A TEENAGER from Rhyl who is a qualified dog trainer has been named as one of 10 finalists hoping to win a national award from the Young Kennel Club (YKC).

Emily Williams, 17, is up for the young person of the year title from the YKC, which is the UK’s biggest dogs club for youngsters, having already been named one of their two community award winners.

A pair of winners from five categories have been shortlisted by the YKC team, with the young person of the year, decided by a public vote, to be announced at London’s biggest dog event, Discover Dogs, at ExCeL London on Saturday, November 20.

Emily has long been raising funds for different animals and charities, and volunteers as a qualified dog trainer and hoopers instructor at the Good Companion Dog Training Club in Prestatyn, where she has been a member for a number of years.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, she set up a donation box to help street dogs in Greece by collecting items including food, collars and leads, and also helped look after dogs of people in her area who were unwell, and created free puppy training videos.

Emily’s mum, Julie, said: “She’s always donating to and fundraising for any local animal charity. The Good Companion club have a summer and Christmas party as a fundraiser which she gets very involved in, and there’s a dogs on the street charity which she donates a lot of items to.

“She’s always giving good homes to other animals as well; if anybody’s got a hamster, guinea pig, rabbit, etc. that they can’t look after, she goes to their rescue.

“She’s been doing some work experience with other dog training groups which are run as businesses, not by volunteers, and she’s also doing work experience with rescues n grooming parlours as well, so she’s got a good CV!

“Quite a lot of the members (at Good Companion) are quite elderly and live alone with their dogs, so lockdown was difficult (for them). So, she was helping and trying to keep people’s spirits up.

“It’s amazing to be nominated, and for her to be a finalist is fantastic. I’m so proud of her.”

The finalists in each category will receive an exclusive YKC ambassador’s badge and award, as well as a £100 prize, with the overall winner earning an extra £250.

For more about the finalists, visit: www.ykc.org.uk/content/for-members/young-person-of-the-year-award/young-person-of-the-year-finalists.

To vote for Emily, go to: www.ykc.org.uk/content/for-members/young-person-of-the-year-award/vote-for-your-winner.