Celebrating Young People Awards 2019
16th July 2019
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 which have been announced at a glittering ceremony in Central London on 3rd July. The awards – now in their fourth year – were powered by Million Minutes. Hundreds of young people were nominated in six categories, each celebrating a different aspect of Catholic social teaching lived out in action. Danny Curtin, the CEO of Million Minutes said the judging panels were “very impressed by all the young people nominated”.
Our very own Emma Murray and Juliette Bone were among those recognised and celebrated on the 3rd July.
St Josephine Bakhita Award – Highly Commended
Emma Murray, 15, is an outstanding young person with a heart of gold. She has a younger sister with complex needs who is non-verbal and yet Emma manages to communicate with her in a unique way. Through her sister Emma came into contact with a local HCPT group and has travelled as a young helper since 2015. The HCPT group travels every Easter to Lourdes and supports a dozen children each year to have a pilgrimage and holiday, creating lifelong memories in a unique environment. No child is excluded and anyone can be nominated to travel. Emma sees through people’s disabilities, problems, challenges and communication difficulties, she only sees their talents, their beauty and the gifts that they can bring to their family and in the process has become an integral member of the group.
In Emma's own words she views her role as a friend to all the children and a helper to all. Emma is very aware of society’s perceptions of people who are different, she comes across this frequently when out and about with her sister. Emma provides encouragement, friendship and understanding and is a role model to children and adults alike. Emma is extremely perceptive and has the ability to know when a child is uncomfortable, may need more support or simply a smile and a reassuring hug!
Her HCPT group leader said, “Emma strives constantly to change the way that society views people with disability through being a good role model. She treats everyone equally and truly sees everyone as God’s work of art”.
Jimmy Mizen Award – Highly Commended
In 2019 Caroline, Juliette, Kezia and Sharon visited the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) as part of their overseas experience with CAFOD during their Step into the Gap placement. On their return the group shared their experiences with over 9,000 people across the country who otherwise would not know about the issues in the Holy Land.
They have shared workshops in schools encouraging how a change of approach around the world can bring about solidarity and peace. They have supported young people to write their own messages of peace and developed a photo project, to encourage staff, volunteers and students to share a message of solidarity. Caroline also organised a fundraiser during Lent, running 5k every day for 40 days, clocking up the distance of the wall that separates the two territories in the West Bank.
The groups nominator said, “The group share the work that they do because of their faith. The realise that Jesus in the Bible calls for us all to be peacemakers and whilst they realised they can't drastically change and improve the lives of the people they met in the Holy Land, they can put their faith into action by sharing the stories of the people they met and raising awareness of the lack of peace in the area in the hope that others will also raise awareness.”
Danny Curtin 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 the young people that get overlooked. We’re delighted to have held these awards for the fourth year to recognise young people from across England and Wales. We want to celebrate all that they are and all that they give to our world.”
You can read about all our inspiring Award Recipients and those recognised as ‘Highly commended’ on our award website: 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 valuable and important they are to the Church. Together, they are being invited to creating a million minutes of social action to help change the world: millionminutes.org/change.