Variety’s Young Star of the Year Winner was announced in a poignant ceremony on Sunday 19th June. Deserving youngsters were recognised for their many commendable achievements and sixteen-year-old Abigail Ellis was crowned Variety’s Young Star of the Year 2022.
This year’s nominations were vast, with touching and triumphant stories from Jersey’s young community. Government House was the scene for an extraordinary ‘Wizard of Oz’ themed event and Liam Clements from Performers gave up his time to act as MC for the special ceremony.
The Awards acknowledged outstanding examples of courage, caring, creativity, skill and selflessness.
After winning the ‘Young Star in the Community’ category, Abigail Ellis was crowned the overall winner and credited for the amazing work she has carried out in Jersey to support the community.
Abigail is a senior Cadet in the Mountbatten unit of Jersey’s St John Ambulance Cadets and has already been a recipient of the Grand Prior’s Award – the highest award a Cadet can achieve which recognized the hard work Abigail had put in. She now holds the rank of Cadet Sergeant and assists the adult leaders with running the unit and supervising activities for the younger Cadets. In January 2022, Abigail was chosen as the Jersey Cadet of the Year 2022.
As well as her work with St John Ambulance, Abigail is the Chairperson of the Grands Vaux Young Members Committee and a senior Prefect at her school. She is also a young leader at St Mark’s Guide Unit and helps every year with the float for the St Saviour’s Battle of the Flowers Committee.
The judging panel this year consisted of Lady Anne Dalton, John Testori from Bambola Toymaster and Malcolm Lewis from Longueville Manor who said:
‘Young Star has always been a difficult event to judge as every one of these amazing youngsters is a winner. This year was no exception and we all felt very honoured to be part of this opportunity to recognise some of Jersey’s finest and most committed Young Stars.’
Alongside Abigail, many other young Islanders were recognised at the event in categories such as ‘Young Star of Courage’, ‘Community’, ‘Sports’ and ‘Arts and Academia’. Winners of each category were awarded £500 worth of Powerhouse vouchers, while finalists were awarded £100 worth of Powerhouse and Bambola vouchers.
This year Variety also decided to award a one-off Bravery award to recognise two young friends who had faced an incredibly frightening experience together. CJ Ballantyne (8) and Jace Renouf (7) were playing together when an altercation with another youth resulted in a knife being pulled. It was only the quick-thinking of Jace who pushed his friend out of the way that prevented a potentially serious incident.
Sandra Auckland, Chief Barker and Chairman for this event for Variety, The Children’s Charity of Jersey, said:
‘Every year I am more and more amazed by the young stars of Jersey. The nominations are always so poignant and inspirational. This year, every finalist has demonstrated strength, hard work and dedication that is well beyond their years. This event is so important, not only to recognise their past achievements but also to encourage their future aspirations. An event like this wouldn’t be possible without our sponsors. We are so grateful for their contributions, especially the Channel Islands Co-operative Society. I am also thankful to our judges, it’s always a difficult job because each story is so unique and moving.
I would also like to thank our sponsors Stage2, Slingshot Films and Performers who have given so much of their time to help create this wonderful event.’