AFTER a year spent helping others and thinking of new ways to improve people's wellbeing, Act-Belong-Commit's (ABC) Steph Garland and Toni Prior have finally got some recognition.
Attending the Regional Youth Services Awards at Kurri Kurri TAFE, the pair were both praised for their efforts over the past 12 months, with Ms Garland being named Inspiring Young Person of the Year and Ms Prior being highly commended.
Among her activities in recent times, the prize winner has helped coordinate the Live Life in Colour Run, been involved in the homeless connect days in which she would provide free haircuts to homeless people, taken part in the Bald and Beautiful program in Newcastle where cancer patients are their families are pampered, and has also helped out at Muswellbrook Physical Culture.
"Both Toni and I have put a lot of work into the colour run and youth connectors this year, so just to be recognised for that was pretty cool," said the 20-year-old.
They were both nominated by Upper Hunter Community Services' Jesse Court, who works with them closely in their role.
It was a special moment to know they were valued so highly by one of their colleagues, according to the duo.
"I think it was really sweet, one day he just emailed us and said we were nominated and it felt really good because to be recognised because I just saw him as a teammate and I feel like he deserves an award too," said Ms Prior.
Mr Court said he had no hesitations about putting the girls' names forward for the accolade.
"Both Toni and Steph are great examples of young people in our region who work to support the participation of young people in our community," he said.
"It has been a pleasure working with them and I'm excited to see what they achieve in the future."
ABC Muswellbrook coordinator Carly Hughes said she was extremely proud of what the pair had been able to accomplish since they joined earlier this year.
"It's been really exciting, having first met Steph and Toni back in May when we started the Youth Connectors program," she said.
"After the workshop they both put their hands up to say that wanted to volunteer, and initially we didn't really have any idea what that would look like.
"But with everything we've thrown at them they've been enthusiastic and really put everything into it to get the community on board and involved."
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