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.