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  • Entry deadline: Friday 14th June 2024
  • If you would like to have a look at our category criteria, please visit our page Tips and Advice.
  • All categories are free to enter.
  • The maximum number of categories an initiative can be entered for is three. However, please only submit one entry to represent one person/company in a single category. Multiple entries to represent one person/company will not affect the outcome of the results.
  • Please upload a photo to your entry (or multiple photos where necessary) which best represent your submission.
  • These awards are open to organisations and individuals based in the UK and Ireland. International entries will not be put forward for judging.
  • Please make sure to submit your entry once it is finished. If your entry remains in your 'Saved Items' or 'Basket' section, this entry will not be judged. We are unable to submit your entry on your behalf.
  • The content of your submission should reflect the work that has taken place between July 2023 to June 2024 from yourself, your nominee or your organisation. Prior work may be mentioned in your entry, but this should not represent the main focus of your submission.
  • If you have any issues, please contact awardsteam@markallengroup.com and we will be happy to help.

Entry Deadline: Friday 14th June

2024 Categories


For the initiative that has done the most to improve the life chances of children under five, especially among disadvantaged or hard-to-reach communities. This could include boosting literacy rates, helping families to access funded childcare, or improving children’s diets and physical health. Entries are open to nurseries, nursery schools, children’s centres, family hubs and childminders, as well as local authorities.

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For the initiative that has done the most to offer children and young people the opportunities to play freely, enjoy childhood and contribute to their social, emotional and physical development. The judges will look for work that has enabled children to follow their own ideas and interest, and in their own way.

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For the service or project that has harnessed the use of digital platforms and technologies to deliver effective interventions and strengthen relationships with service users. This category is open to organisations directly delivering support to children, young people and families, and systems providers who can demonstrate the beneficial impact a digital innovation has had on disadvantaged children’s outcomes. Judges will be looking for evidence of how digital interventions have been used in an innovative way to address long-standing or emerging problems children experience.

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For the initiative that has made the biggest contribution to keeping children and young people safe from harm. This could be a specialist child protection team, project to support exploited young people, a school-based or sports club initiative or specialist online safety service. Judges will be looking for examples of exceptional teamwork and multi-agency working.

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For the initiative that has made the best contribution to improving educational achievement. The judges will particularly look for work that has helped children with special educational needs and disabilities or disadvantaged groups such as looked-after children.

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For the initiative that has done the most to inspire children and young people in cultural activities, such as music, dance, drama or the visual arts, especially among disadvantaged groups, and where collaboration is shown between public services, the cultural sector and children and young people.

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For the initiative that has done the most to support children, young people or young adults up to 25 who care for a family member or friend with an illness, disability, mental health problem or addiction. This includes support to meet young carers’ educational, health, social and emotional needs; helping carers who have previously been unidentified by services; and working with families to reduce inappropriate levels of caring.

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For the initiative that has done the most to transform the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, whether through prevention, early intervention or treatment. Entries are open to CAMHS, school-based Mental Health Support Teams, public and voluntary sector providers, NHS community and in-patient services, and specialist support services.

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For the initiative that has done the most to promote young people’s personal development and help them achieve their potential through youth work, informal education and participation in positive activities, especially among disadvantaged or excluded groups. Judges will look for evidence of coproduction and youth-defined outcomes in entries.

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For the initiative that has intervened early and most effectively with children and young people at risk from problems such as poor health, dropping out of education, homelessness, crime or substance misuse, and prevented the transmission of poor outcomes from one generation to the next.

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For the initiative that has enabled children or young people to make a difference in their communities or to their peers, through volunteering, social action or campaigning. The judges are looking for entries where children and young people have taken the lead in planning, organising and delivering the work.

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For the local authority or care provider – voluntary sector or private operator - that has done the most to improve outcomes for looked-after children or young people, whether in residential care, foster care or other types of placement. The judges are looking for examples of exceptional teamwork, collaboration between commissioners and providers, and improved children’s outcomes.

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For the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education initiative that has done the most to develop young people’s knowledge, skills and attributes in managing the challenges of modern life, such as sex and relationships, substance misuse, challenging extremism and radicalisation, healthy living, and preparing for the world of work. The judges are looking for initiatives delivered in schools or other education settings. Entries are open to teaching staff as well as external providers.

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For the initiative or service that has done the most to support whole families to help their children lead healthy, happy and fulfilling lives safe from harm. The judges are looking in particular for work that has helped challenging or disadvantaged families. Entries could be from children’s centres or family hubs, parenting programme providers, Supporting Families teams or domestic abuse services.

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For the initiative that has done the most to help young people leaving the care system make a smooth and successful transition to adulthood by supporting their accommodation, health, housing, and training and employment needs. Judges will be looking for examples where young people have played a key role in planning their independent living.

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For the recruitment or training initiative that has done the most to improve the skills and ability of a workforce - across a sector, an organisation or team. This could be an innovative campaign to sell the benefits of working for your organisation or a skills development programme that enables staff to enhance support. Entries will need to demonstrate impact which might include metrics such as reduced vacancy and sickness rates or positive workforce wellbeing surveys and show how an initiative has helped improve services and outcomes for children.

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For the initiative that has done the most to reach and provide young people with information and support in making sound life choices. Entry is open to providers of advice and guidance in areas such as careers and employability, relationships, health or education. Services could be delivered in person, online or on the telephone.

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For the initiative that has made the biggest contribution to improving the life chances of young people who have offended, or those at risk of offending or reoffending. Entries are invited from local authorities, youth offending teams and youth services, custody settings and transition housing providers, as well as voluntary organisations and individual projects.

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For the service or initiative that has helped child refugees to successfully resettle in the UK and meet their wider health, education and accommodation needs. The category is open to statutory and voluntary sector providers who are supporting children arriving through one of the government refugee resettlement schemes or unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. Judges are looking for examples of innovative practice that has overcome the system barriers that can make it difficult for this vulnerable group of young people to progress with their lives.

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For the multi-agency project or team that has made the greatest improvement to children’s, young people’s and families’ lives. This applies to partnership working between public sector agencies as well as those involving organisations in the voluntary and private sectors. Judges will be looking for evidence of how the creation of the partnership has strengthened delivery and outcomes.

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For the public sector team that has made the greatest impact in improving the life chances of children, young people or families. Entries are open to teams and departments within local authorities as well as local health services and national bodies.

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For the individual child or group of young people that has achieved significant improvements to their own lives or made a positive contribution to their own community through activities such as volunteering, campaigning or advising delivery organisations. The young person or group must be nominated by an adult professional or an organisation that has supported them.

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For the adult individual who has achieved significant improvements in the lives of children or young people, especially among disadvantaged or excluded groups, through campaigning, lobbying, boosting participation or other activities. Entries must include a description of their work and its impact. Individuals can nominate themselves or be nominated by a colleague(s).

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For the charity that has made the most impressive contribution, at a local, regional or national level, in improving the life chances of children, young people or families. Achievements will have been driven through a combination of innovative practice, effective partnership working or campaigning for change. Entries are open to charities of any size.

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