28 February 2006
by Sarah Sands
A national awards scheme that will recognize and highlight the extraordinary volunteer work being undertaken by young people was launched recently by The Sunday Telegraph.
The Sunday Telegraph Spirit of the Community Awards will honour young people, ages of 10 and 18, and reward them for their outstanding achievements in community service.
The awards, the first of their kind to be devoted solely to young volunteers in Britain, are being sponsored by the Reuben Foundation and are supported by a variety of groups, including the Scouts, Girlguiding UK, The Prince’s Trust, the Association of School and College Leaders, and Worldwide Volunteering for Young People.
"I hope that the awards will help to nurture the numbers of young people becoming involved in voluntary work and instill in them an ethos of consideration for others that will last throughout their lives, helping them to become successful people with consciences" says Sarah Sands, Sunday Telegraph editor.
Nominees should have undertaken unpaid volunteer work in the UK or abroad from 1 June 1 2005 until 30 May 2006 and be nominated by someone like a teacher, or a Scout or Guide leader. Entry forms for the awards will be printed on the Sunday Telegraph, starting next week, and details of how to enter can also be found online at www.telegraph.co.uk. The closing date for nominations is 31 May 2006, and the winners will be announced in October, at a ceremony in London hosted by our columnist, Terry Wogan.
The winner will receive £5,000 and the runner-up £2,500. Ten other young people will win £500. With all the prizes, half the money will go to the individual concerned and half to a charity of their choice.
The judges, who will include the Chief Scout, the Chief Guide, and the chief executive of The Prince’s Trust, will be looking at the type of work, the inspiration behind it, the sacrifices involved and benefits of volunteering.