Posted on 10th May 2024 by

A budding scientist, manufacturing engineer and mining geologist have become the first recipients of the brand new Young & Talented Cornwall Spirit of Trevithick Award.


Created to help Cornwall’s brightest young minds in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) kick-start their careers and achieve their potential, the funding and mentorship scheme champions the innovators of tomorrow. Recipients are matched with an established Cornwall-based company or innovator for invaluable expert advice and given access to a cash award of up to £2,000 for the development of a particular project or piece of equipment.


17 year-old Lily Butler (Helston) is among the talented trio. The award will help her develop her research into the environmental impact of disposable vaping, and explore recent developments in surgery and medicine. Constantine’s Arthur Axe (age 14) meanwhile has his sights on a career in advanced manufacturing and is exploring aerodynamic principles while studying at Penryn College. For Naomi Watson (age 22, Penryn) the award moves her one step closer to studying a mine ventilation course in America.


The Spirit of Trevithick Award is the latest initiative of Young & Talented Cornwall, The Lord Lieutenant’s Fund which since 2005 has provided grants of over £400,000 to budding stars of tomorrow across a wide range of skills areas.


As well as supporting youngsters showing outstanding promise in STEM, 36 grants have also been handed out to 14-23-year-olds with impressive potential in everything from surfing and swimming to music and performing arts. This includes:


  • Ocearna Bela-Reis Peres (17, Launceston) – Member of the surfing England junior squad
  • Chloe Scott (20, Bugle) – National indoor and outdoor under-16 archery champion
  • Blake Silver (14, Newquay) – Cornwall’s number one under-14 tennis player
  • Elizabeth Hirons (15, Torpoint) – Rugby player selected for Exeter Chiefs and Exeter College Academy
  • Terry Miller (18, Port Isaac) – Currently holds the European title for Ocean Ski and Suf Life Saving Ski
  • Ivy Kirk (16, Perranuthnoe) – Dancer and choreographer part of Cornish theatre group Wildworks

The latest Young & Talented Cornwall recipients came together at a celebratory presentation evening hosted by award sponsor, the University of Exeter. They were congratulated by Colonel Sir Edward Bolitho, Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall who heads up the initiative.


Colonel Sir Edward Bolitho says: “We have been running the Young & Talent Cornwall Awards for almost 20 years and in that time we have supported so many dazzlingly talented young people, including sportswomen from Helen Glover to Molly Caudey. The latest 36 recipients have such ability and potential and I am honoured to be able to help them on their way, with the support of our generous sponsors and partners.


“As the very first recipients of our Spirit of Trevithick Award, Lily, Arthur and Naomi in particular are trailblazers. They are following in the footsteps of Cornwall’s great innovators and carving a new path which will enrich their own futures as well as Cornwall’s.”


Ian Jones, CEO of Goonhilly Space Station and Curator of the Spirit of Trevithick Award, adds: “I had the pleasure of chairing the panel assessing applications and was overwhelmed by the quality, passion and ambition that shone through. Supporting young people today is an investment in tomorrow. It is a joy to help nurture talents in the STEM space and evolve passions and interests.”


Young & Talented Cornwall is sponsored by a number of Cornish businesses, including Cornish Lithium, Wildanet, St Austell Brewery, University of Exeter, Rodda’s, Cornish Metals and St Austell Printing Company. The Lions Club of St Austell also generously donated to specifically support awardees from the St Austell area.


Bull & Wolf, Impress51, Cornish Marketing Consultancy and Wild Card also provide valuable support.


Applications for the next round of grants are now open until end-July. For more information, visit Our Awards – The Lord Lieutenant’s Fund (