170,000 votes have been counted and verified as the clock ticks down to the inaugural Inspirational Youth of the West awards this Friday night.

After weeks of nominations and voting across 35 categories the spotlight is set to shine on those who make a positive contribution to our community at the gala Devenish event. Voting has poured in online and through the Andersonstown News publication with readers keen to vote for their worthy winner in categories as diverse as charity champion, martial arts, basketball, acting, singer and musician.

Friday’s gala reception will be hosted by the BBC’s Barra Best as our young people gather together with parents and guardians for the congratulatory evening.

Andersonstown News editor Anthony Neeson said the evening will be a chance to celebrate the hard work and endeavours of our young people which can sometimes go under the radar.

“170,000 votes have been cast which is a feat in itself. The awards have really seen our community get behind celebrating our young people across a host of categories.

“The hard work of all recipients will be acknowledged on Friday night where a toast will be raised to all the positive work they carry out to make our community and the lives of others that bit better.

“I know a lot of hard work and effort has gone on behind the scenes to make the night the success it is going to be,” he added.