An “Oscar-style” ceremony for young people heard tales of outstanding courage, talent, hard work and kindness.
The Derbyshire County Council Young Achiever Awards was set up 13 years ago to highlight some of the amazing stories and achievements of young people in the county.
In total 78 young people – aged four to 17 – and two groups, received awards during the ceremony held at Highfields School in Matlock, on Friday, December 9, along with 520 guests and nominators.
Former Blue Peter presenter Andy Akinwolere handed out the awards along with Cllr George Wharmby.
Two inspirational youngsters from Belper were among the award winners.
Fifteen-year-old Ryan Pace was diagnosed with a serious heart condition at eight weeks old and although he was not expected to live, he defied all the doctors by being allowed to go home after a couple of weeks.
He spent a lot of time in hospital when he was younger but has battled all the way.
The brave teenager passed a major milestone when he started school and has fought every life-threatening cold and cough and never given up.
Ryan, who goes to Belper School, was nominated by his mum Carey for his sheer determination to survive and the fact he never lets his condition stop him doing anything.
She says he gets scared at times but never stops fighting. Carey added: “He is very brave and truly inspirational.”
The second winner from Belper was Emma King.
Emma, 15, has focal dystonia, which is a complex progressive neurological condition which affects both her arms. She can often suffer from uncontrollable shaking which tires her out.
Despite this she has an excellent attendance record at John Flamsteed Community School, Denby.
A spokesman from the council said: “Emma has shown great courage when facing everyday tasks that she has to work extremely hard to complete. Simple things like carrying items, eating and using the phone can prove very challenging.”
Her nominators, teachers Carole Hunt and Ian Hampton, told how Emma remains positive and has developed into a most likeable and diligent person.
They added that she was on track to get good grades, despite having to attend medical appointments and dealing with the emotional pressures of her condition, and to continue her education at college.
Council leader Cllr Andrew Lewer said: “We think it is important to recognise the outstanding achievements of these incredible young people.”