We’ve been from Cardiff all the way to Edinburgh to celebrate young people doing great things in their communities. Likeminded young people, local and national politicians and various charities and organisations celebrated the success of this year’s awards as we promoted the fantastic work the projects are doing in their communities and strived to spread their messages nationwide.
The celebrations kicked off in Lewisham on the 7 February when self determining youth project Young Citizens was presented with their award at Lewisham Town Hall. The winners were joined by Frances Lawrence and the Hon Tim Loughton MP, Department for Education, who presented them with the award. The Mayor and Young Mayor of Lewisham also attended the celebration
For our second event we headed west to the South Wales coast. Frances Lawrence, Jane Hutt AM, Minister for Equalities, and Keith Towler, Wales Children’s Commissioner presented self advocacy group Vale Youth Speak Up with their Philip Lawrence Award at Barry Memorial Hall, to the sounds of local band Pick ‘n’ Mix.
We ventured next to Nottingham for our third event to give aspirational Just Ask Nottingham their much-deserved award. The event was held at the Council House and attended by Frances Lawrence, Godfrey Allen, and the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Cllr Michael Wildgust.
Mental health group Mentality was the fourth project to receive their award on the 5 March at the cultural Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, entertained by the Fresh Dance Company. Mrs Frances Lawrence joined us once again and the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Cllr Geoffrey Gollop presented Mentality with their award.
Manchester Town Hall was next on our list where we were very excited to give cutting edge group RECLAIM Our Name their award. We were delighted that the deputy Lord Mayor of Manchester, Cllr Elaine Boyes could attend. The audience were wowed by performances from QMX Dance Academy and RECLAIM’s own amazing Re:Verb.
Our national journey ended with our trip to Scotland to recognise the inspirational work of national project Voice Against Violence. Sandra White MSP and Dr Alasdair Allan MSP, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages joined us in Edinburgh at the Scottish Parliament to present the group with their award and listen to Edinburgh Sounds.
Taking these events locally has meant that many more people were able to celebrate the projects’ success in the communities where they are having a direct impact. Next stop: our national event, where all the groups will come together to celebrate their success.