Youth Professional of the Year

Tommy Edwards – Octavia 

Tommy Edwards joined Octavia in January 2019, and in that time, he has made a seismic impact on our organisation and the work we do. He has successfully cultivated an award-winning professional approaches film project and cohort of young people, many of whom he has creatively nurtured and supported in the last year into third level education and employment. 

Tommy is a kind, empathetic, highly skilled youth worker, who always goes the extra mile for the young people he works with and his colleagues. He is the embodiment of what youth work should be about and consistently amplifies young voices through the projects he delivers. 


Tomas Tadese  – Social Organisation for Unity and Leisure 

Tomas has been working tirelessly in our SOUL Eritrean community project. He has developed a small community group of service users. This group has been affected significantly with the unbalanced effects of COVID, and many of the service participants come from very deprived backgrounds with large number of the young participants being asylum seekers, facing severe levels of poverty and access to financial recourse. 

He joined our organisation as a service user over 10 years ago and has volunteered for us for over 5 years. He took part in consultations to identify needs of the minority group and develop tailored programmes that will enhance their well-being. 


Matthew Owen – The Us Charitable Trust 

Matt work works full time delivering workshops, mentoring and providing tailored support to over 400 young people a week. All the young people are EAL (English as an Additional Language) and face a variety of challenges. Matt’s uniqueness is his ability to respond sensitively and effectively to the variety of obstacles faced by the young people.

After working with Matt, 100% of respondents feel confident about their future (34% at the start) and 96% feel proud of themselves. Matt has helped people with immigration issues, housing issues, communicating with the Home Office & local MPs. But his main impact is to support their mental health and wellbeing, which he does so naturally.