This is the Queens Youth Honours List. It’s updated every six months by Young Voices Heard. This is a list of young people who were aged under 30 at the time of their award, who were recognised for their exceptional service, leadership or  youth social action identified through media reports when the awards are announced. They are listed together to celebrate and equally value young people as leaders, role models and changemakers in our society, and to inspire more nominations, particularly those who would not otherwise be included. Scroll down for additional information on why they were honoured.

This is part of the campaign for greater youth recognition do inspire you to do something amazing by nominating someone amazing, not just for national honours, but for any awards schemes run locally or nationally that recognise youth social action. Please get in touch if you can add to the list using the contact form below.

2021 

Amika George MBE (21)         Clegg Bamber MBE (25)       Rhys Mallows BEM (25)

Raheem Sterling MBE (26)     Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson BEM (27)

Molly Stear BEM (23)              Atif Ali BEM (26)                    Craig Browne BEM (28)

Christopher Edwards BEM (28)    Kiera Byland BEM (23)     Carl Konadu BEM (28)

Rhammel Afflick BEM (26)     Alex Anderson BEM (20)       Samah Khalil BEM (20)

2020

Amelia Collins-Patel MBE (22)       Marcus Rashford MBE (22)       Theo Wride BEM (16)

John Challenger BEM (17)          Mete Coban MBE (27)          Matthew Otubu BEM (24)

Ibrahim Yousaf BEM (13)            Yusuf Patel MBE (25)            Hannah Phillips BEM (24)

Jack Marshall BEM (21)               Kaiya Swain BEM (25)

2019     

Saeed Atcha MBE (22)      Imran Sanaullah MBE (26)     Anna Barker MBE (28)

Richard Collins BEM (17)

2018

Lucia Mee BEM (18)       Tyler Murphy BEM (22)

2017

Jeremiah Emmanuel BEM (18);      Devan Witter BEM (19)

     2013 – 2016      

2016 Jonjo Heuerman BEM (13);                               2015 Unknown;

2014Rosina St James BEM (23);                             2013 Anisa Hagdadi BEM (23)

      2012       

Alex Sweetland MBE (28)       Robyn Keeble MBE (21)     Christopher Preddie OBE 24

                                    Alice Pyne BEM (16)           Milly Pyne BEM (13)

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Additional information:

2021 – 14 winners: Amika George MBE (at 21 the youngest in this group) and  Clegg Bamber MBE (25) for their period poverty campaigns; Raheem Sterling MBE* (26) Race equality campaigner and charity founder ; Rhys Mallows BEM (25) Covid equipment innovator ; Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson BEM (27)  for services to young people. Molly Stear BEM (23) founded Mollys Meals in response to Covid; Atif Ali BEM (26) Covid community volunteer; Craig Browne BEM (28), charity fundraiser and community volunteer ; Christopher Edwards BEM (28) for services to and role model of disability in sport ; Kiera Byland BEM (23) for services to special needs in sport, Special Needs Olympic competitor and Gold medal winner; Carl Konadu BEM (28),for supporting and empowering young people (CEO and co-founder of 2-3 Degrees as a youthled start up); Rhammel Afflick BEM (26), Community for work in London, including Director of Comms for PRIDE (Comms lead at the British Youth Council); Alex Anderson BEM (20) for charity work/raising awareness and challenging labels of young people on the Autism Spectrum ASD (Air Cadet) and Samah Khalil BEM (20) Young Mayor of Oldham, youthvoice, participation and representation.

2020 – 11 winners: In the 2020 New Year’s Honours list Matthew Otubu BEM (age 24) former member of the Youth Parliament for services to young people in the UK and Africa, Ibrahim Yousaf BEM (13), for fundraising for cancer research, joined the inspiring Mete Coban MBE (age 27) for establishing My Life My Say, giving youth-voice an effective platform on Brexit, as well as campaigning for young voter-registration. In addition, Yusuf Patel MBE, 25, is now an MBE for services to community cohesion and interfaith in Redbridge; and BEMs for disability advocate Jack Marshall BEM, 21, Hannah Phillips BEM, 24, for services to charity, and finally Kaiya Swain BEM, 25, for services to the World Skills Competition. In the summer three more names were added to mark the Queens Birthday, making 2020 a record breading year. Amelia Collins-Patel MBE (22) for her services to young people, including volunteering for Project Hope @ylprojecthope,  who have launched their own Young Peoples Honours List at the end of 2020; Marcus Rashford MBE (22) for his campaigning on free school meals, and Theo Wride BEM (16) for making PPE during Covid crisis, and John Challenger BEM (17) for his service to young people, particularly his coordinating role at Sea Cadets.

2019 – 4 winners : MBEs were awarded to Saeed Atcha MBE (22), activist, former trustee of Step Up To Serve and founder of Explode magazine; and to the CEO of Patchwork Foundation; Imran Sanaullah MBE (age 26) engaging young people from minorities in politics, and Anna Rose Barker MBE  (age 28) for services to young people including being a former Chair of the British Youth Council. And a BEM to Richard Collins BEM (age 17, Asperger’s Support)

2018 – Lucia Mee BEM(age 18) an organ donation campaigner from Northern Ireland and Tyler Murphy BEM(age 22) who set up the Tyler’s Trust to support others who share his brain-tumour condition.

2017 Jeremiah Emmanuel BEM (age 18) was someone I knew from his work in setting up the ‘One Big Community’ anti-knife crime campaign at the age of 13, and then as Lambeth’s rep to the UK Youth Parliament, was changemaker ).  He joined Devan Witter BEM  (age 19) who was winner for founding antibullying campaign Action Against Bullying.

2016Jonjo Heuerman BEM (13) was the youngest yet, to receive a BEM, having raised more than £235,000 for Cancer Research UK’s Bobby Moore Fund.

2015 – None Known

2014Rosina St James BEM (23) a former trustee and Chair of the British Youth Council, Rosina St James (age 23) was awarded a BEM for her work on Health and Wellbeing for young people.

2013Anisa Hagdadi BEM for founding Beatfreeks, an award-winning social enterprise engaging young people in arts, training and leadership opportunities. Returned the medal in 2020 in protest at the word ’empire’. 

2012 – 5 winners: Teenage sisters Alice Pyne BEM (16) and Milly Pyne BEM (13) are awarded British Empire Medals for their services to charity. Alice was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and she and her sister have worked tirelessly to raise money to aid research into the disease; Robyn Keeble MBE, age 21,  for services to community activism and youth empowerment – worked with other young people to set up ‘SW!TCH ID’ to encourage young people to make a positive contribution in their local community; Christopher Preddie OBE 24 – services to youth people in London; and Alex Sweetland MBE for services to young people and youth participation, such as the UK Youth Parliament where is was both a trustee and interim Exec Director;

1949 When he died in 2015, Bernard Davis BEM still held the record as the youngest person ever to be awarded a BEM. In 1949, at the age of 16, Bernard risked his life in rescuing a 3-year-old girl from a window ledge in a bomb-damaged block of flats in 1949 near Borough Market. I’m sure the impact of the award was celebrated at the time, but although few will recognise Bernard’s name today, the impact of that heroic action lasted a lifetime for the little girl whose life he saved, when Bernard literally ‘stepped up’ to serve. Since then several even young recipients (13) have been honoured but none for saving a life.

Campaign for Youth Recognition:

I hope that in sharing the examples of younger winners its prompts us all to think of others who would deserve to be recognised, not just nationally, but locally too, not just by Queens Honours but in lots of other ways too. I have made it one of my annual New Year Resolutions to campaign for more young leaders and #youthvoice champions to be recognised in general and nominated for Queens Honours in particular, and started a campaign for youth recognition in 2017. Publishing this list is part of that effort. “Do something amazing – why not not nominate someone amazing! Not just for these national awards but for one of the many other national or local awards out there.” #nominatetoday” http://www.gov.uk/honours. James Cathcart, Director Young Voices Heard.

Commentary – too young?  Giving awards to those so young, especially those under 20, is not without its critics who argue that early one-off achievements or short-term volunteering are not comparable with a lifetime of service, and might be better being Pride of Britain nominations or Points of Light Awards (from the Prime Minister). However that doesn’t take account of the future potential that such recognition will help to sustain, the increased likelihood of more opportunities coming the way of winners, and marking these young leaders as flagbearers of a new generation and shapers of all of our futures. These are the three factors that could determine when younger candidates are successful.

Comment – empire?  Some young people have reservations about accepting an award because they either feel they don’t deserve it, or object to the negative association with the word ‘Empire’ – although, to my knowledge, no young person has refused an award. There is a group of older people who have turned down or returned awards for a range of reasons, not just to protest but because they are simply not interested in recognition. There is also a group, who, whilst accepting awards, campaign to change the wording to ‘Excellence’ not ‘Empire’ and several young people in the list below  have joined this campaign, including this years youngest award recipient Amika George MBE (21) who explains the issues for her in an article for Vogue on why she ‘nearly rejected the honour’. N   [Previous winners Anna Barker and Rhammel Afflick have signed up as supporters to the #excellentnotempire campaign, and Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson, a new winner like Amika has written about it – making a total of 4 that we are aware of – please contact below to update].

Note: *The list of young people in this blog are either those that I have known personally or have come across through their work. There are probably more but age if not published in the Honours list, and not all people agree to publicity. Ive not included those who have been recognised for their achievements in the sport and the arts alone. Anyone reading this article who knows of nationally “Honoured” young people Ive overlooked, please get in touch. JC

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 Young Voices Heard Resolutions / Campaigns, championed by James since 2017 

    1. To campaign for a FT Youth Minister and Youth Policy Advisory Panel, to develop and coordinate Youth Strategy and policy.
    2. To encourage more young people to apply and be appointed as Trustees/Directors, and for Boards to recruit/include them as normally as they would any other demographic or minority that adds value to governance, for their skills, perspective and network rather than their tokenistic representation. The stats are poor and hardly changed over the last 15 years.
    3. To challenge stereotypical and ill-informed attitudes towards young people that block their potential to contribute to society as active citizens. From voting to volunteering, as doers, decision-makers, campaigners and representatives, young people have skills, networks and energy that could add value to communities, boardrooms and even parliament. Lets listen, work with and invest in young people.

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