Youth Moves are proud to announce another award for Youth Opinions, our youth voice group. 

On March 14th the team attended the High Sheriff Awards at the Bristol Beacon.

And they came away with the Community Champion award, an accolade that was chosen personally by Alex Raikes, this year's High Sheriff of Bristol.

Unlike most awards this is not nominated or voted for, it is given to groups and individuals that have worked with the High Sheriff throughout her year in office. It is for making an impact in the community, and Youth Opinions were picked as community champions because of the work they do. 

Throughout this year the group has been involved in sitting on national youth violence panels, distributing funding to other organisations in the South Bristol community, and working closely with the council and UK Youth on issues of knife crime.

The Community Champion award given to the Youth Opinions Group

Alex Raikes, High Sheriff said : "I gave out 15 High Sheriff Awards at my End of Year Reception, to people and groups who I came across during my year and who I felt particularly touched and impressed by. They were the people who I could see were quietly making a major difference in their communities and who were dedicating their lives to others selflessly. Unsung heroes who care passionately about their jobs be they paid or voluntary.

"The Youth Moves, Youth Opinions Group are awesome. I visited a few times in my year to discuss ideas around our common concern about tackling hate in South Bristol and to celebrate different things they are doing but what swung it for me was the work they did around running a local grants programme for Bristol City Council.

They were given the responsibility of looking after a local community fund, administering it, advertising it, deciding where it went and allocating it and then monitoring the outcomes. I went to their showcase event where all the projects they'd selected shared what they were doing.

They were all improving people's lives in the local area - Community Gardens; projects by and for adults with learning disabilities, and a group of children who planned, prepare and cooked for 80 children in Knowle West who otherwise wouldn't have had Christmas Lunch.

Youth Opinions had made this all happen," she added.

High Sheriff Alex Raikes

The award came as a surprise to them all, and indeed staff, as no one had any idea they were getting anything.

The Youth Opinions team on winning the award said : "It was the first time we have ever been to something like this, I thought it was going to be a small event and it wasn't. It was posher than we expected!" 

"We didn't know what to expect and when we won I was like omg, we were so surprised. It felt nice because we know we have done something good, and was great to be recognised" 

"The fact it came directly from the high sheriff who put us forward is really special. So it was surprising, and we feel really honoured and we are very thankful for this award."

The High Sheriff herself paid tribute to the group and said : "They are such a mature, intelligent, upbeat and caring group of young leaders overseen by the wonderful Levi and Denise who are themselves inspirational. It was a no brainer for me to give one of my awards to these folks."