Mike King delivers health felt speech at 2018 Youth Awards

Don’t journey through the hard times alone, was Mike King’s message to the 180 strong crowd who had turned out for the 2018 Matamata-Piako Youth Awards last month.

King was invited to speak at the awards evening, held on 30 August in Matamata, where he gave an entertaining and often emotional personal account of his journey from stand-up comedy, to becoming an advocate for people struggling with mental illness.   

The district awards are the flagship event for the Volunteer Youth Ambassadors, a committee of year 12 and 13 students from each of the districts three high schools.

VYA chair Patrick Roskam presented King with a $1500 donation towards the Key to Life charity, which King returned, asking it go towards supporting youth in the Matamata-Piako. 

“Mike’s message is a powerful one and one I am sure affected every person who heard it at the awards evening,” said Patrick.

“Our committee were so touched that he returned our cheque, so we can use it to support the young people in our district. We can’t wait to put it to good use.”  

This is the second year the Youth Awards have been held and this year nine awards were given out.

The winners were:

Morrinsville Rotary Music/Arts award - Rachael Bloemendal 

Noble and Lee Leadership Award – Monique Mellow

Ngāti Haua Iwi Trust Māori Contribution Award – Nelly Wilson

The Boltholder Entrepreneur – Luka Stewart

Aroha Natural Honey Overcoming Adversity – Ollie Morton Farrelly

Property Brokers Employee Award – Amy Pollock

Te Aroha Lions Service to Community Award – Jasmine Hobbs

The Morrinsville Lions Club Service to Community Award – Damon Taylder

The Matamata Lions Club Service to Community – Caitlin Crozier

Matamata-Piako Mayor Jan Barnes said this year nominations doubled which showed an overwhelming level of support for the young people in the district and she was thrilled with the turnout of supporters.

"It's such a privilege to be witness to these young people getting rewarded for the hard work they do in our district. Often the hard work of any volunteer goes unnoticed, so we were glad to be able to shine the spotlight on these deserving recipients - not only the winners, but all the nominees," she said.  

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Caption: Property Brokers Employee award winner Amy Pollock with Property Brokers Matamata principal Natalie Reeve and Matamata-Piako Mayor Jan Barnes.