Young people and projects from across the country have been recognised at the British Youth Council’s Youth Voice Star Awards. The awards celebrate the breadth and diversity of youth voice happening across the UK to promote young people’s voices.
The celebratory ceremony, which took place in online, was a chance to recognise the change makers that champion young people’s voices, the campaigns that give a platform to youth voice, and projects doing things differently to address local and national issues.
Sarah Staples, Chair OF British Youth Council said: “So many young people across the UK are making a difference in their local communities and it really is incredible to celebrate so many who are working hard to promote the voices of young people.
“Young people are lobbying for change on the issues that matter to them and these are just some of the incredible young change-makers demanding social change for their peers. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!”
The following awards were announced:
Award for Personal Development:
Future Ikilo Aghedo from Slough
Future started out shy and reserved, wanting to learn more about issues affecting young people. He has grown immensely in confidence, even with English not being his 1st language has great communication skills and uses this to advocate for young people in his school. He developed an interest in mental health and became our mental health lead for Slough Youth Parliament. He has trained as a mental health first aider, developed his own surveys in school with 335 replies from students and teachers to gain insight into what challenges they faced and services they wanted. He has taken part in focus groups and consultations to help improve 2 local mental health services providing face to face and online support. Future now is able to volunteer for opportunities he is interested in, express his views and work with others.
Campaign of the Year
Cheshire East’s SHOUT Campaign!
Cheshire East Youth Council developed the SHOUT Campaign (Sexual Harassment OUT) after conducting a survey that consulted with over 2600 young people in the area about sexual violence and sexual harassment. Cheshire East Youth Council have from then worked with decision-makers, designers and commissioned providers to develop the SHOUT Campaign aimed at changing the behaviours of young people and educating their peers in appropriate behaviour, healthy relationships and safety. The first part of the campaign was launched at Cheshire East’s White Ribbon Day and has since then developed into positive working with Cheshire Police and other partner organisations. Youth Council now have the opportunity to shape how the local authority tackles Violence and Intimidation Against Women and Girls because of the positive impacts of the SHOUT Campaign.
Youth Voice Champion:
Adam Blackburn from Cheshire West and Chester
Adam is a fantastic young man who is an integral part of CWAC’s Youth Senate. Adam, who has ASD represents the SEND young people in our area for the Youth Senate. Adam does not let anything hold him back and volunteers for various conferences, focus groups etc. When we were delivering HAF activity parcels in the school holidays Adam was always a willing volunteer to support those less fortunate than himself. Adam has also been involved in the interviewing process for the NHS Key Workers for ASD in the CWAC region where he asked questions to the candidates and his advice was considered when selecting successful candidates. Adam attends our weekly Youth Senate meeting regularly and is always a joy to have around.
Make Your Mark Rising Star Award:
Kieran Frankland from Nottinghamshire
Kieran has gone above and beyond what we would have expected for one of our youth council members he managed to engage over 5000 young people within the make your mark ballot. he did this through contacting schools, colleges etc. and promoting voting through social media alongside promoting physical ballots in schools. Kieran started his journey with our team through his attendance at the support after adoption groups and activity days, Kieran has since gone on to become the chair of this forum, he has supported the forum and workers to create events and activities for young people who are adopted. Kieran also represents the voice of adoption through our young peoples board ensuring that the voices of these young people are represented at a local level. Kieran has also joined his district youth forum and the pioneers youth forum for disabled young people, Kieran gives a lot of his time up to support these forum.