Last Friday evening youth workers from across the country came together at the Christian Youth Work Awards to celebrate the great youth work taking place around the UK.
The Door took home the award for Best Youth Work Employer, Best Youth Work Resource was given to Children’s Society’s ‘Seriously awkward’ and Diverse Church won Most Innovative Youth Work. Jenny Hubball was awarded Young Leader of the Year, volunteer of the Year went to Chris Haddon and Becca Willett was named Youth Worker of the Year. She said that it was really unexpected but a huge privilege, adding: “There are so many youth workers who can feel isolated and undervalued. My prayer is that they feel really celebrated as well.”
24 hours later over 150 people attended the Premier Digital Awards to honour and encourage excellence in Christian engagement online. We, at Premier Youthwork, were very excited to see lots of youth work projects among the winners, runners up and nominees.
A brand new award category was added this year, paying tribute to the best use of digital media in youth work. Online mental health resource The Lily Jo Project won the award and Girl’s Brigade’s Koko was named runner up. Other finalists were Kleer series, The Road and Fusion’s Student Link Up (also nominated for App of the Year).
The Most Inspiring Leadership Blog was awarded to Youth Work Hacks, a collection of online posts and resources written by and for youth work practitioners. The blog, aimed at professional youth workers, youth work students and volunteers is edited by Tim Gough who directs the Llandudno Youth For Christ centre.
Trainee youth worker Ruth Clemence won Young Blogger of the Year, while other nominees included Youthscape’s Open Me (People’s Choice) – a resource aimed at encouraging and developing youth workers’ own faith, and Lively Stones (Multi-blog author, Up-and-Coming) – an online platform for Christian students.
Guardians of Ancora, a children’s app was nominated for App of the Year and Gospel-Centred Parenting (does what it says on the tin!) was awarded runner up for the Up-and-Coming-Award.
At a time when youth work often feels underfunded, under supported and misunderstood, it was wonderful to spend a whole weekend celebrating great people, projects and ministries that are offering invaluable resources, support and love to young people all over the country.
To every youth worker out there, we want to take this opportunity to say that we hugely appreciate everything you do. We value you and, as Becca Willett said at the Christian Youth Work Awards, we want to celebrate you. Thank you.
Find out more about the winners of the Premier Digital Awards here.