Celebrating the breadth and diversity of Youth Voice work that happens across the British Youth Council membership in various settings; celebrating and recognising the workers who make it happen, the change makers that champion it, the organisations that enable it, and the projects doing things differently to address local and national issues.

2019 Award Winners

Jessica Griffiths from Kent
Jess Griffiths, is an active member of the Kent Youth County Council (KYCC). When Jess first came to KYCC as a very shy young person, she didn't speak to anyone, wouldn't make eye contact and wouldn't speak out in groups.  Jess is a very different person today, she has really developed her confidence, she now supports new members of KYCC and is a positive role model for new KYCC members.

BYOU in Wigan
BYOU are an LGBTQ support and Action group, BYOU have actively campaigned for positive change in Wigan’s Borough, The team have developed and successfully implemented 3 successive Pride events which set up in 2016. As well as this huge event for the borough BYOU have developed training which has been delivered to over 50 Teaching staff, elected members and more recently has become an integral part of our Foster Carers training. Now set as a requirement for all foster carers.

Adam Shaikh from Sandwell
Adam Shaikh is 21 years old and the former Youth Commissioner of Sandwell and Chair of SHAPE Youth Forum. After going through childhood and adolescence with a painful past, Adam joined Youth Parliament and from being a quiet young man grew in confidence and was well respected by his peers. Adam was elected as Youth Commissioner of Sandwell 2 years ago. He grew a strong relationship with the Commissioner and senior officers within West Midlands Police and presented the Youth Summit in 2016.

Tim Taylor Director of Customer Services at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive
Tim Taylor has worked tirelessly to improve the experience of young people on public transport in South Yorkshire. He was central to the formation of the South Yorkshire Young People's User Group in which youth representatives from across the region meet several times a year with transport operators and decision makers to raise and challenge issues and policies on transport.

Bright Minds Big Futures in Stockton
In 2017 Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council made a pledge to put young people at the heart of all that we do and work together with children and young people to make the Borough a great place to grow up. In March 2017 a Coordinator was appointed to make this a reality. Without a budget, clear concept and objectives the task began. They worked from the ground up, ensuring that young people were there from the beginning to lead on the direction of travel and fully develop and implement the initiative.

Tim Taylor Director of Customer Services at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive
Tim Taylor has worked tirelessly to improve the experience of young people on public transport in South Yorkshire. He was central to the formation of the South Yorkshire Young People's User Group in which youth representatives from across the region meet several times a year with transport operators and decision makers to raise and challenge issues and policies on transport.

Sarah Bellamy, from Rotherham
Sarah Bellamy has worked with young people for over 15 years, working tirelessly to support children and young people. “Sarah is best thing that I have got from youth voice. She is the most important person in my life after my family and I don't know how I'm going to live without her in my life. She is superhuman.”

2017 Award Winners

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.

The Chatterboxes from Bournemouth
The Chatterboxes is a youth-led project run by disabled young people from Dorset aged 11-25 years old who’s 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.

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.

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.

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