The 2019 Celebrating Young People Awards

The official list for the Celebrating Young People Awards 2019 was announced in London’s West End on the 3 July. Nominations has been gathered from schools, parishes and organisations across England and Wales. The awards, powered by Million Minutes, honour the achievements of those young people who make our communities and our world a better place. Their achievements are a witness to all of us of the dedication that young people have to make a difference.

Young people were nominated in six categories, each celebrating a different aspect of Catholic social teaching lived out in action. The CYMFed Inspiring Youth Leader and the overall Pope Francis Award, presented by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, were also named during the evenings celebrations.  

The nominations recounted examples of ordinary young people with extraordinary commitment. We heard of young people taking the initiative to find new ways to serve those around them, alongside others who tirelessly and without complaint get on with the challenging situations they find themselves in - often resulting in the most inspiring examples of social action. There were mental health champions, youth safety ambassadors, eco warriors, volunteers, and campaigners, to name just a few.

The Award list is as follows:

Pope Francis Award: Overall Youth Award

Hannah Forrest – Stella Maris, Apostleship of the Sea (Award Recipient)

St Josephine Bakhita Award: Celebrating human dignity

Caitlin Howell-Williams – St Mary Help of Christians, Holyhead (Award Recipient)
Christy Downer
– New Hall School, Chelmsford (Award Recipient)
Faith Richardson
– St John Fisher RC High School, Wigan (Award Recipient)

Joseph Cardijn Award: Protecting the dignity of workers

St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School (Award Recipient)
Daisy Alston-Horne – Prior Park College (Award Recipient)

Jimmy Mizen Award: Promoting solidarity and peace

International Pupil Council Members – St Mary Queen of Martyrs Voluntary Academy, Hull (Award Recipient)
Shanea Oldham – St Bonaventures, Forest Gate (Award Recipient)
Ellie Heyes – St John Rigby Sixth Form College, Lancashire (Award Recipient)

Barbara Ward Award: Caring for the environment

Saint John Bosco College Young Gardeners (Award Recipient)
Tom Allan
– St Marys School Menston (Award Recipient)
Annalia Rathoor
– Blessed Robert Widmerpool Catholic Academy (Award Recipient)

Dorothy Day Award: Fostering community and participation

Samuel Wilson – St John Fisher Catholic Voluntary Academy, Dewsbury (Award Recipient)
Ashton Baker – Abbey Catholic Primary School (Award Recipient)
Jehnut Bari – St Angela`s Ursuline School, Forest Gate (Award Recipient)

Cardinal Hume Award: Living out the option for the poor

Anthony Crich – St Bede`s Catholic Comprehensive School and Byron (Award Recipient)
Caritas Team
– St John Vianney SEN School (Award Recipient)
Harry Wale
– St John Rigby Sixth Form College (Award Recipient)

CYMFed Award: Inspiring Youth Leader

Dawn Wilkinson – St Edwards Parish, Lees (Award Recipient)

Award recipients’ stories can be viewed here

This year’s panellists also decided to recognise several nominations in each categories as 'Highly Commended':

St Josephine Bakhita Award: Celebrating human dignity

Sam Tyrer – All Hallows Catholic High School, Preston (Highly Commended)
Declan McEntree
– The Barlow RC High School, Manchester (Highly Commended)
Emma Murray
– HCPT The Pilgrimage Trust (Highly Commended)
Lucy Forshaw
– Loreto College, Manchester (Highly Commended)

Joseph Cardijn Award: Protecting the dignity of workers

Nick and Chris-Courtyard Wood Green (Highly Commended)
Ben Sinclair – St Thomas of Canterbury (Highly Commended)

Jimmy Mizen Award: Promoting solidarity and peace

Dominika Lasota – Stonyhurst College, Hurst (Highly Commended)
Amelia Manning – Prior Park College, Bath (Highly Commended)
Holy land Travel Group – Step into the Gap, CAFOD (Highly Commended)

Barbara Ward Award: Caring for the environment

Guardian Angels Impact Group- Young Christian Workers (Highly Commended)

One World Group – St Wilfred’s Catholic School (Highly Commended)

Selena Okonwo – All Saints Catholic School, Dagenham (Highly Commended)

Dorothy Day Award: Fostering community and participation

Molly Christie – St Thomas of Canterbury RC Church (Highly Commended)
Justice and Peace Youth Group – Bishop Eton Monastery Redemptorists (Highly Commended)
Streetspace Boys Group – Frontier Youth Trust (Highly Commended)
Priscilla Casey - Townley Grammar School for Girls (Highly Commended)

Cardinal Hume Award: Living out the option for the poor

Megan Holmes – All Hallows Catholic High School, Preston (Highly Commended)
Eliza Street
– Our Lady and All Saints Parish (Highly Commended)
Sophia Hampson
– The Barlow RC High School (Highly Commended)

Award recipients’ stories can be viewed here
Read the highly commended stories here

View pictures from the night here

Youth awards will help Catholic community to realise Pope Francis’ vision

The ‘Celebrating Young People Awards’ are open for nominations. They are being offered as an opportunity to respond to Pope Francis’ recent letter, ‘Christus Vivit’.

 Million Minutes CEO, Danny Curtin explains: “Pope Francis has written to the young people of the world, calling them to ‘fight for the common good, serve the poor’ and to bring about the ‘revolution of charity and service’. He calls on the Church to support and encourage all young people in their mission. These awards are a timely opportunity to respond to the Pope’s call, and to show the young people in our midst that we value their commitment to bring the Gospel alive in the world today”.

 The awards honour the achievements of young people across the country who make our communities and the world a better place. There are six award categories, which take their inspiration from Catholic social teaching and recognise the enormous, often unseen, social action of young people. 

Lucien and Georges.png

 Georges Wisoba (24) and Lucien Nzabandora (25) from St Vincent’s parish in Nechells, Birmingham received the Joseph Cardijn award in 2017. Lucien is encouraging others to nominate young people this year.  Reflecting on the difference the award made to him, he explained: Receiving the Joseph Cardijn award meant everything to us. Just the thought of being recognised and shortlisted was more than what we could have asked for. The award increased our confidence. The greatest thing for me was seeing so many young Catholics, especially those making changes in their communities come together for an evening of celebrations”.

Hannah and Zoe Ray from St Marys.png

 Zoë Ray (18) and Hannah Rai (18) from St Mary's Catholic School in Newcastle received the 2017 Jimmy Mizen award for their commitment to promoting peace and solidarity among young people of different religions and backgrounds. Zoë is urging this year’s award nominees to be confident in themselves and their successes. She says “Take your nomination as a sign you're doing something right. Use this confidence to take your causes further. Set bigger goals, be ambitious. Remember you have a community behind you and you are on the right track. Overall be proud of yourselves, I am thankful there are young people today who are working to secure a more peaceful future, and moreover, making the world a better place.”

 Parishes, schools and individuals are invited to nominate young people aged 11-25, who will all be invited to a ceremony in London’s West End in July. Cardinal Vincent Nichols will be the guest of honour and will present the Pope Francis Award, the overall youth award.  There is also a category for inspiring youth leader.

 Nominations are open now at The deadline for nominations is the 24 May 2019.