The Catholic youth social action charity Million Minutes is excited to announce that its popular Celebrating Young People Awards has been launched.

These social action awards comprise six awards recognising children and young people specifically (inspired by each of the values of Catholic Social Teaching), one recognising youth workers, and one new award recognising religious and clergy.

Applicants have until Sunday 15 May to nominate a young person doing amazing social action work or someone working on behalf of young people, and Award recipients and nominees will be announced at an event held in the Palace of Westminster in July 2022, in an event hosted by Siobhain McDonagh MP with special guests in attendance.

Anyone with any questions is encouraged to speak to Fr Ryan Service, Assistant Priest at St John the Evangelist in Banbury, who is a Trustee of the charity.

Million Minutes is also proud to announce the launch of a new Award, in collaboration with The Jesuits in Britain, which celebrates clergy and religious who are committed to social action and parish transformation in their communities that is inclusive of young people. The Rutilio Grande & Companions Award will be part of the well-established Celebrating Young People Awards suite.

This Awards suite features six awards that specifically recognise the actions of young people in support of Catholic Social Teaching (The Jimmy Mizen Award for peace, The Dorothy Day Award for community service, The Barbara Ward Award for care for creation, the Josephine Bakhita Award for protecting human dignity, The Cardinal Hume award for living out the option of the poor, and the Joseph Cardijn Award for protecting dignity of labour presented with the Young Christian Workers movement), and an additional award, alongside the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation, which recognises exceptional youth ministry.

To date, almost 1,000 young people have been nominated for Million Minutes Celebrating Young People Awards, giving Catholic schools, retreat centres and parishes a means by which to recognise and celebrate young people, as the next generation of social action leaders.

Previous award winners have included 18-year-old Shanea Oldham from Newham, who won the Jimmy Mizen Award in 2019 for her reconciliation efforts in her community, Jehanut Bari who won the Dorothy Day Award in 2019 for her work in facilitating inter-religious dialogue in Brentwood, and 18-year-old Harry Wale in Wigan who won the Cardinal Hume Award for his community work with those facing financial crisis. You can survey our full list of previous award winners from 2019 here.

CEO of Million Minutes, Daisy Srblin, said: ‘We are so excited that after two whole years of uncertainty, we can relaunch our ground-breaking Celebrating Young People Awards for 2022. Young people have been at the forefront of social action during the pandemic, organising food banks and caring for the vulnerable, despite being some of the worst-affected economically, educationally and socially by the last two years.

'We cannot wait to read and share stories of amazing young people who have been serving their community, to give young people the recognition they deserve. We are also very proud to continue hosting the CYMFED Award, celebrating a youth worker or chaplain working with young people in open and inclusive ways, and the new Rutilio Grande & Companions Award, hosted with the Jesuits in Britain, celebrating members of religious orders and clergy who work for the common good in a way that is proactively inclusive of all young people.

'We encourage teachers, parishioners, priests, religious, youth ministers, catechists and all those who work with young people in a Catholic setting to consider nominating today.’

Million Minutes encourages all those who have met inspiring young people or those working with young people, in Catholic settings, to consider submitting an application. Young nominees do not need to be Catholic to be nominated and recognised – and you can access a full list of FAQs here.

Young nominees will also have the chance to be considered for a small youth social action grant to continue and strengthen their community work.

Nominate here

Please get in touch with the team with any questions on [email protected]