Oldham Youth Council were worthy runners-up after being nominated for four awards at the British Youth Council’s Youth Voice Star Awards.
These awards celebrate the breadth and diversity of Youth Voice work that happens across the British Youth Council membership in various settings – celebrating and recognising the workers who make it happen, the change makers that champion it, the organisations that enable it, and the projects doing things differently to address local and national issues.
Oldham was delighted to be in the running for four awards at the ceremony at Middlewich Conference Centre on Saturday (19 January) afternoon.
Liam Harris, from Moorside was among the nominees for the Personal Development Award. Over the last three years he has developed in confidence, conquering his fear of public speaking. He now chairs meetings and communicates at all levels, such as delivering a presentation at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
Ibrahim Yousaf, aged 12 and a Hathershaw College student was nominated Young Campaigner of the Year. He has severe asthma and, rather than sitting back, has raised £3,900 for local charities including Maggie’s, Dr Kershaw’s and Street Angels. He generously donated £300 of his birthday money to his favourite causes.
Oldham’s Children in Care Council’s Total Respect Programme was put forward for the best Youth Led Project. Through the programme Youth Council members have produced a Passport to Independence guide to help care leavers, provided training to new social workers, council officers and care home workers, as well as urging Oldham Council write to the Secretary of State for Health asking that care leavers until the age of 25 become a national exemption criteria on prescription charges.
Dr Carolyn Wilkins, OBE, Chief Executive and Accountable Officer of NHS Oldham CCG, was nominated for her unwavering support to the Oldham Youth Council which has seen her complete a charity abseil down the Civic Centre, as well as being a key note speaker at many events.
Carolyn said “I am enormously proud of our award nominees. I know how hard they work and this recognition illustrates the difference they’re making in Oldham.
“One of our main priorities is putting the voice of our children and young people at the heart of everything we do and acting upon their thoughts and feedback.
“We firmly believe that all young people can play an active role in helping shape a better Oldham for the future.
“Being nominated for these awards highlights our commitment to the residents of the future and shows the progress we’re making – not only listening to young people, but delivering and acting on what they want.”
Oldham Youth Council has been in operation since 2006 and has up to 70 volunteers who aim to ensure young people have a voice and help plan and shape council services as well as influencing national agendas by linking to regional and national organisations.