The British Youth Council have announced the winners of the first ever Youth Voice Star Awards. The awards celebrate the breadth and diversity of local work happening across the UK to promote young people’s voices. The evening ceremony, which took place in London, was a chance to recognise the youth workers who make it happen, the change makers that champion young people, the organisations that give a platform to youth voice, and projects doing things differently to address local and national issues.
Anna Barker, Chair, British Youth Council said: “It’s so important we pause to celebrate the huge amounts amazing work happening across the country.
“Young people across the country are standing up for the issues that they’re passionate about voluntarily and it’s essential we recognise not only them but the youth workers behind them, the decision makers championing them and of course the organisations enabling to happen.”
The following people/ groups won awards:
Best Campaign Award:
LINX from Lancashire – Council Tax Exemption
LINX recognise the many issues which affect care leavers and found that this group of people are vulnerable and at risk of losing housing tenancies, becoming homeless or going hungry due to spending a significant amount of their small income on council tax. Late last year, LINX took on the challenge to convince local borough councils to make care leavers up to the age of 25 exempt from paying council tax.
Celebrating Diversity Award:
The Chatterboxes from Bournemouth
The Chatterboxes is a youth-led project run by disabled young people from Dorset aged 11-25 years old whose aim is to eliminate disability discrimination within their community and ensure that young disabled voices are heard. Several young people felt that by creating a youth-led magazine project their voice could finally be heard, positive change for disabled people could happen and they could be amongst peers who they could relate to, sharing issues and finding solutions together.
How will you hear me? By Leicester City Council from Leicester
Leicester City Council has set-up a participation training resource for professionals is an innovative training resource designed and developed by young people from Leicester City Young Peoples Council and Young Advisors.
Youth Voice Champion Award:
Jim McMahon MP, Member of Parliament for Oldham West and Royton
Jim McMahon MP has not only championed youth voice but youth power. By giving the young people of Oldham Youth Council ownership over his first Private Members Bill. Jim chose to put young people over party or personal politics, and in doing so could grant 16 and 17 year olds the chance to use not just their voices, but their votes.
Youth Voice Worker of the Year:
Sarah Bellamy from Rotherham
Sarah Bellamy works hard behind the scenes and while it seems like all the work is done by young people, Sarah does all the organising. Sarah always ensures the youth cabinet have the right professionals in the room so they can effectively campaign on issues such as transport and mental health.