A TEENAGER whose passion sparked the creation of a new skate park was one of the stars of the Stroud Town Council Annual Awards.

Josh Norman, 15, was named Young Person of the Year at a special ceremony held at the Old Town Hall on Thursday.

The youngster worked with his parents Jerry and Michelle to launch Rush Skatepark in Brimscombe to build a safe place where young people in the Stroud district can meet and enjoy themselves.

According to dad Jerry, Josh was involved in the project from start to finish including market research, the business plan, attended planning meetings and met bank managers and councillors.

“I learned loads from helping with the skatepark and now I have set up my own photography business from what I have learned from mum and dad,” said Josh.

Minchinhampton parish clerk and former local journalist Jo Barber was awarded Community Star.

Former colleague Victoria Temple nominated Jo, who has been reporting on the town’s events for the past 38 years.

“She's been an integral part of the town's democracy and debate for almost four decades. She has dealt with difficult stories and issues with toughness, humanity and integrity,” said Miss Temple

Vanessa Price, of Assured Mobility, won a community award for her support and willingness to go 'the extra mile'.

Pete Blythe of Cornflower & Calico and Simon Powell of Brilliant Disguise were both named Trader of the Year.

They were praised for the individuality of their high street shops and the confidence they’ve shown in the town by starting up their new enterprises - Ripcord Stroud and The Toy Shop.

Helen Royall was awarded the Environment award for 'putting the town on the map for sustainable living' thanks to her work with Transition Stroud, Eco Open Homes and Open Edible Stroud.

Mayor Amanda Moriarty handed out two special awards to Gerb Gerbrands, for making such a success of the farmers’ market, and to Jamie Neal and Nick Priday, who installed the new paving in the High Street.

“All the people who were nominated for the awards go above and beyond. It is their amazing efforts which make Stroud such a wonderful place to live,” said Mrs Moriarty.