Manchester City Council

Winners of the Manchester Youth Buzz Awards announced

Talented young Mancunians from across the city have been recognised at this year's Youth Buzz Awards for their stand-out achievements and for making a positive contribution to their communities.

The awards, for young people aged 11 - 19, are organised by Manchester Youth Council on behalf of the city council, and were sponsored by a number of local businesses and organisations including Young Manchester and One Education.  
 
More than 40 young people, schools, or youth groups made it through to this year's finals.  Awards were made in thirteen different award categories including leadership, volunteering, charitable fundraising, equality and diversity, caring, and commitment to green issues.
 
Winners included Minnahil Rashid and Maham Shahzad who together won the Equality and Diversity Award for having been an integral part of helping to support a Girls Only Premier League Kicks project in Levenshulme.  

The pair are described as natural leaders who have supported their peers to overcome many cultural and social barriers to girls, particularly from an Asian background, taking part in football sessions.  Keen footballers themselves, they helped the football project in Levenshulme grow from just a handful of girls taking part at the start of the season to an astonishing 47 girls attending sessions by the end of it - 93% of whom were from a black, Asian, or minority ethnic background.
 
Two young pupils from Chorlton High School, Sonny Wilson and Ralf Syrett, who set about raising funds for Care UK after hearing about the refugee crisis in Calais and Greece were the winners of the Charitable Fundraiser Award.  The Year 7 pupils wanted to do something to help and to raise awareness about the plight of the refugees, so they set up a 10 km run and walk around Lyme Park in Cheshire with friends and family, raising an amazing £406 in the process.
 
A young apprentice with Sharp Futures who is also a journalist was the winner of the Young Leader Award.  As well as her apprenticeship at Sharp Futures, outside of work Lydia German is also a journalist and board member for Xplode magazine where she writes about issues that affect young people, such as their views on how the curriculum should be changed.  She regularly goes the extra mile to represent the views of young people across Manchester and shows her commitment to tackling the issues that are important to young people through her role at Sharp Futures.  She has also been involved with the council's Economic Scrutiny meetings, and has spoken on panels at BBC events, sharing advice to other young people.
 
The award for Outstanding Achievement this year went to James Plant for his work with Levenshulme Youth Group.  James has been volunteering with Levenshulme Youth Project for the last 18 months during which time he has completed over 150 volunteer hours.  He helped to plan the 2017 Youth Festival in Levenshulme, identifying activities that were innovative, stimulating and engaging.  He also took control of the budget, helped to produce a video promoting volunteering, and planned two local Holiday Kitchen projects - a national initiative designed to help combat food poverty.  He has presented to the Manchester Children's Board, the National Lottery, and Young Manchester, and is also a Junior Vice Chair of the Levenshulme Youth Project Board of Trustees.
 
James was highly praised for his hard work and the pride he takes in everything he does, leading by example and being a positive role model.  Judges said that his approach inspires others and he is highly thought of, with great interpersonal skills that help him reach out to other young people.
 
Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure, Manchester City Council, said:  "Young people in our city do amazing things every day and all too often these things go unnoticed.  The Youth Buzz Awards give us the chance to shout about and reward them for their achievements and for the fantastic things they do - not just for themselves, but often also for the good of their peers or the wider community.
 
"It's very clear from the standard of all of this year's nominees that the future of Manchester is in very good hands.  A massive well done to all of them and don't stop doing what you do - you really are making a difference."
 
Remsha Asif, co-host of the Youth Buzz Awards ceremony and a member of the Youth Parliament for Manchester who has represented Manchester at local regional and national meetings, said:  "It was a fantastic experience hosting the awards for the first time. It was a great opportunity to  recognise and thank young people for their amazing work and to showcase their achievements.
 
"The Manchester Buzz Awards is an inspiration for young people to help Manchester be the best city for young people and let everyone know we are the future!"
 
Full list of winners:
 
Young Leader - Lydia German
Young Volunteer - Tammin Yorke-Davenport
Best Creative Campaign - Pioneer House
Charitable Fundraiser - Sonny Wilson and Ralf Syrett
Eco Award - Lifestyle Seniors / Clean Air Project
Making a Change - The Change Group
Equality and Diversity - Minnahil Rashid and Maham Shahzad
Most Effective Youth Group - Manchester Young Lives
Most Effective School / College Council - Co-op Academy North Manchester
Academic Achievement - Phidel Gasper-Benson
Vocational Achievement - Ebony Burke
Extra-curricular Achievement - Abraham Moss Community School Rights Respecting Action Group
Outstanding Achievement - James Plant
 

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