TryAngle awards – 20th anniversary - 21st June 2014
It started in the Pfizer lecture theatre twenty years
ago. It was the brainchild of Kent County senior Youth Officer Bill
Butler and Area Social services Director Jan Askew who decided that instead of
the stream of bad publicity directed at Kent`s young people it was time to
recognise the achievements of those same young people in one of the most
deprived areas of the County – East Kent.
And so the TryAngle awards were born. It was a
low-key, school lunch-break event at first, celebrated with some crisps and
squash and a few members of the chain gang” to dish out awards and
certificates. Amongst those roped in to make the presentations were the then
Editor of the Isle of Thanet Gazette, Mike Pearce, and North Thanet`s Member of
Parliament, Roger Gale.
After the first awards Jan Askew, Roger Gale and Bill Butler
got together to plan how to grow the idea. Next year the Winter Gardens,
then the Albert Hall” was the dream. TryAngle has yet to go national and
to reach the Albert Hall but in the intervening years the project has
spread out to cover the whole of Kent with the Spirit of TryAngle”, held in
the Autumn, bringing together the best of the best” in a County Final”.
The Award Scheme is now a registered National charity with a board of Trustees
and still has aspirations to reach out nationwide.
We have had great support from many organisations and
businesses” says the Foundation`s Chairman, Sir Roger Gale, notably from Kent
County Constabulary who have staunchly supported the bravery award, from the
County`s newspapers and radio stations, from local philanthropic organisations
and from the KCC. The awards recognise a number of areas of personal and
group achievement relating to sport, the arts, the environment, community
service and the like and each year it gets harder and more humbling to judge
the submissions. The triumph of young people over all manner of challenges and
adversity is truly extraordinary and those of us who are involved in the
Foundation have been privileged to meet, over twenty years, some of the finest,
bravest, most courageous, most talented, most determined and most outstanding
of the young people of the County.
The ceremonies themselves have transformed from the original
low-key event to evenings that harness the use of the County`s best venues and
involve live entertainment, friends and relatives and proper hospitality all
funded through the generosity of sponsors. The 20th
Anniversary Thanet Awards at the Margate Winter Gardens, to be held on
Thursday, will, I hope, mark the start of a new era that will take
TryAngle beyond the boundaries of Kent and allow us to help to pay tribute to
the young people not just of our own County but of Britain.”