Nominations open for Celebrating Young People Awards

Archbishop McMahon with Aaron Omotosho

Archbishop McMahon with Aaron Omotosho

Nominations are now open for the fourth Celebrating Young People Awards. The awards - powered by Catholic charity Million Minutes - honour the achievements of young people across the country who make our communities a better place. There are eight award categories, which take their names from Catholic social teaching and recognise the enormous, often unseen, social action of young people.

Parishes, schools and individuals are being invited to nominate young people. If you know an unsung hero or heroine or a group that have worked together to help their community, put them forward for an award now. The award nominees will be invited to attend a special ceremony in London's West End in July. Cardinal Vincent Nichols will be the guest of honour and present the Pope Francis Award to one lucky young person.

The 2017 Pope Francis recipient was Aaron Omotosho (aged 18) from Loreto College, Manchester. Aaron founded the Help Manchester project which encourages young people locally to support day centres that feed and shelter homeless people each day. He also set up a computing project, Console Code, for underprivileged young people in North Manchester. Aaron has an extraordinary and generous approach to life. For example, he personally helped a refugee with no friends or family in the UK, whom Aaron met him in the library. Acting as a friend, Aaron has given the man invaluable physical and emotional support.

His college chaplain said: "Aaron is quite unique as all of this is entirely his own initiative, and he has truly changed people's lives. Aaron really, genuinely cares about those living in poverty and making their voices heard." Most people will never know how generous, compassionate and loving Aaron is and has been, but receiving the Pope Francis award shed some light on his fantastic work.

Danny Curtin, CEO of Million Minutes said: "Across the country young people are changing our world in quiet and unassuming ways-week in and week out. It is young people like Aaron who inspire the rest of us to live out social action in our communities. Young people get an increasing amount of stick in the media and wider society, but their energy and commitment is so often inspirational. To our Adult & Young leaders reading, this is your call to action: nominate a young person or group you know for a Celebrating Young Peoples Award today."

'Celebrating Young People Awards' was launched in 2015, inviting nominations for six award categories based on Catholic Social Teaching: promoting dignity of the human person, community and participation, the dignity of workers, solidarity and peace, the option for the poor, and the care of creation. There is also an award for inspiring youth minister and the main youth Award, the Pope Francis Award, selected and presented by Cardinal Vincent Nichols. Nominations close on 24 May 2019.

CYPA is run by Million Minutes, a charity founded in 2011. It raises money and supports youth action and advocacy activities that give voice and support to young people to transform their lives and their world, inspired by Catholic Social Teaching. It supports young people making a difference through participation in society, assuming responsibility and developing as leaders. It works alongside other organisations, including For Jimmy, Cardinal Hume Centre, and the Young Christian Workers. Its champions include TV chef Delia Smith, Abbot Christopher Jamison OSB and Margaret Mizen OBE, mother of Jimmy Mizen, who was murdered in 2008, who now runs For Jimmy.

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Tags: Celebrating Young People Awards, Million Minutes, Jimmy Mizen

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