Croydon’s Inspiring Young Finalists Jump For It!

Croydon’s Inspiring Young Finalists Jump For It!

The finalists in a new award to celebrate Croydon’s most inspirational young people jumped at the chance to meet their competition for the first time.

Any rivalries were quickly shelved as the enterprising 18 to 25 year olds got on like a house on fire! A total of eight entrants have been shortlisted for the new Croydon Business Excellence Awards Inspirational Young Person of the Year category, sponsored by London Borough of Croydon.

Meeting at the Croydon offices of awards organiser White Label Creative, they spoke about their excitement at being shortlisted and their ambitions for the future.

“I’m very excited to be shortlisted,” said Tom Martin, 19, a trainee site manager with Barratt, who is committed to helping others at work and in his free time. “It’s been great meeting the other finalists as well. Having them tell me about themselves and sharing their life choices was quite amazing.”

The shortlisted group includes Tom; Tyrell Davis Doughlin, 18, project manager of London Roads Cultural Festival; Laurence Grant, 25, director with Shaking Hands; Imad Khan, 23, who works with the Croydon: Choose Your Future campaign; Rebecca Russel, 22, construction industry Tradeswoman of the Year (who couldn’t make the meeting); Fabio Schifano, 25, a young LGBT+ campaigner and trustee of Croydon Pride; Kasra Soltani, 21, a surveying student at Croydon College, and Michelle Williams, 23, a business administration apprentice at Croydon Council.

All of the group live in the borough and were nominated by employers, family, friends or colleagues. They were chosen because they inspire other young people through their enterprise, energy and positive attitude in their work and community.

Many have overcome many obstacles and difficulties, like Kasra Soltani, 21, a student at Croydon College. He only came to the UK from Iran four years ago and learned to speak English by watching TV box sets. He said: “I’m really passionate about trying to effect change in the world to make life better for other people.”

Business Administration Apprentice Michelle Williams, 23, was so delighted with her shortlisting, she screamed with excitement when she got the news at work. “I’ve never been in a position like this before and I’m really looking forward to the opportunities that will come out of it,” said Michelle, who works with the South London Commissioning team at Croydon Council. “In the future I’d like to run my own company showing young girls how to be more confident and successful in the world no matter what their circumstances.”

The youngest of the group, 18 year old, Tyrell Davis Doughlin, was selected to project manage this year’s successful London Roads Annual Cultural Festival. He has also started his own business to enable other young people achieve their goals. “It’s really empowering and great to feel my work is not going unseen – I want to use it as a tool to inspire other young people and show that if you have purpose in your life you can succeed,” said Tyrell.

The new category is sponsored by London Borough of Croydon. Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed, cabinet member for economy and jobs, said: “Croydon Council is pleased to sponsor the Inspirational Young Person of the Year Award, which highlights the success of our young people in the borough. It’s great to see the positive attitudes of young workers in the borough being recognised. Their energy is inspiring, and I wish them all the best of luck at the awards in October.”
The group now go forward to the next round of the judging process. The winners will be announced, along with all the other category award winners and the Business of the Year, at the Croydon Business Excellence Awards Gala Dinner and Charity Ball on Thursday, 4th October.

*The fourth annual Croydon Business Excellence Awards in association with Willmott Dixon celebrates the achievements of the borough’s vibrant business community. The awards are sponsored by Willmott Dixon, Allianz Partners, AMP House Serviced Offices, Chequers Contracts Croydon, Connected Space, Green Network Energy, London Borough of Croydon, Superdrug, and Sussex Innovation Centre and supported by Costco Croydon, Croydon Advertiser, Croydon Chamber of Commerce, Grand Sapphire, Handelsbanken, Insight 6, Mobile Bar Hire and Woods Jewellers.