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Archbishop Presents Christian Youth Work Awards

Christian Youth Work Awards with the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.

Tuesday 13th November 2012

The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, today presented the Christian Youth Work Awards at a ceremony at Bishopthorpe Palace.

The awards were hosted by The Archbishop of York Youth Trust which specialises in enabling young people to make a positive difference to their communities. This is the second year of the awards, which are run in conjunction with ‘We Love Our Youth Worker!’ and ‘Youthwork’ magazine. 


Hundreds of church members, youth workers and young people were nominated from across the country for the Awards. Nominations were then judged by a group of youth workers, sponsors and young people.


Sponsors have provided the prizes that include £500 towards resources and equipment for the youth group, weekend breaks and cinema vouchers for hard-working volunteers, as well as a brand new iPad.


Dr John Sentamu said:


“It was a great honour to present the Christian Youth Work Awards again here at Bishopthorpe Palace and host the ceremony on behalf of my Youth Trust. The Trust helps young people, especially from deprived areas, to be the best they can be. These young leaders are showing what it really means to put love into action.


“It is wonderful to hear these stories of hope, dedication and our glorious God at work. Youth Work is an absolutely vital part of the Church’s ministry to a hurting world and we must not cease in our fight to make serving others an even greater priority!”


Joint founder of the Awards, Chris Curtis, part of the ‘We Love Our Youth Worker!’ team, said:


“This year’s nominations were stronger than ever. The incredible stories of those serving God through their work with young people, has made our job as judges very difficult. We’ve found some very creative and innovative projects and people who are fantastic examples of what can be done when we follow in the footsteps of Jesus. I hope their stories will inspire us all.”



The Award for Christian Youth Worker of the Year 2012 went to Weston Super Mare based, David Wilkie. He scooped this year’s top award for his holistic approach to youth work, living amongst the young people he works with on the towns Bournville estate, which is in the bottom 2% of the UK’s most deprived areas. Through his whole-hearted commitment he’s built strong relationships with young people who are most at risk encouraging them to make good life choices and giving them practical ways to build a better future. The judging panel said he had showed “outstanding courage, commitment and dedication to young people on the edge”.


Marcia Haley from East London was named the 2012 Volunteer of the Year. Marcia is a vicar’s wife who uses her skills as a psychotherapist to encourage young people to reach their potential rather than getting sucked into gang culture. Most recently she coordinated a week-long international Olympics festival on the estate, celebrating its proximity to the Olympic park in Stratford.


The Most Innovative Youth Work Project went to The Feast, a project that builds faith-sharing friendships between teens with different beliefs in Birmingham. Best Youth Work Resource was awarded to Beauty Cocoon, a course that’s changing young people’s lives across the UK by boosting their self esteem.  


Emmanuel Baptist Church in Gravesend took the Best Youth Work Employer title for providing practical and spiritual support over and above the norm for their Youth Worker of 8 years.

To read the Archbishop's full speech, please click here.


The awards are a joint project between:


‘We Love Our Youth Worker!’ (The National Charter for Church Youth Workers)

Youthwork magazine


The award categories are:

Youth Worker of the Year - Sponsored by Moorlands College

Volunteer of the Year - Sponsored by London School of Theology (LST)

Best Employer – Sponsored by Oasis College

Most Innovative Youth Work – Sponsored by CYM

Best Youth Work Resource – Youthwork magazine


The Awards are supported by The Archbishop of York Youth Trust



The prizes for the awards are as follows:

Youth worker of the year: I Pad 3

Volunteer of the year: Weekend retreat and cinema tickets for a year

Best Employer: 16 places at Go Ape for a team-building day

Most Innovative Youth Work: £500 to spend on resources for the project

Best youth work resource: 1 page colour advert in Youthwork Magazine.

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