Thursday 23rd November 2023

Winners 2021

Children & Young People Now are delighted to announce the winners of the online CYP Now Awards 2021. You can read a full article from the editorial team here.

Scroll down to see the full list of the winners.

The Early Years Award

Winner: Ormiston Families – Small Steps Together

Small Steps Together works with families to spot signs of parental mental ill-health early. The programme uses Video Interaction Guidance to help parents recognise their own strengths and successes. During Covid-19 Ormiston invested in enhanced digital support and designed a 10-week online digital programme for new and expectant families. Over three years, 98 per cent of parents reported increased attachment to their children & 96 per cent reported improvements in mental health.

Derby City Children's Centre's- Virtual Speech and Language Support
Northumberland County Council - Northumberland Early Years School Readiness Passport
Spurgeons Children's Charity - Wiltshire Family Support and Early Years Service Initiative

Highly Commended 
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – Children’s Centres
Wirral Borough Council - Early Childhood Services

The Play Award

Winner: Team Oasis - Fun Adventure and Play

Team Oasis aims to create an environment where children and young people of all abilities, and their families, can live, share, play, learn and socialise. Children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities learn and play alongside those without disabilities in a setting which aims to foster inclusiveness, awareness, understanding and respect.

Highly Commended 
Shiremoor Adventure Playground Trust


Cedar Foundation Youth Matters Northern Outcomes Cookstown Project
Sen Talk CIC Children's Projects

The Safeguarding Award

Winner: Medway Task Force - Safety in Action 2021

Safety in Action provides all of Medway's year 6 pupils with education on fire, road, internet, water and personal safety. Covid restrictions saw the four-week programme live-streamed into classrooms, combining live and pre-recorded information, complemented by a workbook for every pupil. In total 1,275 pupils from 22 schools received live and pre-recorded sessions while around 3,500 pupils from all 63 primary schools received workbooks and safety packs. The initiative is currently being delivered in special needs schools through music and art.

Highly Commended 
NSPCC Speak out. Stay safe. online programme

Norfolk County Council’s Children’s Advice and Duty Service

The Learning Award

Winner: Znaniye Foundation - Ealing Borough Free Online Summer School

The project was born on the streets of Ealing when families would come outside every Thursday evening to clap for carers. During conversations about the lack of academic and emotional support for children, the community decided to launch an online summer school, open to all students but with a particular focus on low-income and low-access families and those from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups. Over six weeks, 146 sessions were delivered by more than 38 providers, with more than 2,000 session sign ups, culminating in an online closing ceremony.

Highly Commended
halow project- Building Futures Programme
Youth Connect South West - Learning 4 Work

The Youth Work Award

Winner: Redthread's Youth Violence Intervention Programme

Sponsored by:

Redthread embeds specialist youth workers in hospital emergency departments, where they support young people aged 11 to 25. The YVIP aims to take advantage of "teachable moments" in health settings, offering trauma-informed support to young people who have experienced violence and exploitation. Working in 13 hospitals across London, Nottingham and Birmingham, last year 92 per cent of young people who engaged with Redthread services reduced or maintained their risk of harm while 90 percent improved or maintained engagement in education, training or employment.

Highly Commended 
TAG Youth Club for Disabled Young People

Cedar Foundation Youth Matters service Achieving Change Together- Unleashing Potential (ACT-UP!)
Inspire - Youth Work in Hospital Team
Osmani Trust Second Chance Programme
The Hideaway Youth Project
The Trust for Developing Communities - Brighton Streets

The Arts and Culture Award

Winner: In Harmony Opera North

In Harmony Opera North sees pupils in six schools in deprived areas of south Leeds taking part in up to three sessions of music-making activities during school hours every week. The project works with more than 1,800 young people each year. Sessions aim to raise aspirations, increase expectations, and use group music-making as a way of developing communication skills, as well as allowing committed and enthusiastic young people to realise their musical potential.

Portsmouth Music Hub - Sound Minds Portsmouth

The Youth Relationships Award

Winner: StreetGames - Social Prescribing Youth Network

StreetGames’ SPYN helps vulnerable young people to find lifechanging support in their local area. Referred by frontline professionals such as teachers, GPs and community safety officers, 14- to 25-year-olds are assigned a dedicated Youth Link Worker, who identifies sources of support in the community and refers the young person on, staying in touch to make sure they are okay. An evaluation found participants showed significant increases in wellbeing, life satisfaction and physical activity, and a decline in loneliness.

Highly Commended
Family Rights Group – Lifelong Links

Action for Children - Airplay Youth Support
Dorset Children in Care Council - The Importance of Pets

The Young Carers Award

Winner: Aik Saath - Slough Young Carers Pandemic Response

Slough Young Carers, hosted by youth-led social action charity Aik Saath - Together As One, is run by and for young carers. When the pandemic began, young carers asked the project to keep going. Monthly face-to-face sessions aimed at 11- to 19-year-olds moved online and became weekly. Slough Young Carers engaged with 195 young carers from March 2020 to June 2021, with 88 per cent saying their involvement was “important” or “very important” to their lives. “The voice of young people is driving this project,” said judge Steve Reddy, DCS at Liverpool City Council.

Highly Commended
Kool Carers South East in partnership with Essex Youth Service

MYTIME Young Carers
Norfolk County Council - Heroes at Home

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Award

Winner: Lincolnshire County Council & Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust - Future4Me Health Team

The young people accessing Future4Me have complex lives and often experience high levels of trauma, additional needs and cumulative disadvantages. The service aims to promote co-ordinated working across a range of specialist organisations to prevent children from falling between the gaps. The Future4Me Health Team supports staff to recognise the young person's needs and helps them to provide or access the most appropriate support. The team has driven a reduction in criminal justice cases of around 75 per cent, as well as reduced reoffending rates.

Highly Commended 
Fast Forward - Scottish Gambling Education Hub
Khulisa - Face It
The Children’s Society - Safe Zones

Burnley FC in the Community - Schools Mental Wellbeing Project
Invictus Wellbeing - The BREW Project
Newham All Star Sports Academy - Mentoring For Life
Response - Mental Wealth Academy
The Haven Wolverhampton- Virtual Reality Project
We Are With You- Mind and Body Programme
Wilderness Foundation  - TurnAround

The Early Intervention Award

Winner: London Borough of Ealing - Building My Future Programme

This multi-disciplinary programme aims to improve the wellbeing, participation and attainment of young people with complex needs in mainstream education. It places parents, carers and young people at the core of the project from concept and design, to delivery and evaluation. BMF has been a catalyst for change in the borough, where youth crime, persistent absence from school and fixed term exclusions have all fallen.

Highly Commended 
Manchester Youth Zone - Junior Choices

Catch 22 - Inclusion22
Ormiston Families - Breaking Barriers
Warrington Borough Council - Early Help Restore Programme
We Are With You- Mind and Body Programme
Westminster City Council - Westminster Early Help Project

The Youth Volunteering and Social Action Award

Winner: NCS Trust - Gateshead Uniform Donation Project

Seven Gateshead teenagers spent the summer of 2020 running a uniform donation service.
The team received more than 500 donations in the first week, as well as more than 400 shares on social media, and collected thousands of items in total. Two hundred families received items while the hubs were in place. As well as supporting local families, the scheme has an environmental benefit by preventing unused clothing from entering landfill

Aik Saath - Vaccination Squad
Help Us Move On - No Limits
Investing in Children  - COVID 19 Summer Packs project
Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) - #iwill project
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council Youth Cabinet and Creative Youth Voice

The Children in Care Award

Winner: London Borough of Waltham Forest - Language that Cares

Realising that professional jargon can be dehumanising, the London Borough of Waltham Forest decided to use language that made children feel cared for, valued and heard. Over the last 12 months, Language that Cares has been accepted as the standard in children social care and is being adopted by other departments within the council. More young people arrive prepared for review meetings, having read their reports, and want to comment on the content.

The Children’s Society
Dorset Children in Care Council - The Importance of Pets
Empowerment- Blackpool Children and Young Person's Advocacy

The PSHE Education Award

Winner: TCES - LIFE Programme

The Complete Education Solution (TCES) is a family-owned group of schools and services for neurodiverse pupils. Children often arrive disengaged and demotivated, with many having been excluded from other schools multiple times. Activities are linked to qualifications, so pupils build up a valuable portfolio of skills and experience to use beyond school. In 2020/21, 32 pupils gained English Speaking Board qualifications, despite the upheaval of the pandemic, while seven pupils completed Anti-Bullying Ambassador training with The Diana Awards.

Highly Commended 
Urmston Grammar School - Black & British

The Family Support Award

Winner: Action for Children - Parent Talk

Parent Talk is an accessible and trustworthy source of free support and reassurance for parents and carers to turn to whenever they need it. Its website offers information, advice and guidance on a range of topics, and parents and carers can also chat with parenting coaches who offer tailored advice. In response to an increase in demand for online family support last year, Parent Talk adapted its existing birth to five service and sped up the development of an integrated birth to 19 service. Last year, 427,316 parents and carers accessed Parent Talk, including 10,640 who received intensive one-to-one support.

Highly Commended
Spurgeons Children's Charity - HMP Swaleside, Standford Hill and Elmley (The Sheppey Cluster).


Bright Futures - Young Mums and Mums To Be Programme
Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service - Healthier Lifestyles for Families
Leeds City Council Children & Families - Rainbow House residential home
Ormiston Families – Breaking Barriers
Ormiston Families – Small Steps Together

The Leaving Care Award

Winner: Catch22 & The Children's Society - Bright Light

Bright Light supports 16- to 25-year-old care leavers into apprenticeships, employment, education and training. It aims to build strong and trusted relationships with each care leaver, building their confidence and helping them to realise their potential through one-to-one support from career coaches, specially curated job fairs and group sessions. In total, 167 care leavers have engaged with the programme with eight months still to go - 14 have secured apprenticeships and 57 have progressed into further education or training.

Care Leaver Local Offer 
Change Grow Live- Youth Promise Plus
NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service) Cymru -  'Listen if You Care' campaign
The Rees Foundation - Ask Jan
St Christopher's Fellowship - The Start Project

The Advice and Guidance Award

Winner: University of Nottingham and Small Steps Big Changes programme

Nottingham’s SOSA programme aims to reduce the number of under-fives with unintentional injuries by working with parents to improve safety in affordable ways. More than 4,000 families in four Nottingham City wards have benefited from the programme since October 2017. Monthly safety messages focus on topics such as safe storage of medicine, while safety weeks every year focus on issues like fire safety. The University of Nottingham’s evaluation found families taking part on the programme were 2.27 times more likely to adopt safety practices such as having a working smoke alarm.

Highly Commended
Peace Child International - Work the Change Digital

The Family Justice Award

Winner: Parenting Apart Programme

The PAP works with families who are going through divorce or separation, to help parents understand how their conflict affects their children. They are supported to develop a Parent Working Agreement (PWA) together, enabling them to move from little or no positive communication to constructive communication in a short period of time. The PAP has supported 700 families since 2012, and 50 during the last 12 months, when support was taken online due to Covid restrictions.

Highly Commended
Cafcass - Family Justice Young People’s Board

The Youth Justice Award

Winner: The Skill Mill

Social enterprise The Skill Mill provides employment opportunities in water- and land-based management for ex-offenders aged between 16 and 18. Each cohort receives six months paid employment, practical work experience, a nationally recognised qualification, and further opportunities for progression with local companies. The work the young people carry out helps to reduce flood risk and improve the local environment, bringing social and environmental benefit to the community. In seven years, only nine per cent of the 197 young people employed by The Skill Mill have reoffended, and 75 per cent have progressed to further employment.

Career Connect Youth Justice Service Prevention, Retention and NEET Engagement project
Leicestershire Cares - The Unlocking Potential (UP) Project
Spurgeons Children's Charity - Boys2Men Project

The Recruitment and Professional Development Award

Winner: National Youth Agency - Routes to Success Programme

During the pandemic, the NYA worked with partner organisations to create 16 webinars, four practice papers, four podcasts and 10 monthly youth work tea breaks, a virtual space where youth workers could come together and discuss issues with their peers. Within the first six months of the project the webinars and podcasts had 2,807 views, and 94 per cent of participants said the webinars would have a positive impact on their practice.

Khulisa - Trauma Informed Training

The Partnership Working Award

Winner: The Trust for Developing Communities - Brighton Streets

Targeted detached youth work programme Brighton Streets, run by the Trust for Developing Communities, uses youth work to interrupt violence and harm through relationship building with young people at risk. Partners include charities the Hangleton & Knoll Project and Tarner Community Project, which deliver the programme across the city, the Office of the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Sussex Police and the local authority. The project delivered 3,190 interventions over 420 sessions in the 18 months to March 2021. Most recent figures show possession of weapons fell 20 per cent and serious violence with injury was down 27 per cent.

Barnardo's  - See Hear Respond Partnership
Birmingham Young Researchers Particiaption People - Your Voice, Your City, Your Future
Leicester City Council - Leicestershire Partnership Trust Youth Advisory Board
Small Steps Big Changes (SSBC) and Read On Nottingham Local Hub of the National Literacy Trust.
Wigan Boys & Girls Club - Wigan Youth Zone

The Public Sector Children’s Team Award

Winner: London Borough of Waltham Forest Corporate Parenting Team

Anticipating an increase in the number of children entering care and the number of looked-after children who would need new homes as a result of the pandemic, the London Borough of Waltham Forest Corporate Parenting Team launched a Covid-response recruitment campaign. A social media video clip attracted 99 responses overnight. Over the course of the pandemic the team found 88 children homes with in-house carers, and recruited six times as many new carers over the last year as the year before.

High Commended 
Barnsley Children's Speech and Language Therapy

Kent & Medway Adolescent Self-Harm Project
London Borough of Ealing Building My Future Programme

The Children’s Achievement Award

Winner: Zaynab (ZeZe) Sohawon

Between the ages of 14 and 18, Zaynab Sohawon spent time in eight different psychiatric inpatient units, sometimes requiring around the clock care to protect herself and others. By sharing her experience, Zeze hopes to improve mental health provision and empower young people to transform their life. Zeze works with an array of charities and campaigns, including the Centre for Mental Health, 42nd Street, Precious Housing, the University of Birmingham’s Institute for Mental Health and youth advisory group Think4Brum. She inspired companies such as Idex Consulting and the CBI to donate significant amounts to campaign Fight for all the Feels.

Highly Commended
Dinah Mandel


Dmitrijs Meiksans
Peter Weston

Children and Young People’s Champion

Winner: Sarah Woodcock, The Kids Network

Sponsored by:

Londoner Sarah Woodcock set up early intervention mentoring charity The Kids Network in 2016. The organisation now supports 400 eight- to 11-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds during their transition from primary to secondary school. The pandemic saw demand for services grow by 200 per cent - Woodcock responded by expanding geographical reach and launching a digital project. In 2020, 93 per cent of children reported an increase in their wellbeing and confidence.

Highly Commended 
Jemma Cooke, The Haven Wolverhampton


Emily Aklan, Serenity Welfare
Anna Stephenson-Knight, Spurgeons

The Children and Young People’s Charity Award

Winner: CHEXS

CHEX has been supporting vulnerable young people since 2011. When Covid hit, the charity delivered food, loaned computers, checked in on vulnerable children and secured emergency funding to expand holiday provision and help destitute families keep their energy supply. CHEXS worked to build aspirations, wellbeing and self-esteem with 249 disadvantaged and underperforming school children, supporting them through lockdowns both face-to-face and virtually. In total, 94 per cent of children and parents CHEXS worked with said they felt more confident, 89 per cent of children improved their behaviour and 80 per cent of secondary school pupils improved their progress at school.

Highly Commended
West London Zone


Auditory Verbal UK
Cedar Foundation
LifeLine Projects
Sen Talk CIC
The Change Foundation
Urban Synergy