Two young people have been commended for their efforts for their work in promoting the common good in the local community. 

Preston Stevens, 14, and Angel Nields, 16, from St John the Baptist parish, have been honoured for their work in instrumenting a virtual equality protest in Tamworth. Their idea was simple, and they inspired individuals of all ages to send a message of equality which were then shared on social media. The #EqualTamworth hash tag was created to encourage others to do the same.

The pair are two of the first young people in the UK to receive the Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Award, which celebrates and recognises young people who are promoting the common good in their local community. The award is supported by Cardinal Vincent Nichols and is named after Pier Giorgio Frassati, a young man who devoted his life to look after the poor, sick and needy. He died aged 24 from an infection which he had contracted from those he was caring for.

The Award hopes to enable everyone to reflect on how Catholic social teaching – such as promoting peace, building community and caring for creation – is being lived out on a daily basis.

Dan Marsh, Preston and Angel’s youth worker, said: “This award means a great deal to both Angel and Preston; it is not often enough that the young leaders are formally recognised for the frequent hard work they engage in week in and week out. It is great to have something formal to celebrate their ministry which they are passionate about. Hopefully, it will encourage them both to continue in their Church ministries, feeling empowered to engage in more social action throughout the Church and local community.”

The award is organised and promoted by Million Minutes, a charity that supports projects helping young people to transform their lives and put Catholic social teaching into practice. Applications for the award are open on a rolling basis and all who are nominated are considered for a small grant (£50 - £300), to help continue their work across their local community.

Kate Eastmond, from Million Minutes said: “This award scheme is a positive response to the global pandemic and we are awestruck by the young people who are nominated. Sadly, the media narrative can overlook the amazing efforts of the young people across the country who are making this world a better place. Their selfless and sometimes unseen actions can inspire all of us. Million Minutes is all about giving a voice to young people so we’re delighted to be able to recognise and shout about young people from across England and Wales. We want to celebrate all that they are and all that they give to our world.”