Girl, 10, named Young Citizen of the Year after raising thousands for charity
A 10-year-old girl Lancashire has been named as Lancashire’s Young Citizen of the Year 2023.
Saara Ali, from Preston, topped the list of 50 young and inspiring people who have made real differences to their communities across the county over the last 12 months.
She was presented with the award at a ceremony held on Wednesday night (March 22) at the police headquarters in Hutton.
Presenting Saara with her prize was the High Sheriff of Lancashire Martin Ainscough, police chief constable Chris Rowley and Russell Millhouse from the University of Central Lancashire.
Saara has more than £2,500 for various charities by selling some of her bakes.
Her venture is called Saara’s Snack Shack, with her baking cakes, biscuits, brownies, rocky roads and savoury items.
One of the recipients of her work has been Rosemere Cancer Foundation. £700 she raised went towards the purchase of new modesty poppy gowns for cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy at Royal Preston Hospital.
Saara also raised around £400 for the Noor Food Bank in Preston, which was used to supply food packages to families in the community.
The judging panel also selected a second and third place.
Cole Murphy, 16, from Skelmersdale was runner-up. He litter picks in Skelmersdale every day and has helped Little Digmoor School with grass cutting in the holidays.
He’s also planted flowers in the local community, paid for by his own money.
In third place was 12-year-old Daniel Young from Lytham. Daniel raised £3,700 by running a 7.5km night run. The money was donated to Brian House and Trinity Hospice.
Mr Ainscough said: “I have met many young people in the last 12 months as High Sheriff, doing amazing things in the communities across Lancashire.
“The 50 entrants this year highlighted all that work, and the winners are shining examples of just what can be achieved with dedication and motivation.
“I hope that their achievements can inspire us all and especially other young people to really make a difference.”
Mr Rowley said: “Many congratulations to Saara who is this year’s deserved winner, and to Cole and Daniel who were worthy runners-up. It is excellent to learn of their achievements and of the goodwill of so many youngsters in Lancashire – they make outstanding contributions to their communities.
“It is an honour to be involved in the Young Citizen of the Year Awards. Every year we are impressed with the standard of entries.
“We have a lot of inspirational young people in our county and to recognise them in this way is magnificent.”
Mr Baldwin said: “Many congratulations to Saara, Cole, Daniel and all the fantastic young citizens nominated this year.
“The judging panel’s task seems to get more difficult every year, with youngsters willing to go the extra mile again and again, to help those in need and less fortunate than themselves.
“The many accounts of selflessness and dedication to helping others is inspiring. The University is proud to support LANPAC in recognising the achievements of Lancashire’s young people.”