Youth Worker Awards 2012 Finalists Announced.
18 October 2012
The NYA received nominations from all over the UK, but just four finalists have been chosen to attend the Youth Worker Award Ceremony in London on the 8 November. Here, the overall winner will receive the national award, honouring their outstanding commitment to supporting young people within their community.
The finalists are Clare Bartlett, Peter Fleet, Kevin Mullins and Donna Harding. All were chosen for their outstanding dedication to improving the lives of young people and working tirelessly to maintain quality youth services in their area.
Clare Bartlett, a youth officer from Bromford, is passionate about giving young people a voice. Because of this, Clare has launched innovative new projects, such as the Cirencester Youth Council and has built partnerships with the local council resulting in services that include Ozone Youth Club and Ozone Inspire. One of Clare’s main challenges has been in connecting young people from different cultures as well as removing any negative perceptions that adults and communities have of young people.
Clare said: “I am still in shock that I have been shortlisted as a finalists this year or even nominated because what I do I do because I love but this has certainly helped me remember what an impact the work we do has on the community for the best.
“I would like to take this time to say thank you to Bromford, Cirencester Town Council and of course all the young people that have remained dedicated to the Youth Town Council for all their support over the past four years. I am looking forward to meeting other youth workers and hearing about other projects around the Country as this is a great opportunity to network, share ideas and hear about best practice.”
Peter Fleet, Director of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Charity in London, is committed to facilitating intercultural and international opportunities that add value to the charity’s youth work agenda. Through diligent fundraising and the support of many partners over the years, including The British Council, The Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council and Local Authority grassroots funding, he has ensured opportunities remain inclusive – particularly those young people who have never had the opportunity to travel internationally.
Peter said: “I was over the moon to be nominated and then shortlisted. Having worked in a broad range of youth service provision over many years I was particularly honoured to be recognised for the work I have undertaken with volunteers and colleagues in The Gambia and my other international projects.
“I would like to thank my colleagues for their confidence in nominating me for this award and their recognition of what has been achieved with diverse groups of young people from schools, youth and community groups across London.”
Donna Harding, an Activities Officer from Middlesbrough, has been a youth worker in the voluntary and community sector for ten years. She has worked in a wide variety of settings using various methods of youth work including music, arts and performance. Through this positive engagement, Donna has engaged with families and the wider community which has help build bridges and offer support to families who are struggling.
Donna said: “Being nominated for this award feels amazing. I love my job and I love young people and I am very passionate about helping young people to dream, believe and achieve. Being recognised for the hard work and dedication you put into your work is really heart warming.
“From being young I have always been passionate about my local community and bringing people together and I am lucky to have a job that allows me to do that. I am really looking forward to the award ceremony and meeting the other finalists to share stories and practice."
Kevin Mullins, a youth worker from Luton, has worked in his role at Lea Manor Youth Centre since April 2009. He started as a youth worker in training with part of his role involving attendance at University two days a week while undertaking a degree in Youth and Community Studies. Kevin has launched initiatives such as the Street Robbery Awareness Project which involved young victims and perpetrators of robberies working together, and The Lea Manor Friendship Scheme, a disability project for 11-25 year olds with a wide range of disabilities.
Kevin said: “I was overjoyed when I was informed that I had been nominated for a national youth work award. It is rare that you get the time to sit back and reflect on the impact your work actually makes. Anyone who does this work does so as they want to make a positive difference. This nomination was my confirmation that I am achieving that.
“I believe that shared learning of best practice leads to better outcomes and results and I am looking forward to meeting other youth workers from around the country at the national awards and hearing about their projects and achievements and sharing in their success.”
The Youth Worker Award was introduced by the NYA as part of Youth Work Week, an annual celebration of youth work run by the Agency since 1993, to highlight the impact of youth work nationally. This years Youth Work Week theme of ‘Connecting Cultures’ has established a unity between the NYA and the Commonwealth Secretariat, who are working together to extend the reach of the campaign this year.
The finalists will be invited to an event at the London headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough House on 8 November to meet other leaders in the youth work sector and celebrate their achievements. The Youth Worker Award winner will be announced during the awards ceremony, which will also showcase a selection of exemplary community changing projects that are taking place across the UK and Commonwealth.
For further information on Youth Work Week and the Youth Worker Award visit: http://www.nya.org.uk/youth-work-week-2012