On 3 November this year, the fourth annual Room for Young People Awards was held at the Clayton Hotel in Birmingham. Created in partnership with Clarion Futures, LiveWest, The Foyer Federation, Inspire Chilli and HAYN., it was a joyful celebration of young people’s achievements, and we were delighted to be able to come together in person with more than 70 young people, members of staff and partners.
Young people truly took the reins in the design, creation and running of the 2021 event. Molly, a Foyer Federation Ambassador, and Jess and Uche, Clarion Apprentices, set the award categories, organised the venue and ran the event on the night, as well as leading on the Conversations Series in the lead-up to the event. Team Young People from Inspire Chilli selected the evening’s winners and Top Champions in each category, and Jonas, from Clarion Futures, lent his charisma to the event as the fourth host on the evening.
The evening started with opening remarks from the night’s four young hosts, with Molly and Jonas sharing their experiences of overcoming challenging times in their lives. The audience enjoyed a poetry performance from former Birmingham Young Poet Laureate Matthew Windle, and the musical stylings of guitarist and singer Sam Morgan.
From beginning to end, the night was brimming with inspiration and stories of young people achieving fantastic things. The judges said, “The 18 shortlisted nominations resonated with us on a personal level. These are amazing examples of people and projects doing memorable things, demonstrating tremendous leadership qualities and positive impact.”
The stars of the evening were the award winners and Top Champions, and we were thrilled to see so many young people and members of staff from the Foyer network represented in all categories. The winners and Top Champions were:
Duck to Water – Outstanding Newcomer Award
- Winner: Young person from Dove Cott House Foyer, Swan Housing
- Winner: Young person from Ravenhead Foyer, Your Housing Group
- TOP CHAMPION: Mitch from Torbay Foyer, LiveWest, for his fantastic contributions to life in the Foyer.
Superb Staff Member Award
- Winner: Zac Caley from Torbay Foyer, LiveWest
- Winner: Abdi Farah from Connect Stars, Hyde Housing
- TOP CHAMPION: Karola Hagenstede from Newhaven Foyer, SAHA, for her impact on young people’s lives in her 12 years at SAHA – always looking to support young people to strive and achieve their best.
Community Engagement Award
- Winner: Starting Point Social Group, YMCA Crewe
- Winner: Chris Williams from Youth Dream (Selsey), Clarion Futures
- TOP CHAMPION: GLO cafe, YMCA Crewe, for offering a social enterprise that provides training placements for residents at the YMCA.
Personal Achievement Award
- Winner: Young person from YMCA Crewe
- Winner: Young person from Enfield Foyer, Christian Action
- TOP CHAMPION: Ciara from Hendra Lodge, LiveWest, for the remarkable journey she made from entering the Foyer aged 16 to progress her mental health, become a peer champion and youth mentor, and gain qualifications in Forensics.
Flying the Nest – Young Leader Award
- Winner: Young person from Swan House Foyer, Swan Housing
- Winner: Young person from YMCA Crewe
- TOP CHAMPION: Charlotte from On Route Foyer, CHADD, for the inspirational journey she has taken working on her mental health and using her craft skills to empower others and support herself.
Innovative Action Award
- Winner: Young person from Bridge Foyer, Your Housing Group
- Winner: Young Person from Swan House Foyer, Swan Housing
- TOP CHAMPION: Herts Outreach School for their Legacy, Ohanamind, Pheonix & Shield Project, for their work establishing four new projects to support young people this year.
Congratulations to all the nominees, winners and Top Champions on their achievements this past year! We’d also like to thank our four hosts and the judging panel for their hard work and tough decision making skills.
See you again next year!