HUNDREDS of people came together from across the county on Sunday afternoon to celebrate the achievements of young people at the Argus Youth in Action Awards 2017.

Hosted by The Argus, the awards recognise achievements by young people as well as the unsung heroes who line the corridors, classrooms and sports pitches of our schools and club.

Around 200 people filled the Mayo Wynne Baxter Lounge at the American Express Community Stadium for the ceremony.

Host for the event, Argus senior reporter Joel Adams, guided guests through the 12 award categories.

Winner of the headline award Star of the Year, sponsored by British Airways and the Trust for Developing Communities, was Protect Youth Services.

The group had stood up for the youth of Brighton and Hove when the city council announced an 80 per cent cut in funding to youth services in the city in November.

Not content with this, the group went about demonstrating, lobbying councillors and collecting a petition with more than 2,000 signatures.

Eventually the group was successful in helping to overturn the proposed cuts from 80 per cent to 15 per cent.

Tilly Wilson,17, said: “It’s great to know that with all the stuff that we did we got somewhere and reduced the cuts.

“It involved great teamwork to make this campaign as effective as possible and put youth services at the forefront of people’s minds.”

There was also success for Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA) which picked up Teacher of the Year with Dean Flynn, and Most Improved School of the Year.

The school in Portslade has gone from special measures before it became an academy in 2011 to being rated good across the board by Ofsted in a few short years.

Rob Reed, executive principal for Aldridge Education’s schools in the South East, said the awards represented the positive trajectory of the school.

He said: “Both PACA and Brighton Aldridge Academy (BACA) are truly transforming their communities and giving those children the standard of education to which they are entitled.

“These awards and nominations just show it is working and huge credit to the incredible, effective leadership of the two headteachers, both of whom were quite rightly nominated for headteacher of the year, and also those working with them.

“It is a teamwork which has transformed those two communities and collectively as a family of schools we are really proud of them.”

The awards comes after hundreds of nominations were sent in by the public to The Argus before winners were chosen by votes from sponsors for the event.

Youth in Action reporter Andre Rhoden-Paul said: “I was thrilled to see so many of our nominees and their families come together to celebrate their fantastic achievements.

“It was a great way to celebrate the positive contribution of young people and their leaders to our communities.

“I look forward to next year’s awards.”

Don’t miss The Argus on Wednesday for an eight-page Youth in Action Awards 2017 supplement.