That’s amazing yeah. In a year of heroes, the team of heroes is fantastic.

The night of December 16th in 2020 was one of big success for Youth Moves.

We came away with three awards at the Bristol Young Heroes Awards, the prestigious annual night of celebration for young people in the city. 

This was both for individual young people, and for us as an overall team.


Staff and young people all ready to watch the award ceremony at The Park Centre in Knowle

Every year the Bristol Young Heroes is a huge event, the biggest of its kind in the city. It has taken place at the Wills Building and We are The Curious, with people of all persuasions being invited along, adorned in black tie. This was the 7th of its kind.

It sees the great and good of the city handing out awards to young people who have achieved amazing things throughout the year. Celebrities involved have included the likes of Mercury Award winning musician Roni Size, GMB presenter Alex Beresford, and Broadchurch actor Joe Sims.

Emma Britten, former BBC Radio Breakfast presenter, who compered the Bristol Young Heroes Awards

This year due to the Co-VID 19 virus the ceremony was all online – but still live, with some pre-recorded content added in. Presented by the brilliant Emma Britten, BBC Radio Bristol presenter until recently, from a studio, it featured big names handing out awards, one of which was our own ambassador, England rugby star and Knowle West boy Ellis Genge.

CEO Ali Dale in his 'online zoom' ceremony outfit

So most of our staff and nominees gathered around a big screen to watch at our offices at The Park Centre, whilst socially distancing of course. Sandwiches and nibbles were laid on, soft drinks on board, and even our CEO Ali was dressed in black tie – well from the waist up, as we joked ‘he was zoom ready!’

We were nominated in three categories. For the Learning hero award we had three nominees, Rowenna, Frank, and Shae-Ann; Elliot was nominated for the Super Hero award; and Youth Moves was shortlisted for the overall team of heroes award. The tension was mounting.

First up, in the learning award, the well deserving winner was Shae-Ann, and Frank and Rowenna came close runners up, and for their nomination should be very proud. Next up was Elliott, after a close contest, he came out on top and was announced as the winner. Elliott was with us and when the online camera came across to him on zoom, he was utterly shocked. He gave a big thanks to Youth Moves, and the support he had received. It was a touching moment.

As the evening wore on throughout all the awards, there were many people, entrants, organisations and people handing out awards from home, as ever skilfully anchored from Emma in the Bristol Young Heroes studio. The Youth Moves team were getting a bit of a reputation for rowdiness at this point, and every time they came across you could hear the noise!

Elliott shocked at receiving his Super Hero award on the night. 

Then it came to the the team of heroes award. Which we felt was for all the staff, the young people, their families and the communities of South Bristol, who we have worked with throughout a difficult year. 

We were up against some brilliant organisations in the likes of Young Bristol and Feed the Homeless, both who had excelled in what they had delivered too.

Drum roll…we waited…and waited…waited some more...a pause….and then it was announced…and...we had won!

At first there was shock all around, and then a delayed whooping from the Youth Moves office. The camera panned to the Park Centre to big cheers and clapping, as staff Joel, Laura, Jim and CEO Ali gathered around the screen. Asked how it felt, Ali in a poignant moment simply said: “That’s amazing yeah. In a year of heroes, the team of heroes is fantastic.”

For what has been a testing and emotional year for all at Youth Moves, one in which we have continued to engage with young people in need all over South Bristol during lockdown in new ways, this felt like true validation. Some recognition for all our staff that quietly go about their duty, rarely shouting it from the roof tops. We are so proud.

The Youth Moves team that won the Team of Heroes award at the Bristol Young Heroes Awards in 2020 (credit: Studio Duo)

We want to congratulate our winners in Shae-Ann and Elliott, and nominees in Rowenna and Frank too. Well done.

And we would like to thank Amy Kington and the team at Community of Purpose who organise the Bristol Young Heroes for this recognition, and for creating such a fantastic evening for Bristol once again. True legends.

Stay tuned for some more in depth articles on our winners and nominees soon.

And if you want you can watch the full ceremony you can do so here. What a night!