British Red Cross Humanitarian Awards 2016

I welcome the opening of nominations for the British Red Cross Humanitarian Awards 2016, celebrating the extraordinary things ordinary young people do. The awards recognise children and young adults who have helped people in their local communities and beyond.

The event, sponsored by Canon, acknowledges how every day young people make a huge difference to other people’s lives across the UK; giving first aid, befriending vulnerable people, fundraising and campaigning for good causes.

The four award categories are:

• fundraising
• first aid
• community action; and
• volunteering

Previous award winners have triumphed over personal challenges, enriched their communities and been first aid heroes. Many have also volunteered, as well as raising money and awareness for good causes. Last year the overall award was won by the Inverclyde Peer Group, who have reduced knife crime in their area by 80 per cent. Reacting to high levels of knife crime, this group of 16-to-20-year-olds ran workshops for over 180 people and have since been invited by the government to undertake a six-month research project attempting to replicate their success in the whole of Scotland.

I’m really proud to be hosting this year’s Awards. I have seen for myself the incredible impact that young people make in our communities. In my own constituency, the Inverclyde Peer Group have educated many and potentially saved lives through their extraordinary efforts.

I have no doubt that similarly impressive work will be going on around the country and I encourage fellow MPs to recognise the achievements of young people in their constituencies by nominating them for the award before 7 August.

This year the theme of the award is ‘making a difference matters’ and nominations are invited for people aged 25 or under and both individuals and groups of young people are eligible. There is an award for each category, in addition to an overall winner. The nomination can be supported by either a photo or video to bring these fantastic stories to life.

The annual photography and video competition will run alongside the Humanitarian Award, where young people can submit entries also based on the theme ‘making a difference matters’. Entries will be judged by a panel including experts from Canon with prizes awarded in two age categories, 17 and under, and 18 to 25.

Nominations for the 2016 awards are now open until Sunday 7th August 2016:

Winners of the Humanitarian Award and the photography and video competition will be announced at an awards ceremony at the House of Commons, Palace of Westminster on Tuesday 15 November 2016.