The Youth Work Awards 2014

Posted on November 26, 2014 by Amy Tolmie

Friday 21st Nov saw a room full of Youthworkers and their nearest and dearest gathering together for the fourth annual Youth Work Awards.

We talk as those who work with both children and young people about the need to 'see' those we work with; to recognise their struggle and to listen, really listen, to their stories: but it's not just those under 18 who need to be recognised, championed and encouraged to keep on keeping on!

Around my table of 8 each of the nominees were talking about how surprised and pleased they were to be nominated for their award, they all said a similar thing: It's lovely to have our little bit of work acknowledged, to know that someone else has seen what we do and thinks it's worthy of accolade.

This, my friends, is what the Youth Work Awards is all about: we're not out to exacerbate the culture of the Christian Celebrity; we're not about exclusion of anyone. We are all about recognising the amazing Youthwork being done in all areas of the country and about championing those who, in many cases, have been hard at work for a long time with mixed results and with limited recognition!

So, if you know of anyone who does outstanding Youth Work across any of the categories, get in touch for next year's awards: you might just make someone's year!

2014 winners:

Best Youth Work Employer: E:merge Bradford – these guys are looking to build resilience in their young people and were nominated by members of their staff team for the award. More details about them here

Best Youth Work Resource: Sanctum from Christian Youth Outreach, Colchester. Read more from their Director Tim Abbott about Sanctum here.

Most Innovative Youth Work: Meg Cannon and the KOKO story (Keep On Keeping On) encouraging and inspiring young girls to write their story, to live a full life and to keep on keeping on. Find out more here.

Unsung Hero of the Year: Sarah Stone the Chair of Trustees for Cheltenham YFC. Connect with them through their Facebook page

Youth Worker of the Year: Alice Price for her work on the Monks Hill Estate in South Croydon since 2008. This is especially close to my own heart as this estate is just down the road from where I grew up! To learn more get in contact with Alice on Twitter here

And finally, Volunteer of the Year: The panel decided to award this to two volunteers, at very opposite ends of a spectrum.

David Stemp, for 50+years of Boys Brigade leadership and chess playing with teenagers!

Rose Greensmith, for her youth and sheer enthusiasm for the various volunteer roles with her church, the Roman Catholic Youth Service and the British Heart Foundation for whom she has become something of a poster girl!

Excitingly, a good many of the winners are engaged in schoolswork, either locally or indeed, in the case of Sanctum, available nationally. Do take a look at the Links pages of our website for more Christians working in their local schools!

A very huge well done to all the wonderful nominees and award winners. It has been a real privilege to hear a little of your story and cheer you on!