This award is for people under the age of 24 who are taking the lead in making their communities better.

About the Young Leader of the Year award

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It is a common refrain from community groups that they find it hard to engage young people in their work.  It is an equally common refrain from young people that their voices aren’t heard enough as adults make decisions about their neighbourhood.  When this divide can be bridged and young people are able to take a lead great things can happen.

We want to showcase the work of these young leaders – young people (below the age of 24) who act as role models for their peers and have inspired or driven change in their area.  They may have initiated projects with and for other young people or been particularly effective at bringing different generations together. They may have contributed new skills to your group or benefited from a personal journey of their own in terms of confidence and career development.

Featured project: Akeim Mundell

Growing up in the Whalley Range and Moss Side areas of Manchester, Akeim was inspired to make a difference to his community after losing a friend to gun and knife crime at the age of 13. In addition to his day job in teaching, he volunteers several nights a week as a youth worker and mentor, runs a scheme to help people find work, organises events for local young people and is an ambassador for his community.

In 2017 Akeim received a Groundwork Community Award for Young Community Leader of the Year.

2019 Shortlist

Bethan Owen (Winner)

Bethan Owen, 17, is a young carer and the founder of a not-for-profit karate club for young people in her local area.

Harry Deacon

Harry Deacon, 23 is the co-founder of Cultivate Cornwall CIC, an initiative that supports the development of community groups across Cornwall.

Mima Letts

Mima Letts is the Founder and Director of Tree Sparks, a social enterprise on a mission to dispel the myths surrounding forestry and help grow the next generation of forestry and environmental leader.

2018 Shortlist

Temi Mwale (Winner)

Temi is a truly remarkable young person. Driven by the tragic death of her close friend, she set about starting a truly youth led initiative where young people affected by serious violence can get support and be at the forefront of change in their local communities.

Liam Crorken

Liam has a disability which effects his vision and is registered blind. However, Liam is an inspiration to the estate as Chair of the Blenheim Gardens Resident Management Organisation (RMO) youth forum which meets each month to direct services for young people living on and surrounding the Blenheim Gardens Estate.

Charlotte Davis

Charlotte founded, led, publicised and taught at UH Community Garden over four years. The garden provides the opportunity for volunteers learn the principles of gardening, soil science and care for food crops.