Teenager Mark Bees not only has a flair for photography, but a genuine passion to inspire other young people to follow their dreams.
A career in photography has been Mark’s ambition for as long as he can remember and with an unprecedented drive to succeed, he’s already achieved a great deal in his young life.
The 16 year-old from Tonypandy won the Outstanding Contribution to New Media Award at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Youth Achievement Awards.
Organised by the Council’s Services For Young People, the fourth annual awards celebrated not only what the team and its partners offer young people from youth exchange to street based youth work, but also rewarded the good work that young people undertake right across the County Borough.
Through working closely with the Council’s groundbreaking Services For Young People Detached Youth Work Team, Mark was introduced to the Special Projects Team who dedicate their time to the designated website www.wicid.tv.
He has helped develop the popular site with his outstanding photography of special events and ceremonies – and does so voluntarily. By working closely with the website’s editorial team he has contributed large pieces of work, particularly the Battle of the Bands event.
Mark is currently undertaking an Extended Work Placement with the Service in partnership Tonypandy Community College, to allow him to develop and showcase his new media expertise whilst also allowing him to develop key employability skills such as communication and team work.
Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning Cllr Eudine Hanagan said, “We are extremely proud of our young people in Rhondda Cynon Taf and want to provide every encouragement and support to help them fulfill their full potential.
”Our Services For Young People provision goes from strength to strength and is having a real impact on young people and giving them the best possible start in life.
“His award clearly illustrates his commitment to the Service and I know he is always eager to volunteer and is always the first person who puts himself forward when there are events that need to be covered. He also helps the other young people with their camera work and photography.
“Mark’s photography skills need to be recognised as something he should be proud of and I have no doubt that his talents will take him far.”
Mark explained, “I first used a camera when I took part in my schools e3+ photography class. The camera I used belonged to the photography tutor who allowed me to borrow it every Monday. Since then I have always loved taking photos and now I regularly attend a photography course with Plugged In Music magazine.
“I couldn’t believe it when I won the award I was very shocked but also very proud. My family were also proud of me – it meant so much”.