YMCA Right Here, run by YMCA DownsLink Group, won the prestigious title of Health & Wellbeing Project of the Year and their volunteer Florence Tingley won Young Campaigner of the Year at the Youth Matters Awards 2017. The night was hosted by business woman and Sky presenter, Michelle Dewberry at the exclusive central London venue 8 Northumberland Avenue on Friday (3 November).
YMCA Right Here works with young people enabling them to learn, speak out and get support around health and wellbeing through volunteering, activities, workshops, campaigns and digital projects. In 2016, staff and volunteers at YMCA Right Here played a vital part in initiating, designing and developing the #IAMWHOLE campaign to combat mental health stigma. In partnership with the NHS and YMCA England & Wales the campaign went national and reached over 120 million people globally.
The project triumphed after battling off strong competition from across England and Wales during shortlisting, a public vote and a final decision by judges.
The Young Campaigner of the Year Award recognises the exceptional achievements of a young person who has campaigned to make a real difference to the lives of others and their community.
Florence was one of three young people to get through to the awards night following judges’ shortlisting and an online public vote. She was praised by judges for her extraordinary level of commitment to tackling stigma and raising awareness about mental health. As a YMCA Right Here volunteer, Florence has designed and delivered a number of impactful workshops for schools on issues like exam stress, social media, and help-seeking.
Chas Walker, Chief Executive of YMCA DownsLink Group said:
“We are extremely proud of our project YMCA Right Here for winning such a significant award and being named as Health & Wellbeing Project of the Year 2017. It is brilliant for the project to receive recognition for all the hard work they do.
“I am particularly pleased to see Florence named as Young Campaigner the Year, she absolutely deserves it.
“Thank you to everyone in the community who supported us by voting; we couldn’t have won without you.”