Outstanding Young People Celebrated By Cardinal Nichols And Catholic Community At Londons’ Barbican Centre

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

On Tuesday 19 July 2016 hundreds of young people, youth workers and teachers, family and friends gathered at the Barbican Centre to celebrate the inspirational lives of so many young people, nominated by you. 

The 2016 Celebrating Young People Awards, hosted by Baroness Hollins and Rt Hon Ruth Kelly and with guest of honour Cardinal Nichols, highlighted some of the amazing young people across England and Wales who are transforming lives in their local communities. From the young family carer upholding human dignity, to the young man campaigning to improve the living standards of those living with disabilities, all the young people we met are living out the social teaching of the Church. Their commitment and drive is infectious, mixed with real humility. 

Cardinal Nichols chose and presented the Pope Francis Award from the hundreds of nominees. Congratulations to Matthew Martin, a sixth form student from Bolton, Greater Manchester. For the past two years, Matthew has been helping people who are homeless in Bolton, Greater Manchester. From November to April he gives up every Saturday night, from 7 pm – 1 am, preparing and serving food to between 50 and 70 people aged between 16 and 90. 

Danny Curtin from Million Minutes, said: “Through these awards we are celebrating all the inspirational young in our Catholic communities. Too often young people are overlooked, or even blamed for societies’ problems. What we want to say through the example of the young people we are celebrating tonight is that young people can be the difference in this world, and sometimes the rest of us just have to take time to stop to realise this.”

Baroness Hollins said, “We need to take time to celebrate young people, to celebrate all of you gathered here tonight and the hundreds more who have been nominated. We are celebrating all of you. Thank you for your commitment to build a more just and peaceful world – a world where everyone can flourish.”

Rt Hon Ruth Kelly, Pro Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s University, said: “I’m so delighted that St Mary’s is involved in these awards and partnering with Million Minutes. It reflects our commitment to the Catholic community and to helping to transform young lives”.

You can read about and be inspired by all award recipients here and photos from the night are on our Flickr page.

We’re looking forward to continuing the journey with all the award recipients. In October we’ll meet together for a weekend to learn from and inspire one another. 

The 2017 Awards are planned for November – we’ll announce them here soon.