Leighton guide up for ‘Oscar’

Leighton Guide Tess Bettle, 16, who has been nominated for a YOPEY award
Leighton Guide Tess Bettle, 16, who has been nominated for a YOPEY award

A Leighton teenager who helps lead two Brownie units is up for a YOPEY (Young People of the Year) award, regarded as an ‘Oscar’ for young people who give to others.

Tess Bettle, 16, of Carina Drive was nominated by Kim Mead, leader of the 4th Leighton Buzzard Brownies, who meet at the Scout Hut in Hockliffe Road every Wednesday.

Tess has been with the Guiding movement since joining the Brownies at the tender age of seven.

As a 12-year-old Guide, she became a volunteer helper with the Brownies and two years later a young leader.

She is also a young leader with the 9th Leighton Heath Brownies who meet at Beaudesert School in Appenine Road on Tuesday evenings.

She attends activities and events run by both units, including weekends and Brownie holidays.

Tess has gained her youth leadership qualification and is now working on her Queen’s Guide award – the highest in the movement.

She has completed more than 800 hours of volunteering since she was 14 and said: “I liked the Guides for all the different activites they put on.

“I also like passing on skills to the youngsters and I enjoy games with them.”

Tess will be going to Ethiopia next year as part of a 12-strong group from her school, Van Dyke Upper. They’ll be building furniture and painting classrooms as well as helping to deliver water to the village by laying pipes.

“I’m looking forward to the trip and and helping local people, she said.

She’s already raised £1,000 towards the £4,000 needed for the expedition through bag packing and cake selling.

She’s got more fundraising activities planned and is so popular among her Brownies that one of them, Any Newman, even sold her playhouse for £40 to help swell the coffers,

Kim, who nominated Tess for the YOPEY award, said the teenager had “grown massively in confidence” and added: “She works well with small groups or the whole 28-strong unit. She does anything I ask happily and willingly and the youngsters love her.”

YOPEY founder Tony Gearing said: “Tess is to be applauded for her leadership role in two units of boisterous Brownies and I hope the trip to Ethiopia goes well.”

Top prize is £800 which is split 50/50 between the winner and a good cause of their choice.

The runner-up receives £400, with third and junior winners getting £200 each, all similarly shared.

Beds YOPEY awards are sponsored by Atlas Converting Equipment, Beds Fire & Rescue Service, Central Beds Council and recruitment company Guidant Group.

> Do you know anyone who deserves the title Young Person of the Year? Entrants must be aged between 10 and 25 and people can nominate themselves. For more information go to www.yopey.org or write to YOPEY, Woodfarm Cottage, Bury Road, Stradishall, Newmarket CB8 8YN, enclosing a SAE for an entry form.