Caring Vicki's a shining example

Shelley said: "Many young people call on Vicki for a listening ear.

"Vicki does not stand out in a crowd but she has learnt the ability to shine."

Alexandra Stanbrook, who founded the award 10 years ago, was on the judging panel this year. She said Vicki might not have looked like the obvious winner on paper, but all the judges picked her out as shining the most.

She said: "We think her potential is tremendous, and she had a real aura about her. It was really hard to pick an overall winner as everyone's achievements was brilliant, but there had to be one winner."

Vicki said getting the award for her skill in handling young people has made her think about taking up a career in youth work.

She said: "I would like to work with people with disabilities, or in a youth club somewhere in the county next year and I hope to go on to study it at college. This award has inspired me and I feel really privileged to win it."

Vicki picked up a trophy from Young Gloucestershire, who co-ordinated the event, along with £125 in prize money.

The other county winners were Phillip Brown, 17, and Dominic Smith, 19, for Contribution to the community; Dave Hodgetts, 17, for being an ambassador to young people; Sam Lewis, 17, for contribution to sport; Samantha Dix, 16, for the voice of young people; Aaron Ellis-Moore, 17, for supporting young people with disadvantages.

For teenager Vicki Cook the shock of being named Gloucestershire Young Person of the Year 2003 has yet to sink in.

But others cannot stop singing the praises of the 17-year-old Newent student, who dedicates much of her free time to working with her peers at the Newent Youth Club. Vicki, an AS level pupil at Newent Community School, was presented with her award at a gala evening at the GL1 leisure centre on Saturday, with the Mayor of Gloucester Pam Tracey, in attendance.

She had to beat off some tough competition from the 24 other worthy young people who were nominated, and she still can't quite believe she did it.

Vicki said: "It was absolutely awesome to get this award and I really couldn't believe it when they called out my name.

"It took me a minute to realise they had.

"It only really dawned on me the day before the awards ceremony that I had been nominated, and I could barely believe that. My mum was in tears when it was announced. Her and my dad, and brother and sister, are all really proud of me."

Vicki was nominated by Shelley Roffey, a youth worker at the club, for her kindness and patience with young people.