30 inspiring young people under 30 in Suffolk
- Credit: Archant
From those who spend their lives inspiring others to determined campaigners, Suffolk's young people are a force to be reckoned with.
Here we've rounded up 30 of Suffolk's under 30s who have made a difference.
Kesgrave's Kim Sale had her leg amputated in 2015 after developing a rare type of bone cancer called Ewing Sarcoma.
Kim hit the headlines after passing her driving test shortly after her 16th birthday – and received an adapted Fiat 500 from the Motability charity.
She battled with the Department for Work and Pensions to keep her specially adapted car in 2018 after she was told she no longer qualified for a high enough payment to receive a Motability vehicle.
After help from her local MP Dr Dan Poulter, Kim won her battle and managed to keep her car.
She was also shortlisted for the outstanding bravery award at the Stars of Suffolk in 2016.
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Dom Davies feared he would never make make Christmas 2019 after being struck down by a serious illness.
He was born with a single ventricle heart condition, which greatly affected his mobility and could also have killed him were it not for a lifesaving heart transplant.
Dom has recovered from his transplant and supported changes to the transplant laws to allow more people to donate.
Former Ipswich youth MP Isaac Codjoe has done a great deal of work to represent young people in the town and previously spoke in the House of Commons calling for more work to be done to tackle knife crime.
He also founded the Ipswich Youth Council which hopes to empower young people in the town.
It has worked to look into serious issues like racism and last year produced a report into racism in schools in Suffolk.
Adele Bellis from Lowestoft was left scarred for life following a horrific acid attack at a bus stop in the town in 2014 arranged by her ex partner.
Miss Bellis won the 2015 Stars of Lowestoft and Waveney Award in recognition of her fightback, and wrote a book entitled 'Brave' about her struggle in 2016.
24-year-old Callum Wilkinson from Moulton will be competing in the Tokyo Olympics in race walking.
Callum is a former world junior champion in the sport and won a bronze medal at the U23 world championships in 2019.
He will be going for gold again this summer as part of Team GB.
Lanai Collis Phillips
Ipswich teenager Lanai Collis Phillips, 19, recently won an award for her volunteering work around domestic abuse, child abuse and sexual violence.
Lanai has been volunteering since the age of 14 and has helped deliver 'Gang Grooming' workshops to more than 1,500 schoolchildren in Suffolk. She is also a UK Ambassador for Youth Social Action.
On top of all her volunteering work she is working a for a children's nursing degree.
Mental health activist Sarah Barrett from Southwold has proved an inspiration to many with the way she has fought back from post-traumatic stress disorder following a violent attack as a child.
Sarah Launched her own website to fight back at the stigma of mental health and led a warrior walk along Lowestoft seafront to raise awareness of the dangers of self-harming.
She was crowned overall winner of the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards.
Nathan Wilson from Ipswich became one of the youngest councillors in the country after he was elected to represent Chantry at Suffolk County Council.
He said he wanted to be an advocate for young people and represent the people of Chantry.
Nathan will be working at the council while also still at student at the University of Suffolk.
Ipswich's Sam Perkins hasn’t let the Covid pandemic stop him from dreaming of being an Olympic gold medallist.
The swimmer has more than 100 medals from competitions across the country and is one of the country’s best young talents.
He hopes to win a scholarship to study in the US and wants to reach the Olympics in 2024 or 2028.
Singer Roma Nicholson has released her own album and performed at hundreds of gigs despite only being 15 years old.
The teenager was bullied as a youngster but got into writing music and performed as young Fiona in Shrek the musical.
The singer is seen as a “massive role model” to pupils at Northgate High School, which she attends and has raised £17,500 from her music for local charities such as Ipswich Winter Night Shelter.
Lily May Humphreys
The Stoke-by-Nayland golfer got into playing golf at a young age and has previously won youth England championships as well as national and international titles.
In 2020 she made her major debut at the Champion Golf Club in Houston and is considered one of the best amateur golfers in the world.
She hopes to follow in the footsteps of Georgia Hall and Charley Hull on the LPGA Tour.
Woodbridge youngster Georgia Wood was left paralysed and in a coma for 26 days following a car accident.
She had to have speech therapy and counselling following the accident and has worked hard to rebuild pathways in her brain.
Georgia took part in a skydive in 2019 to raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
Jade MayJean Peters
Jade MayJean Peters was scouted by judge to appear on The Voice back in 2014 where she was mentored by Kylie Minogue.
Since then she has continued to gig around Suffolk but has also worked to help young people in Ipswich as a support worker and facilitator for a group called Girls Where You At?
She released her first album 20Sixty in 2018.
Ipswich Town Women’s player Sophie Peskett became the first woman to sign a professional contract with the club in June 2021.
At the age of 18, the player who goes to school at St Joseph’s College in Ipswich, has already made great achievements within the women’s game having been part of the Town team that was promoted to its highest ever league position.
She also played in the historic FA Cup game against footballing titans Manchester City Women.
The Bury St Edmunds youngster made it to the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2020 after wowing judges with her singing prowess.
Since then she has appeared in the Christmas special of the show and has released her own song for Mother’s Day which she shared with fans on Youtube.
She had previously appeared as one of the youngest unexpected stars on Michael McIntyre’s Big Show.
Two-year-old Ireland Banham from Ipswich was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2019 and has been on a difficult journey since.
Still just a toddler, the toddler has faced a range of gruelling 12-hour operations, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and other treatments.
In January 2021 it was announced that the youngster had finally gone into remission.
Ipswich-born contemporary painter Jelly Green has long been inspired by the natural world and uses her work to focus on raising awareness of deforestation.
She has been mentored by well-known artist Maggi Hambling since she was 16 years old.
Her work is currently available at Snape Maltings Gallery and The Rowley Gallery in Kensington, London.
Ipswich youngster Tallulah Ridley, a year 12 pupil at One Sixth Form spent the pandemic helping out the St John’s Ambulance making sure that they had enough equipment to get out and about.
She was offered a three-month paid contract to continue working with the ambulance station.
Despite having suffered from seizures herself Tallulah wants to work in healthcare and hopes to study paramedic science.
England goalkeeper Nick Pope started his footballing career at Ipswich Town before joining non league Bury Town on his way to the top.
The former West Suffolk College pupil now plays for Burnley in the Premier League and has made seven appearances for England since his first cap in 2018.
He was named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
East Bergholt athlete Zoe Newson has had great success as a powerlifter claiming bronze medals at both the London and Rio Paralympics.
She started lifting at the age of 15 and has continued to coach remotely during the pandemic.
In May 2021 she won gold at the World Para Powerlifting World Cup in Tbilisi in Georgia in the under 41 kg category.
Needham Market Women’s football legend Freya Louis has spent much of her time bringing women’s football to the forefront in Suffolk.
From launching her own ‘Happy Gaffer’ blog to her ‘We Are’ campaign she’s worked hard to make sure the sport has gained ground in the county.
These days she spends much of her time coaching the players of tomorrow.
Chef Sam Sturman works at The Brewers in Rattlesden, which has fast become a destination pub.
Sam was named best newcomer and chef of the year at the Suffolk Food and Drink Awards.
After starting out as a Sous Chef Sam has been promoted to the top job of head chef at the age of just 24.
Chris Sharman is the successful entrepreneur behind popular Suffolk chain Dough and Co.
A former chef, Chris worked at Michelin Star restaurants alongside Marco Pierre White and had catered for big events like Newmarket Racecourse.
The pizza brand started in a horse box and now has locations across the county.
Drumming sensation Nandi Bushell from Ipswich rose to fame for her 'feud' with Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters founder Dave Grohl.
She had previously been featured in adverts for both John Lewis and Argos.
In February 2021 she was named Cartoon Network's kid-musician in residence and will regularly appear on the popular children's channel.
Referred to as the Greta Thunberg of Saxmundham, the inspirational seven-year-old donated all her pocket money to help her local surgery's fundraiser for the Covax scheme.
The youngster had learnt about the programme at school.
When asked if she wanted to save the money for a toy, Beatrice told her mum it was a case of life and death.
Founder of Suffolk-based Project21, Alex Munn's charity supports young people and their families across Suffolk and Essex.
These groups give people with Down’s Syndrome the opportunity to express themselves, grow in confidence, perform on stage and have a voice in society.
In 2019 she was nominated for a Star of Suffolk award.
Fellow Stars of Suffolk nominee Harry Hall knows what it means to be a life-saver.
As a 15-year-old, quick-thinking Harry dived into choppy conditions near Ness Point in Lowestoft when his friend fell 15ft into the sea.
Harry held his head above the rising sea water until the emergency services arrived, risking his life to save his friend.
Kesgrave youth minister Oliver Scase has devoted the last year ensuring people have remain connected and cared for during the coronavirus pandemic.
Admitting he does it for more than just his faith, Oliver said he feels it important to ensure young people feel confident and supported through whatever life throws at them.
He was also named a community hero for his work in supporting young people in Suffolk in the wake of the 2020 Kesgrave shooting.
When the NHS was put under intense pressure during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, then Ipswich School pupil Thomas Walker wanted to help in anyway he could.
The tech-savvy Year 11 downloaded PPE models off the internet for his 3D printer and provided 40 visors to the critical care team at Ipswich Hospital.
Thomas also donated visors to carers and local GPs, working through the night to donate as many as he could.
F1 star Alex Albon grew up in Bures, near Sudbury and went to Ipswich School before becoming a big name in the international racing scene.
Having raced for the main Red Bull team, Alex will be taking part in this year's Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters as part of Scuderia AlphaTauri.
He has helped put Suffolk back on the motorsport map, showing East Anglia not only has a rich past in sport – but also a rich future.