Over National Youth Sunday weekend (22 -23 November 2019) nominees from previous 'Celebrating Young People Awards' gathered for a young adult's alumni gathering in Central London, for a weekend of celebration, formation and networking. The event was powered by Million Minutes in partnership with the Columbans UK.
The event brought together young people aged 17-25 years, celebrating their achievements and commitment to social action. The young nominees included eco-champions, volunteer youth workers, a youth safety ambassador among others. Hands on activities, periods of reflection and time to plan projects aimed to inspire them in their on-going activities to transform society.
Catholic social teaching principles - including promoting peace, building community and caring for creation - were at the heart of the weekend. These values came to life in two immersive experiences provided by Jesuit Refugee Service and Pax Christi UK. The young people experienced peace making in the past, present and future with visits to the Edith Cavell Memorial and St Martin-in-the-Fields in Central London, in addition to partaking in a workshop that focused on building awareness of detention in this current climate. Immediate actions that the young adults took part in included creating a Peace banner in Leicester Square and writing Christmas cards to those who find themselves in detention centres, which for many will be the only Christmas card they receive over the festive period. The hope is that these actions and others will be built on over the coming year.
Million Minutes' co-founder, Danny Curtin, said: "We've celebrated 1,000 young people since launching the Celebrating Young People Awards and each and every one of them are inspiring. This weekend we've been heartened to see that young people continue to be committed to finding ways to put the values of our Catholic social teaching into practice, seeking a more just, peaceful and equal world."
The weekend closed with Mass ahead of National Youth Sunday.
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