Celebrating young people

Hundreds of young people, youth workers, teachers and supporters from across England and Wales, gathered in London’s Leicester Square on 1 July, for the inaugural Celebrating Young People Awards, organised by Million Minutes.

The Cardinal Hume Centre was proud to sponsor one of the awards, recognising young people living out the option for the poor, named in honour of the Centre’s founder. All of the awards were based on Catholic social teaching which provides guidelines on how to live our lives in relation to God, other people, and all of creation. Cathy Corcoran, CEO of the Centre, was part of the judging panel for the Cardinal Hume Award and was impressed with the commitment of the nominees.

“It was truly difficult deciding who would receive awards. We received so many moving and inspiring nominations for young people involved in a really wide range of initiatives across the country from supporting food banks to welcoming elderly members of the community into schools and providing lunch for them; from challenging politicians about the impact of their policies to doing a sleep out to raise money for people living on the streets.”

Cardinal Hume’s nephew, William Charles, presented the awards, alongside Jovan Gonsalves, a young volunteer in the Centre’s charity shop. Tharanay Puvanachandran attends St Dominic’s Sixth Form College in Harrow and was one of the recipients. She works as a volunteer with street homeless and organises visits to care homes for people with dementia. As a practicing Hindu, Tharanay has been inspired by her faith to give back to the community and to help those in need.

CYPA_Cardinal_Hume_AwardThe entire Year 7 class from Notre Dame Catholic College, Liverpool, won the Cardinal Hume Award for getting to know and support a school in Uganda. The group went above and beyond their class project’s aim. They raised money through sponsored silences, ran a fair trade shop during lunch times, and wrote letters to the children, making links and sharing their own experiences.

Cheenie, who is 18 and at St Charles’s Sixth Form College in Kensington, London, won the Award for the work she has done organising a sleep out in college for homeless people, the trade takeover of the YMCA charity shop, running a Fairtrade shop for Fairtrade fortnight and organising the sponsored walk in college against human trafficking.

You can read more about the award recipients from all the categories at http://www.millionminutes.org/awards/After the event, Danny Curtin, CEO and Co-Founder of Million Minutes said: “It was truly inspiring to meet and hear from the amazing young people transforming lives in their local communities. From the young family carer upholding human dignity, to the teenager promoting peace by leading the campaign to eliminate bullying, 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. Million Minutes is looking forward to continuing the journey with them. We’re very grateful for all those who got behind the Awards and supported them – here’s to 2016!”

The awards, supported by St Mary’s University, Twickenham were hosted at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square.