A young volunteer ship visitor and a group of urban gardeners were just two of the incredible winners at this year’s Celebrating Young People Awards, a glittering ceremony in central London on 3rd July.
Cardinal Vincent presented the Pope Francis Award to 24-year-old Hannah Forrest who is a volunteer ship visitor for Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea) in Plymouth. He congratulated her and the other young people present, telling them that he was so proud ‘to see and sense the vitality of the faith of our Church embodied in so many of the young people gathered tonight’. He added they ‘have so much generosity and verve for life.’
Also recognised for their contributions were our very own Nicholas Ting, 22, and Chris Aphonzo, 21, from St Paul's Parish Courtyard project in Wood Green, and Sharon Weerasuriya, 20, who was commended for her work with CAFOD's Holyland Step into the Gap.
The awards were powered by Million Minutes, an organisation that raises money and supports youth action and advocacy activities that give voice and support to young people to transform their lives and their world. Hundreds of young people were nominated in six categories, each celebrating a different aspect of Catholic social teaching lived out in action. Danny Curtin, CEO of Million Minutes said the judging panels were ‘very impressed by all the young people nominated’.
He explained, ‘Young people all too often get a bad name, but their selfless and sometimes unseen actions can inspire all of us. Million Minutes is all about giving a voice to those who are overlooked. We’re delighted to have held these awards for the fourth year to recognise young people from across England and Wales, and we want to celebrate all that they are and all that they give to our world.’
For more information about all of Million Minutes inspiring Award Recipients and those recognised as ‘Highly Commended’ visit millionminutes.org/awards.
The Awards evening also announced the launch of a new campaign, Million Minutes of Change. Million Minutes will deliver a message to the young people of England and Wales, letting them know how valuable and important they are to the Church. Together, they are being invited to create a million minutes of social action to help change the world: millionminutes.org/change.