The first ever ceremony of Celebrating Young People Awards took place at the Prince Charles Theatre in London’s Leicester Square on 1 July 2015.
The awards, powered by Million Minutes, honour the achievements of remarkable young people from across England and Wales who serve their communities in diverse ways.
Centred on Catholic Social Teaching, the awards recognised individual and group achievements of young people in six categories, each reflecting a principle of how we should treat each other and the world around us.
Over 200 young people were nominated for the awards for their contributions in diverse areas of service to their community. According to Director of Million Minutes Danny Curtin, these young people are just a small representation of the extraordinary transformation that ordinary young people can and do effect in their communities.
He said, “Young people all too often get a bad name, but they are amazing. Million Minutes is all about giving a voice to the young people that get overlooked. We’re delighted to have held these awards to celebrate all that young people are and all that they give to our world.”
Cardinal Vincent Nichols was the guest of honour at the awards. He presented the Pope Francis Award for overall youth achievement to Ryan O’Neill for his tremendous contribution to his alma mater, Bishop Hedley Catholic High School in Merthyr Tydfil.
Cardinal Vincent paid tribute to the work of these outstanding young people in service of their communities. He commended them for living out the calling of missionary discipleship, for being leaders of integrity and courage, and for getting out there and making things happen.
The other award winners included:
The winners of the St Josephine Bakhita Award celebrating human dignity were Anna Sylvester, Emma Walley, Abbie Lee Rendell and Beth Mickleburgh
Joseph Cardijn Award, recognising work to protect the dignity of workers went to Lucy Gardner, Ryan Earle, Scott Thomas and Zoe Parker
For promoting solidarity and peace, the Jimmy Mizen Award went to Oussama Kardi, Kate O’Donoghue, Jamie Halliwell and Aysha Ahmad
Barbara Ward Award for caring for the environment was given to Isabella Breslin, Fisher More CAFOD bloggers and St Gregory’s Eco Committee
Dorothy Day Award for fostering community and participation went to Reizel Angela Quaichon, Deborah Kormi, Alton Mathew-Moghan and Harriet Allen)
Cardinal Hume Award recognising those who live out the option for the poor was given to Cheenie Fabro, Class 7j and Tharaney Puvanachandran
The celebratory atmosphere was further reinforced with music by the Gospel choir from the St Francis Xavier Sixth Form College who performed at various intervals throughout the evening.
To find out more about the awards and the achievements of each of the winners, visit the Million Minutes website here.
Among the winners were pupils from St Gregory’s School in Kenton. The story of their achievement can be found here.
Pictured in the photograph with Cardinal Vincent Nichols are winner of the Pope Francis Award Ryan O'Neill and Vice-Chancellor of St Mary's Twickenham Francis Campbell.
Photo courtesy of Christine Jarvis/StMary's Twickenham.