Inspirational Sofia from Sheffield heads to Holyrood

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Sofia Sajid, winner of this year’s Inspiring Youth Award, went north of the border recently for a special trip to Edinburgh and a behind the scenes tour of the Scottish Parliament.

Organised by South Yorkshire Police and a dedicated team of volunteers, the scheme is open to 13 to 17 year olds, with the aim of helping them to build invaluable life skills, self esteem and improve on their education.

Taking top spot in the 2016 award was Sheffield Park Academy’s Sofia Sajid, who achieved both the top scorers award and overall ‘Best of the Best’ gold award, presented in recognition of her work within the local community, which included support for primary schools’ homework clubs, ‘buddy’ reading with younger students at Sheffield Park Academy and helping with the ‘Run in the Park’ event at Graves Park in Sheffield.

As part of her prize, Sofia and three other high scoring students spent two days in the Scottish capital last week, which included a visit to Holyrood, home of the Scottish Parliament, where they were given a guided tour by Humza Yousaf – the Scottish Government Minister for Transport and the Islands.

Accompanying Sofia and her fellow winners on the trip were South Yorkshire Police’s Youth and Community Liaison Officer PC Bobby Dev, Chief Inspector Dave Turner MBE and Retired Chief Inspector Tom Harrigan MBE, as well as Sheffield Park Academy’s own Ann Ashforth, Learning Resource Centre Manager.

Commenting on the trip, Sofia said: “It was a mind blowing experience. I feel privileged to have been able to meet Humza and everyone else involved, as well as go into the Scottish Parliament buildings and into places the public can’t usually go into. I just want to go back and do it again.”

Executive Principal Craig Dillon added: “The Inspiring Youth Award is an incredibly worthwhile initiative, which celebrates the hard work and dedication of young people from across the community. We’re particularly proud of Sofia, whose efforts saw her take first prize.”