THIS year's Pride of Somerset Youth Awards are being supported by Avon and Somerset Police, who work to keep our communities safe day in, day out.

The awards were created to recognise and honour young people who strive to make a difference and overcome personal challenges.

The force is sponsoring the Sandy Padgett Award, one of the award categories named in memory of Chief Superintendent Sandy Padgett, who was a dedicated and respected figure in Somerset's police force.

Ch Supt Sandy Padgett, 41, was the district commander for Somerset West police district, which covers Taunton, Wellington, Minehead, Bridgwater and Burnham.

She previously worked as chief inspector and superintendent in Yeovil, covering Somerset East, which also includes Chard and Ilminster.

She joined the constabulary as a police constable in 1993 and served across Bristol and at police headquarters and also at the Home Office.

She was a leading part of the Action on Street Crime and Citizen Focused Policing initiatives.

She had lived in Somerset for more than a decade with her husband and two children, before suddenly passing from natural causes in 2009.

Last year, Taunton student Anthony Knight was honoured with the Sandy Padgett Award. Somerset commander for Avon and Somerset Police, Dickon Turner, presented the award.

Anthony, a talented musician, was rewarded for his work in raising money for charities working in Ukraine.

Speaking at the time, Philip Edwards, Anthony’s housemaster at Taunton School, said, “Anthony is an exceptional young man. He is using his enormous talent to support those who need help.

"I was delighted to hear that his generosity has been recognised and I hope that his story inspires other young people to make a positive difference also."

This year, the award ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 16, 6.30pm-9pm at The McMillan Theatre, Bridgwater.

The award categories are as follows:

  • Art & Culture Award: 
  • Care Award: 
  • Championing Positive Mental Health Award: 
  • Charity / Volunteer Hero: 
  • Community Hero: 
  • Environmental Award: 
  • Outstanding Courage Award: 
  • Sandy Padgett Award: 
  • Sporting Achievement Award:  
  • Young Person of the Year Award.

Other sponsors include the Somerset County Gazette, Young Somerset, The Rotary Club of Taunton and Gravity Smart Campus, to name a few.