Christian Youth Work Awards

24 March 2011 — 4 Comments

The Christian Youth Work Awards

Mark (@sparticus) brought this to my attention on his blog. It’s a new set of awards for Christian youth work run by the ‘We Love Our Youthworker‘ charter, Youthwork Magazine and The Archbishop of York Youth Trust. From the website:

The Christian Youth Work Awards are all about appreciating and celebrating the incredible work done with young people in churches and through Christian organisations up and down the UK. Thousands of youth workers, paid and volunteers, run clubs, Bible studies and groups every week. They spend hours talking and listening to young people, just hanging out. They don’t just give their time, they give themselves…

[We] know how important it is to encourage each other in the Body of Christ, and that’s why these Awards exist. By highlighting just a few of those doing youth work, we hope we’ll inspire and encourage us all.

As a worker, I confess that I am slightly cringing at the concept. I’m not sure if it’s the fact the awards are focused on the Christian sub-culture (there’s no national awards for non-faith youth workers), or simply that it’s an award for youth work full stop. Having said that, I would love to nominate and thank a huge number of (mainly volunteer) youth workers who have impacted and inspired me. Recognising the effort these workers invest into young people is a significant thing, so maybe these awards are well justified!

The various categories for the awards are:

  • Youth worker of the year
  • Volunteer of the year
  • Best youth work employer
  • Best innovative youth work, and
  • Best youth work resource

Anyone can nominate towards the awards and the closing date is 1st June. It will be interesting to see what happens. Go nominate here.

Jon

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I am a qualified youth worker, writer and consultant based in Littlehampton, UK. I've worked in the voluntary youth sector for over 12 years, am married to Kirsty and we have two daughters named Hope and Eloise. Check out 'Journeying Together: Growing Youth Work and Youth Workers in Local Communities' and read my opening chapter.

4 responses to Christian Youth Work Awards

  1. Up here in Scotland the organisation ‘Youthlink’ run a Youthworker of the year awards, into their fifth year. They are largely aimed at non faith based workers, with a specific category for ‘faith based worker of the year’.

    They always seem to go well and its good to celebrate what is good and happening in youth work, but the awards idea makes me very nervous. I’ve been part of the Church of Scotland representation at the ceremony the last 2 years (not winning an award, we sponsor the faith based award) and it seems a very cliquey, grandstanding event.

    The idea of a faith based focused award scheme makes me cringe too. Again, its good to celebrate whats good in youth ministry, but giving out awards? Tge last thing we need more of in Christian sub culture is the idea of celebrity or elitism.

    • Hi Chris, thanks for the response.

      Interesting about the Youthlink awards and how you view it as a “grandstanding event”. I naturally want to avoid the profile and glamour that come with award ceremonies. Maybe that’s a personality thing though.

      I agree that there is definitely a benefit to these things; it raises awareness of the work, thanks people for what they do, and can also inspire others to do new things.

  2. In that response Jon, would it be better to have something like a celebration of great youth work? I think sometimes it’s about appreciating people generally, or whole projects. The Children & Young People Now Awards seem quite interesting… http://www.cypnow.co.uk/Awards/ and it’s more about celebrating projects rather than individual people.

    • Hi Emily, yes that’s exactly what I would prefer! I think a celebration of youth work where projects can put themselves forwards is a much more suitable platform that allows for group celebration and success – after all it is rarely the efforts of one lone individual that makes youth work successful (by whatever measure you wish to define success).

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