Inspirational second-year student Jax Pickerill wins Outstanding Contributions to the Community Award 2022


Second-Year student Jax Pickerill recently won the Outstanding Contributions to the Community award at the annual Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Youth Awards.  

The awards ceremony was held in the Tony Waddington Suite at the Bet 365 Stadium on Friday the 18th of November. There were several award categories, for example, Inspirational Young Person Award to a Youth Voice award and this year marks the second year of the annual awards.  

The ethos for the community awards is to celebrate the achievements of young people and to highlight the amazing things they do, the life barriers they overcome and the aid they provide to others.  

Jax’s colleagues at Changes Health and wellbeing nominated him for the award in secret for his commitment, working countless hours voluntarily for the organisation, completing many mental health training courses, providing wellness coaching for children and adults, coordinating peer support groups for those suffering mental distress and chairing the Mental Health Youth Council for North Staffs and Stoke.  

The Outstanding Contributions to the Community award is for a young person who has demonstrated the aptitude for new ideas or initiative that has brought about significant change within their community.  

When Jax was declared a finalist, his colleagues decided to surprise him with the news.  

Jax commented, “I was absolutely over the moon! I honestly couldn’t believe it when my colleagues told me I was a finalist. I received an invite to the awards ceremony and astonishingly it was announced that I was the winner of my category.”  

“After realising the positive impacts I’ve made in the community, I was able to feel deserving of this amazing award and I could honour myself for fulfilling my passion in the mental health field, which clearly is what I was destined to do.”  

“This award will be fantastic to put onto my CV and personal statements. It clearly indicates to employers that I am deeply passionate and enthusiastic about having a positive impact within the community and that helping others is very meaningful to me. It also shows that I have everyone’s best interests at heart, and I pour my soul into contributing to growth and improvement in our society.”  

“I’d like to thank the college’s Wellbeing and Safeguarding team. Due to chronically suffering from mental illnesses myself, I have been in the darkest of places many times and without their help and urgent support, I wouldn’t be here right now and wouldn’t have been able to provide help to others like myself, over at Changes. As they say: you can’t pour from an empty cup – so those teams within the college have helped me push forward and maintain my well-being, as best they can.” 

Safeguarding and Support Manager at the Sixth Form College, Charlotte Barker commented “This is a fantastic achievement for Jax and we couldn’t be prouder. It is always wonderful to hear from the students about their interests outside of college and to hear that Jax is making such a difference within our community is wonderful. Jax is an amazing student, and we couldn’t be happier for them” 

Jax successfully balances his volunteering alongside studying A Levels in German, French and BTEC Music Performance and the college is immensely proud and supportive of Jax’s achievements.  

You can find out more about Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Youth Awards here