31st January 2017
HRH The Prince of Wales, Patron and Founder of the Youth United Foundation, was joined by 300 guests at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the fantastic examples of social action undertaken by new branches of uniformed youth groups.
His Royal Highness has long championed uniformed youth groups as a way to give young people the chance to do something challenging and rewarding in the service of others. The Prince spoke of this belief in his first speech to the House of Lords on 1st June 1975 when he said: “I have so often felt that given the right incentives and indeed materials and equipment, that many more young people could become involved in helpful work for the community had they but the chance and the interest.”
The creation of 27,000 new places in uniformed youth groups has been supported by the Uniformed Youth Social Action Fund, a project delivered by Youth United Foundation on behalf of the government to use £10M of LIBOR fines funding to create new opportunities for young people in the most disadvantaged areas around the country.
The goal of the project was to create 16,000 new places, but Youth United member organisations over-delivered by 69%, creating an astounding 27,000. The Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, said: "Youth United's network presents young people with fantastic opportunities to learn new skills and make a really positive impact on society. I am pleased to see participants being recognised for their fantastic contributions and I congratulate Youth United on what it has achieved to date."
At the celebration, The Prince of Wales presented three special Awards for Dedication, Impact and Teamwork. The Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Fire Cadets won the award for Impact, as their litter picking campaign saw them collect 78kg of rubbish. Our youngest social action winners, aged 4-9, The Girls’ Brigade England & Wales 1st Huncote n:vestigate, came out on top in the Dedication category. Their projects included a fundraising event to raise money for a local hospice in memory of a friend in their community, donating to their local food bank, and sponsoring the training of ‘Felix,’ a puppy who is being trained for ‘Guide Dogs for the Blind’.
Nominees also had the opportunity to tell The Prince all about their social action, as representatives from each unit spoke directly to His Royal Highness after the awards ceremony.
The nomination process saw Youth United member organisations put forward their own best “social action”, while fellow charity Step Up To Serve's youth #iwill ambassadors served as judges for the special awards.
Each winning team received a trophy from the Minister for Civil Society, Mr Rob Wilson, and a special badge to remember the day.
Lindsay Levkoff Lynn, CEO of Youth United Foundation, welcomed the guests at Buckingham Palace and said:
“We are incredibly proud to be able to celebrate at Buckingham Palace today. Aged between 4 and 25, these young people represent the great work being done by over 27,000 new young people thanks to opportunities created with support from the Government, the Youth United Foundation, and national uniformed groups – working together in an impressive scale partnership.
“From visiting care homes and supporting the elderly, to directly discussing ways to improve the educational system with senior MPs, to running workshops that empower marginalised youth, all of these award-winning units have proven that being young is not a barrier to making a difference.”
Please see below for a full list of award winners: