A "determined" Harpenden teenager is in the running for an award as a scheme which recognises inspiring young people enters its 10th year.

Zach Cole helps run two scout units, helped rebuild a school in Romania and works tirelessly in the Beavers.

The 17-year-old, who is head boy at Sir John Lawes School, has been nominated for the 10th anniversary Young People of the Year awards, backed by Smith Milne.

Zach has given up many evenings and weekends to help put on activities for six to eight year-olds at 1st Kimpton Beavers, and he also helps with the WAKESU Explorer Scouts at Wheathampstead.

Zach said: "This is an overwhelming and pleasant surprise. It's nice that someone really appreciates what I do and has nominated me."

Zach co-founded one of the first school-based Oxfam Youth Action Groups, which works in tandem with the nationwide charity to give voices and ambassadorial roles to youth people. 

He is also a Young Leader at the Scouts - a national initiative that allows older Explorer scouts to give back to the younger sections.

Zach added: "I love helping the Beavers, it is a big commitment but I love the challenge.  I attend weekly meetings and I am very dedicated. I am a friendly face to younger children and a lot of them look up to me."

Sir John Lawes sixth form manager, Julie Honour-Jones, said: "Zach does a lot around the school.

"Zach is well respected within the school he takes a lot of time to go and talk to the younger children and helps them with things, he organises a lot of events and runs clubs for us. Everyone has a lot of respect for him for what he does."

The Yopey awards, which began in Hertfordshire and have since spread to 12 other English counties, offer £2,000 in prize money for young winners to share with the community, as well as public recognition for their often unsung efforts.

Yopey founder Tony Gearing said: "Zach has shown that he is willing to give up his time and help others, he doesn't act to get rewarded, he does it because he enjoys it and likes to help others."

The awards ceremony will be held in the autumn. Schools, youth organisations, churches and charities across the county are urged to nominate their young stars. Find out full details at: yopey.org.