She may only be 17 years old but Angelique Hallett shows wisdom and kindness beyond her years.

The teen is in her final year of school and is the founder and director of social enterprise, Loving Hope Bears.

The organisation delivering teddy bears to those most in need at domestic violence shelters across the Coast.

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It's this selflessness that earnt Angelique the Young Citizen of the Year award from the Sunshine Coast Council on Friday.

"It's amazing, completely just blown away, I just don't know what to say," Ms Hallett said.

More than 440 children were forced to flee their homes with a parent across the region each year.

Ms Hallett said often these children left without any possessions, including their favourite toy.

For two years, Ms Hallett learnt everything she could about how she could provide a teddy bear to every child in domestic violence shelters on the Sunshine Coast and in Gympie.

While many of these children in shelters have their basic needs met, her research indicated that a teddy bear had been shown to bring children comfort.

Young citzen of the year award, Angelique Hallet. Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards 2021. Picture: Patrick Woods.
Young citzen of the year award, Angelique Hallet. Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards 2021. Picture: Patrick Woods.

"Customers come to me to purchase the opportunity for a teddy bear to be given to children in domestic violence shelters," she said.

"I take that money and purchase the teddy bears, sew little bows on and write little hand written notes of encouragement."

Loving Hope Bears has now taken orders for more than 300 bears with Ms Hallett hoping to take her comforting friends to children right across the state.


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