Glittering Night of Celebration for Young People

Outstanding social action by young people was recognised at the third Celebrating Young People Awards.

On Thursday 23 November 2017 hundreds of young people, youth workers and teachers, family and friends gathered in London's Leicester Square to celebrate the inspirational lives of so many young people, nominated by you. 

The 2017 Celebrating Young People Awards, hosted by Million Minutes and with guest of honour Archbishop McMahon, highlighted some of the amazing young people across England and Wales who are transforming lives in their local communities. 

See all the stories of the young recipients here.

See all the photos here.

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Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of Liverpool Presented the Pope Francis Award to 18-year-old Aaron Omotosho of the Loreto College in Manchester. Aaron founded and continues to run a project called Help Manchester which encourages young people locally to support day centres that feed and shelter homeless people daily. Aaron studies Computing, and has set up a computing project for underprivileged young people in North Manchester. “Aaron is quite unique as all of this is entirely his own initiative, and he genuinely cares about those living in poverty and making their voices heard,” says his college chaplain. Aaron is an active member of the college’s Social Justice Group having helped raise funds for and awareness of local homelessness charities, as well as CAFOD and Laughter Africa further afield. Archbishop Malcolm congratulated him and the other young people, telling them that “you are not the Church of tomorrow but the Church of today”. He described the evening as “uplifting”.

See his story and the story of all the awards here


Margaret and Barry Mizen, who have worked tirelessly for peace and reconciliation since their son Jimmy was murdered in 2008, presented the Jimmy Mizen award It recognises young people who have shown commitment to the common good or peacemaking. Winners were Hannah Rai and Zoe Ray from St Mary’s Catholic School Newcastle upon Tyne who organised a recent conference on welcoming refugees; Anna Chapman from St Anselm’s School in Kent who is a mentor for younger students with anger or behaviour problems; and Ella Holliday (pictured with Margaret and Barry) from St Bede’s School in Lytham who is a Young Peace Journalist, supported by Pax Christi, and who focuses on the plight of refugees.  

See all the stories here.


The Chaplaincy team for The Douay Martyrs Catholic School, Ickenham, Diocese of Westminster, received their Cardinal Hume Award from Cathy Corcoran (CEO of the Cardinal Hume Centre), and former Centre Client Jordan Downer. See all the stories here.

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St Edward’s Youth Catholic Council from Keymer, West Sussex, whose ages range between 12 and 14, were winners of the Cardinal Hume Award for ‘living out the option for the poor’. They have thrown a spotlight on the issue of rough sleeping, asking how they as young people can improve the situation for homeless people. Their ‘big sleep out’ fundraiser got sponsors online and after Masses. They built shelters out of cardboard boxes and slept rough for a night on the church patio to raise awareness. The response from the parish has been enthusiastic, with one person commenting that, “these young people keep our Catholic community fresh and vibrant”. See all the stories here.


The awards ceremony enjoyed music from the choir of Sacred Heart School in Hammersmith.  In her thanks at the end Margaret Mizen, a champion of Million Minutes, urged those present to continue to support Million Minutes and undertake next year’s ‘siLENT’ Challenge.