or join a basketball team. The Stars Awards allow us to celebrate those young people and everything they’ve achieved in the last 12 months which is, as you expect, a considerable amount.