fbpx The power of youth work: Youth Work Week and London Youth Awards 2023 - London Youth

10 November 2023

Good youth work works


It’s Youth Work Week!  

We’re thrilled to celebrate everything about youth work in every sector, location and context with the National Youth Agency’s theme: youth work in every place and space.  

Young people need opportunities outside school to have fun with friends, make a positive change in their communities and shape the city they live in.  

For many young people, their local youth club or youth group isn’t just a place to have fun, it’s something they need. It’s a place to be heard, feel safe and explore who they are. It empowers them with the confidence, skills and resilience they need to thrive. 

Youth work is transformational because it provides young people with somewhere to go, something to do and someone to trust. This is what our members give young people.  


Youth work in our residential centres



This week is dedicated to acknowledging the incredible journeys, growth, and potential of the young people we support during their residential trips at our centres, Woodrow High House and Hindleap Warren. From engaging in activity sessions to unforgettable experiences, we adapt and learn together.

We’re excited to share a brilliant case study from a youth worker following their recent residential experience.  



London Youth Awards 2023


Every year, we celebrate Youth Work Week by hosting the London Youth Awards. It’s the night when we bring the capital’s youth sector together to celebrate the impact of youth work and the people who make it happen. 

We’re proud to be recognising the diverse ways youth work makes an impact. Our categories – Somewhere To Go, Something To Do, Someone To Trust – acknowledge the adaptability and inclusivity of youth organisations and reflect our core mission, vision and values.   

This year’s event was truly special thanks to everyone who joined us, including our winners and shortlisted nominees, our MCs and speakers, and our amazing performers Loquil, Nyeem and Ziggy.

Big ups for all the nominees and winners of the London Youth Awards 2023!  

Somewhere To Go  

Being There Award Winners 

St. Mary’s Centre and Cambridge Trust are just the two of many youth organisations across London always working and adapting to be there for young people. 

St. Mary’s Centre has been providing mentoring, counselling and safety interventions reaching over 1,000 young people per year since 2006. They are the only youth workers in the borough to operate on Christmas Day. The holidays are often the most dangerous and lonely time for young people in unstable environments. Last Christmas, they visited 68 young people in the holidays and gave gifts. For 7 of them, these were the only gift they received. 

Cambridge House believes that young people are the key to improving our communities, so we are committed to providing them with all the help and support they need. Their Youth Empowerment programme provides long-term, intensive support for marginalised 16-21-year-olds, helping young people overcome barriers and teaching them the resilience and life skills needed to succeed. 


Creating a Better London Award Winner 

The Babylon Migrants Project’s work is contributing to building a better London for many young people. They provide creative activities by and for young refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. Since October 2022, they have made a significant impact on the lives of displaced young people living in London, giving them a space to build a support network, learn new skills, gain tools for self-expression, and have some relief from the isolation and monotony that many face when housed in hotels across London. 


Try Something New Award Winner 

Youth organisations provide so much to their communities and Try Something New Award is an opportunity to showcase this. In response to the mental health crisis for young people, and in the knowledge that CAMHS were/are operating 12 to 18-month waiting lists for support, Jigsaw4u launched their Piece of Mind service. Piece of Mind provides therapeutic support for young people experiencing depression and/or anxiety, as well as fun and positive events to attend which helps young Londoners overcome mental health challenges long term. 


Something To Do  

Adventure Award Winner 

We know that outdoor experiences and activities can be a great leveller for young people. Prospex is one of the organisations across London that made trips away possible in the last year. Their summer camp gathered 30 individuals aged 8-14, along with 7 young leaders, for an unforgettable week in North Wales. The group engaged in an array of thrilling activities, from gorge walking to trust walking through a pitch-black abandoned tunnel. They also embarked on a challenging 10k hike along the Elon Valley, tried their hand at tree climbing and abseiling, honed bushcraft skills, and ventured into paddleboarding. It’s trips like this that create unforgettable memories. 


Partnership Working Award Winner 

Throughout London, youth organisations are harnessing the power of partnerships to deliver new and meaningful opportunities to the young people they work with. Hype & Genius and Shadow To Shine teamed up to deliver a 6-week summer school focused on creative excellence and giving young people the chance to learn, upskill and gain careers in the creative industry. The summer school gave young people industry standard teaching in fun and inspiring environments. 


Inspiring Young Changemakers Award Winner 

Youth organisations are a vital space for young people to develop skills and confidence outside of school and home. They are a space for the next generation of changemakers to develop their leadership skills and voices. London Bubble’s Young Theatre Makers (YTM) programme has supported over 150 young people (18–24-year-olds) to create theatre about the issues that matter to them, developing leadership skills and providing genuine development and work opportunities. Their recent group expressed a 100% increase in self-confidence, time management, motivation and emotional control. 


Someone To Trust  

Volunteer of the Year Award Winner 

Volunteers are vital to the existence of all charitable organisations. We’re proud to recognise the incredible contribution made to the capital’s youth sector by Suzanne Toprak from Metro Judo Club. Suzanne voluntarily provides her services as part of the Club’s Autistic group. She regularly gives up time during half-term, or full-term breaks in order to help with activities that Metro Judo Club organises for the children. 


Young Leader of the Year Award Winner 

Youth work is at its best when young people are actively involved in its delivery. Moosa Miah, from We are Spotlight and Poplar Harca is a role model to other young people. He has made significant contributions to his community through his involvement in the Youth Empowerment Board, and his dedication to improving housing and planning in the local area. We’re inspired by Moosa’s achievements including speaking at large events, being an inclusive leader of young people, and actively shaping the future of housing in East London. 


Youth Professional of the Year Award Winner 

Without youth professionals there is no youth work. When we say ‘good youth work works’ what we’re really recognising is the hard work of committed, skilled and experienced youth professionals, such as Marian Spiers from Dost. Dost provided 362 activities over the past year. From football practice in the pouring rain, to Youth Club sessions in Newham Leisure Centre, to residentials all around the UK, Marian would have been at nearly all 362 of those activities. She is a vital constant for vulnerable young people, helping them feel safe and supported. These diverse activities engaged 499 young people from 47 countries around the world, with Marian building excellent relationships with so many of them by using fun and the spirit of being young to help build on their confidence and feeling of inclusion in the UK.


The Prince Philip Award Winner 

The Prince Philip Award recognises outstanding contributions made to youth work in the capital, and efforts to improve the lives of young Londoners. Prince Philip had always sought to recognise and champion such work, and his son, our patron, is honouring his legacy so wonderfully. To sustain this important legacy of support, London Youth continues to celebrate the efforts of outstanding individuals and organisations who are going above and beyond to open up positive opportunities to young Londoners and put a spotlight on the value of good youth work.   

We would like to hugely congratulate our long-standing partners, Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, who have won the esteemed London Youth Prince Philip Award for their multi-faceted support of the youth sector in London over the last seven years. Read more 


We’re proud to support youth professionals. We’re here to help them take their essential work even further, enabling them to reach even more young Londoners who need support. 

We are London Youth and we’re here to support the capital’s youth sector to improve the lives of young people. We’ll continue doing so with and through our members, and at our two life-changing outdoor residential centres, Hindleap Warren and Woodrow High House.    

Find out more about our work here

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