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24 March 2017

Yesterday marked our 130th Annual General Meeting and the kick-off of the inaugural London Youth Awards. (Although some of our older members may recall earlier versions during their affiliation with us!)

It was an inspiring occasion to celebrate the outstanding work of the London Youth network – recognising the achievements of both the young people seizing opportunities to give back and the youth workers going that extra mile to support and challenge young people to become the best they can be.

We even had an incredible dance performance from one of our members, Barking and Dagenham Youth Dance which really got the party started.

Whilst unable to join us in person, Matthew Ryder (Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement) did pass on a message to be read at the event:

Deputy Mayor Matthew RyderFirstly, my sincere apologies for not being able to attend this evening’s celebratory event. I did, however, want to send a few words of congratulations to all of the young people, youth workers and community organisations whose work and achievements are being recognised by London Youth. As someone who has worked to improve the lives of young people, I know the dedication it takes, and also how rewarding it is when a young person achieves their personal goals. London could not be the amazing city it is without people like you, so it is important that your efforts are acknowledged. Well done on receiving your award and keep up the good work.”

And the 2017 London Youth Awards winners are…

Youth Social Action Award – Rathbone Society

The Youth Management Team (YMT) is fully inclusive of all young people with varying abilities and reflects the membership of the youth club. The group provides opportunities for young people that are shy, not confident speakers or who haven’t had a chance to lead before to step out of their comfort zone to do something that not only helps them gain new skills but also helps their community. So far the group have fundraised and applied for grants for the youth club, successfully applied for new resources for the centre, helped the local pensioners group with their Christmas lunch, helped the Pensioners group to complete a funding application that enabled them to offer more activities, helped last summer to feed local homeless people and are now in the process of creating homeless kit bags as part of their ‘City Leaders’ community stage.

Arts & Culture Award – London Bubble 

Kindly supported by The National Gallery

London Bubble delivers drama sessions to year 11 Bosco students engaging young people who are unable to cope in mainstream education. For some students, it is the lesson they look forward to most. The Bubble staff team includes trainees from their Young Theatre Makers programme; these slightly older peers are excellent role models within the workshops. Bubble’s method, We Need to Act On, empowers young people to consider the world around them and delve deeper into their social concerns. With this group topics have included drugs, knife crime, pregnancy, families, friendship and young people’s relationship to the police.

Employability Award – FutureVersity 

Kindly supported by Arriva Rail London

Vacation Education is a new initiative which builds on FutureVersity’s 20 years’ experience in delivering school holiday programmes. It aims to tackle social mobility through targeting ‘at-risk’ young people offering purposeful, school holiday activities which help break down barriers to employment. It delivers clear, evidenced outcomes that help beneficiaries achieve in school and prepare them better for the world of work. Young people are happy to fill up their ‘empty summers’ by broadening horizons and learning core capabilities for work, all in a fun and enjoyable way. Short term impact results were outstanding, for example the project saw a 31.5% increase in Drive and 34.4% increase in Resilience. Teachers reported that children returned to school happier than in other years, motivated to succeed and had higher than previous aspirations for their futures.

Sports Development Award – BIGKID Foundation 

Kindly supported by White Oak

In summer 2015, the BIGKID Foundation pioneered the Female Sports Engagement Programme for girls aged 11-16 in Stockwell and surrounding areas. What began as a football session with a handful of girls, grew within 12 months to a programme attracting over 450 individual attendees. Using football, tennis, multi-sports and a youth club night to engage with the girls, the programme has also taught them leadership skills and aided their personal development. 80% of girls who joined the programme were previously inactive. The programme has forged strong partnerships with four schools and colleges in Lambeth as part of the nationwide This Girl Can Campaign delivering after school football clubs and fitness sessions for girls aged 11-25.

Outdoor Education Award – Hillingdon Slipstreamers

Kindly supported by Jack Petchey Foundation 

The volunteer team is committed and passionate in delivering opportunities for children and young people that promote cycle sport and enjoyment of the great outdoors. They deliver cycling sessions every Saturday to members aged 5-16, workshops every Monday, and provide further development for young leaders from the ages of 16-24. Slipstreamers also work collaboratively with the wider community to bring cycling to non-members outside the club. An overwhelmingly positive feedback score of 97% was received for one Summer 2016 project, with comments demonstrating recurring themes of fun, friendship, and confidence building. Demands for more came towards the end of the summer, and they’ve even had to turn children away! Not only are Hillingdon Slipstreamers proud of the impact they had on children in Hillingdon, but also immensely so of the young people who managed this project in its entirety.

Youth Professional Award – Natasha, Leap Confronting Conflict

Natasha came to Leap when she was 14. She delivered peer mediation workshops in primary schools, before becoming a Leap young trainer. One of her strengths is the work she puts in to find out what interests people, and the innovative ideas she has based on this. For example, she saw young people rapping and designed a workshop based around spoken word. This is now a core element of Leap’s Lighting the Fire event and a favourite activity for the young people they work with. Supported by her colleagues, Natasha has grown into a confident, creative and inspirational trainer, who is capable of turning challenging situations around and supporting young people to successfully participate with the group.

Young Leader Award – Sam, Hillingdon Slipstreamers

Sam started as a member of Slipstreamers aged 9 years. Not letting special needs hold him back, he poured heart and soul into Slipstreamers, became an active Young Volunteer at 14, and at age 24 now coaches cycling to a diverse range of children aged 5-16, from absolute beginners to experienced racers. Without question, Sam is 100% focused on youth development and 100% inclusive in ensuring each young person has an equal opportunity to reach their potential. Sam is truly an inspirational role model for the young people he serves. His own continuous personal development in being allowed to grow has raised his confidence, and he pays that forward by sharing his enthusiasm, encouragement and time towards helping young people be the best they can be.

Community Champions

Across our membership network there are many volunteers whose hard work and dedication has spanned between 5 to 50+ years, providing crucial support to local community organisations and the young people they support voluntarily. THANK YOU for your efforts from us all! 

Community Champions - London Youth Awards 2017

Well done to all the winners, the shortlisted nominees, and all our members who submitted an application. And thank you to all our presenters, performers and attendees for helping to the evening so special.

If you attended the London Youth Awards and have any feedback to offer to help us make next year’s event even better, please complete our short survey here.

We took many brilliant photos at the event and will be uploading them soon so watch this space! If you can’t wait to see some photos, check out the chatter on twitter using #LYAwards. 

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