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 better places. There are eight award categories, which take their names from Catholic social teaching and recognise the enormous, often unseen, social action of young people. Above: Last year’s Pope Francis Award recipient was Aaron, from Loreto College Manchester.
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 at www.millionminutes.org/awards.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.
Last year’s 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.”