Youth work in Pembrokeshire has been acknowledged as among the best in the country, in the recent Youth Work in Wales Excellence Awards in Cardiff.
Two youth workers and a youth project from the County were all announced as finalists in the prestigious awards.
Nick Clark, a youth worker in the County Council's Youth Offending team, came runner up in the Outstanding Part time Youth Worker category.
For the past seven years, the 31 year old from St Davids has worked with some of the County's most challenging young people, often when other agencies have given up or been unable to cope.
"Nick's consummate professionalism alongside his belief in a young person's ability to turn their life around means he can get results where others have tried and failed," said Ian Portman, Business Development Manager for the Youth Offending team.
"The skill of Nick's role is to be able to look beyond the surface and see the person, empathise with their situation, remain non-judgemental and treat each individual on the merit of their behaviour during their time with him rather than on their past or on others opinions of them."
He added that as well as spotlighting Nick's work, the award also the highlighted the effective joint working between the County's Youth Offending Team and the YMCA.
Steve Lewis, who has run Fishguard Youth Club at the Popworks Youth Centre since 2010, was a finalist in the ‘Outstanding Youth Worker under 25' category.
A former member of the Club himself, Steve, aged 24, has been praised for developing an excellent programme for the young members, helping them to learn new skills and gain confidence.
Area Youth Co-ordinator Heidi Holland, who nominated Steve, said: "Having grown up in the community, Steve can understand the issues that young people face, and use his knowledge to provide a wide range of opportunities for them.
"As the town is rurally isolated he arranges a large number of off-site activities, realising the benefit of extending young people's opportunities. He also works closely with other members in North Pembrokeshire to arrange projects such as a residential visit to London."
Heidi added: "The biggest difference Steve makes to the young people is that he is a positive male role model and an excellent example of what can be achieved through commitment and hard work."
A finalist in the ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Health and Well Being of Young People' category was ‘Come Dine with Me'.
The six-week youth project involved 11 to 18 year olds in youth clubs in St Davids, Solva, Newport, Fishguard and Letterston.
Using the format of Channel 4's ‘Come Dine with Me' cookery programme, the clubs took turns to host a weekly dinner party for each other in a formal setting.
The meals were judged and scored by peers from visiting clubs, with an overall winner announced at the end of the project.
"As the team in North Pembrokeshire is based in mainly small rural clubs it is often hard to bring young people together to enjoy shared opportunities," said Rural Development Youth Worker Liz Griffiths, who nominated the initiative.
"As well as encouraging the development of their social skills and confidence, it delivered a positive message around health and well-being."
The project was the winner of the Pembrokeshire Youth Excellence Award - Collaborative Youth Work in 2011.
Nick Clare (right) is pictured at the award ceremony with Ian Portman and Denise Marriot, YMCA Centre Manager
Youth awards Fishguard
Steve Lewis (left) Community Youth Worker for Fishguard and Goodwick with Dan Overend, one of the young people who took part in the ‘Come Dine with Me' project
Designed and Developed by Pembrokeshire County Council
Copyright © 2013 Pembrokeshire Youth Zone