“The ‘Campaign for greater Youth Recognition’ is a call to everyone to nominate a deserving young person for a national Honour or local award, either for HM The Queens New Year or Birthday Honours, or indeed to one of many other awards. (Diana Awards, Points of Light Awards, Pride of Britain ) Young people are all too often overlooked and go unrecognised for their volunteering or community work – yet so many do so much. Lets celebrate the best and hold them up to inspire others to follow by highlighting success stories that represent everyone in our communities.

Photo gallery head shots of five young winners of Queens Birthday awards 2021Every year more and more young people (under 30) are being recognised. (see below for previous years) Though most under 30s are still recognised for their sporting – there has been increase in the numbers recognised for community service and leadership, and its for them that Ive started this campaign. I believe that for many, such recognition, will boost their cause and inspire a lifetime of service and leadership that others will follow.”   James

Here’s How

1/ Check out the the  honours.cabinetoffice.gov.uk. sites. Guidance and nomination forms specifically for those working in the community and voluntary sector related nominees can be found here and send to honours@dcms.gov.uk. BUT before you start writing also….

2/ Watch the presentation slides by Cabinet Office Honours Team/YoungVoicesHeard campaign – How to Master an Honours Nomination (from 2021) The Cabinet Office in partnership with Young Voices Heard and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport hosted an event on 28 July 2021 to demystify the Honours system and promote nominations of, and by, young people. Traditionally, very few honours nominations are made for people under 30. The event, aimed primarily towards young people working in the voluntary and social action sectors and their supporters, gave participants the opportunity to hear about the honours system. Read more about the two featured case studies of Molly and Mete below (Pics)


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3/ Watch this webinair video hosted by Monwara Ali who interviews campaigner James Cathcart and award recipient Carl Konadu BEM about the campaign4youthrecognition, key issues around nominations and meet another young award winner Carl Konadu BEM.

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3/ Review the latest – Youth Honours List & Case Studies –  for examples and inspirations. This blog also includes a commentary about the awards system.

4/ Write a nomination The Queens awards take at least a year to process – so you would need to write a nomination by June 2022 to lead to a possible award in summer of 2023. There are other awards you can nominate for (Point of Light or Diana Awards) as stepping stones which you can reference in a Queens Honours proposal.

Cabinet Office Team Slide presentation CASE STUDIES – from 2021: How to Master an Honours Nomination (for more recent examples see separate article with latest Youth Honour List)

The case studies below taken from a script of the presentation. Honours recipients Mete Coban MBE, Chief Executive of My Life My Say; Molly Bufton Stear BEM, Founder of ‘Molly’s Meals’; and Carly Jones MBE, British Autism Advocate and Member of the Community and Voluntary Services Honours Committee talked about the personal impact of receiving an honour.

1/ Molly Bufton Stear BEM, 23, created ‘Molly’s Meals’ to ensure that the most vulnerable in her community who were unable to leave their homes during the first lockdown in 2020 had access to filling and nutritious hot meals. Molly’s Meals provided over 2,500 free hot meals to those in need of additional help in Kenilworth, Warwickshire during that difficult period and has since become a permanent fixture in the community. When asked about what inspired her, she said

Molly Bufton Stear

“I grew up living with my grandparents, so the whole reason I did it was because I knew that older people would be struggling, especially if they were living by themselves. I felt so worried when I thought of all the old people who would be on their own and about how they would get their shopping and how they would cook themselves their meals. I put a post on Facebook saying I would cook and deliver hot meals to anyone who needed it for free and it just snowballed from there. I was physically cooking for weeks.”

Asked how she felt about receiving her honour, Molly said “it was just so surreal. When I got the call I thought it was a joke. It didn’t sink in until later.” Adding, “It was really an honour and a privilege. It has brought me closer to so many people again.”

2/ Mete Coban MBE, 29, is the Chief Executive and co-founder of ‘My Life My Say’ an organisation that aims to empower young people to participate in politics and democracy.

“Coming from Hackney, one of the most deprived boroughs in London, many growing up there felt powerless, neglected and unheard. I set up My Life My Say to address low youth participation in elections and make sure the youth are able to have their voices heard. My Life My Say,” Mete added, “intends to bring together key decision makers and those in power together with young people.”

They have managed to reach over 2.7 million people online since the start of Lockdown and have worked with more than 40,000 young people face to face since 2013. Receiving an honour “was the last thing I would have expected”, he said.

“Obviously it’s a huge honour and privilege and, as I say, I come from a background where someone that looks and sounds like me would never often be considered for something like this. My parents are from a non-recognised state, Northern Cyprus, so they came here as immigrants and started from scratch and for their son 20 years later to be recognised by Her Majesty is a huge honour for the family, but also it means a lot to my community. Recognising the outstanding of work of people from the area “is changing the narrative, showing that there are a lot of talented people from the area and also acting as motivation and inspiration showing people that you don’t have to be a famous footballer or tennis player or whatever it is to get an honour – you could be a normal person that is doing good work in the community.” Adding, “It’s a huge honour that the Honours System recognises that.”

“It didn’t really sink in until I was about to go to the Palace. I went with my Dad and just seeing his reaction was worth it.”

Mete was presented with his MBE award by HRH Prince Charles. He said that the best thing about receiving an Honours award was that it helps people like himself and Molly and other young people who have been recognised do more with their work.

“I think that is the whole purpose of the honours system. It’s about recognising people’s achievements and unlocking doors for them to allow them to do more and access an even wider audience.”

2/ Webinair about the Campaign for Youth Recognition and Nominations

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