To celebrate the return of the UK Youth Awards, we hear from Bolton Lads and Girls Club, who were named Youth Organisation of the Year at our last awards.
The UK Youth Awards are a glorious opportunity for hardworking youth workers, inspiring young people and committed youth organisations to receive valuable recognition (and more) for the inspiring work they do. But don’t just take our word for it, we caught up with the 2016 winners of Youth Organisation of the Year, Bolton Lads and Girls Club, to find out more about their experience.
“The whole occasion was fantastic,” said Paul Griffiths, Head of External Funding and Partnerships at Bolton Lads and Girls Club. “We came down to London with a dozen or so staff and it was a real event. We knew we’d been shortlisted along a lot of other great organisations, but we had no idea we would win.”
“We got a lot praise in the local press, and from other youth organisations through social media, so that was really nice for the local community,” said Paul.
“Everybody here works very hard to provide the best quality of services for young people, and the recognition was wonderful.”
The UK Youth Awards will once again recognise the great work of youth services across the UK and inspiring young people, with an additional category this year to celebrate the inspirational youth workers across the UK Youth network.
Paul remembers: “The young people were so proud, pleased and excited to hear that we’d won, and it was a total surprise. At the event the anticipation and excitement was all part of the celebration of young people.”
“We loved the fact the awards are run by a national charity in UK Youth, which really champions the voice of young people in this country. To win a UK Youth Award adds value and a sense of legitimacy to the work that we do, striving for excellence in terms of delivering youth services.”
The fun wasn’t over for the shortlisted awards winners however; after the announcement they took a short walk down the Mall to Buckingham Palace – to be congratulated by UK Youth’s Patron, HRH the Princess Royal.
“For me it was amazing to visit the palace and get that royal approval from HRH Princess Anne. She knew about Bolton Lads and Girls Club and it was great to chat with her about the work we do.”
Do you know someone who has gone above and beyond to make a difference, an organisation striving against the odds, or a young person making changes to help others around them? Let us know! We’d love to hear stories of the fantastic work being done in the network, and to celebrate these people and organisations at a national level. Send in your applications here, or call the Membership Team for more information.