The British Youth Council has been shortlisted as a finalist for two Children and Young People Now Awards – ‘Tne Youth Volunteering and Social Action Award’ and ‘The Children and Young People’s Charity Award’. The nominations are in recognition of the volunteers, partners and staff who came together to ensure over 960,000 young people had their say during UK Youth Parliament’s Make Your Mark campaign in, UK Youth Parliament’s 2015 campaign for better mental health services, ‘Time to Talk’ and it’s most recent campaign on racism and religious discrimination, ‘Don’t Hate, Educate’. The second nomination for Charity Award is for the charity’s work in giving young people a voice through its democracy-based initiative, Youth Voice, across the UK.
UK Youth Parliament’s Make Your Mark campaign has cemented its place as the UK’s largest referendum of young people with more young people having their say year on year. The Make Your Mark campaign gives young people a say on what is discussed by their Members of Youth Parliament in their annual House of Commons debate. Both this year’s topics were also made subjects of British Youth Council’s Youth Select Committee inquiries which attract a formal Government response and dialogue between young people and Ministers.
‘Don’t Hate, Educate!’ has seen Members of Youth Parliament working in their communities to reduce racism and racial discrimination. Over the last year, UK Youth Parliament have campaigned, in partnership with Kick It Out, to challenge negative attitudes around race and religion; work with others to educate their communities in order to tackle ignorance about race and religion, and promote integration in their communities.
UK Youth Parliament’s devolved campaign, ‘Time to Talk’, involved Members of Youth Parliament striving to improve young people’s access to school counsellors within their place of learning. The campaign, which was developed in partnership with Youth Access, also saw Members of Youth Parliament call on decision makers to ensure that schools allocate enough time for students to see school counsellors; and that they are safe, professional and youth friendly.
The Children & Young People Now Awards have become the gold standard for everyone working with children, young people and families. Now in their eleventh year, these awards provide a great source of pride and recognition for all those who strive day in, day out, to improve the lives of others. They offer an opportunity to raise the profile of projects and initiatives to funders and the general public.
The awards present a tremendous showcase of learning and best practice from across the country that can be an inspiration to all. They also recognise initiatives from the public, private and voluntary sector that work with children and young people from birth to adolescence as well as their families. Initiatives might be aimed at all children and families within a community or targeted at those who are the most vulnerable or disadvantaged.
Anna Barker, Chair, British Youth Council said: “It’s exciting to see the work of our young people and staff celebrated at a national level. UK Youth Parliament’s Make Your Mark campaign is the largest referendum of young people in the UK, and each year the UK Youth Parliament has managed to reach even more young people but I’m equally pleased to see their mental health campaign and ‘Don’t Hate, Educate’ campaign recognised. Mental health has been a longstanding priority for young people, and racism and religious discrimination, an issue that has become more prevalent post-Brexit, must be tackled in modern Britain.”
James Cathcart, Chief Executive, British Youth Council said: “I’m very proud that the work of the young volunteers, partners and team has been recognised, particularly at time when youth voice and its champions needs to be heard and supported more than ever before”