Young achievers win acclaim in awards

Achievement in Education presented to Berenice Gilmour by Stephen Burwood on behalf of Positive Tax Solutions

Achievement in Education presented to Berenice Gilmour by Stephen Burwood on behalf of Positive Tax Solutions

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Yorkshire’s Olympic and Paralympic medallists, including cyclist Barwick’s Katy Marchant who took bronze in the velodrome in the women’s individual sprint, were named as joint Personalities of the Year in honour of their impressive performances in Rio, with four attending to receive their awards in person.

Personality of the Year, presented to Yorkshires Olympian and Paralympian medallists by Peter Banks of Rudding Park

Personality of the Year, presented to Yorkshires Olympian and Paralympian medallists by Peter Banks of Rudding Park

The 24th Awards, sponsored by by McCormicks Solicitors of Harrogate, mark the achievements of young people in eight categories, from the Arts to Sport, and are organised by the Yorkshire Young Achievers Foundation which has now raised nearly £1.2m to support young people in Yorkshire.

Berenice Gilmour of Wetherby, a Harrogate college student, took the Achievement in Education title and former Scarcroft resident Avigail Collins won the Achievement in the Arts award.

The Chairman of the Awards, Peter McCormick OBE, said: “These young people, from the Olympians to our Unsung Hero, typify the best in Yorkshire and we heard some terrific stories of dedication and grit during the evening.

Berenice is currently in her third year of a fashion degree at Harrogate College and was this year crowned Best Student Designer by Bridal Buyer with her stunning dress based on a birds of paradise brief.

But her talent was stumbled on when the mum and trained dancer made her eldest daughter’s dance outfit to save money.

Family and friends were impressed and more commissions followed.

Avigail is a stylist who has worked with some of the biggest names in show business including Rihanna and Pixie Lott.

Brought up in Scarcroft, she studied fashion at Leeds College of Art and Design before moving to London aged 18 to take up a place at a prestigious fashion school.

She and her then husband-to-be, Damian Collins, set up their own fashion label and in 2007 the pair got three-month placements in New York, where they made contact with the head stylist for MTV who was working with a new singer called Rihanna.