Nominations Open to celebrate Canterbury Young People and Christchurch Children

Young people from the regional youth-led group Youth Voice Canterbury are putting together an event to recognise the achievements of Canterbury young people and the contributions they make to the community.

Nominations are now open for the YMCA Canterbury Youth Awards and we want everyone to acknowledge the young people, children, and groups around them who are doing awesome things by putting them forward for an award.

To check out the criteria and make a nomination visit Nominations close at 11pm on Tuesday 31st July, with many awards established to recognise the positive impact young people are making in the region.

These include a Leadership Award, Commitment to Wellbeing Award, Advocate for Inclusion and Diversity Award, Community Action Award, Young Champion Award, Te Tohu Tokomaha (to celebrate groups of young people), Supreme Youth Award for their District, and Te Tohu Hihiri Taumata (to celebrate adults supporting youth).

2018 also sees a new addition to the line-up of awards with the creation of two children’s categories created by Child and Youth Friendly Christchurch. These seek to celebrate children positively impacting others, and a Christchurch community group that is working to improve the lives of children and young people in Christchurch.

Child and Youth Friendly Christchurch’s key areas of focus are in mobilising the community to make real practical difference, advocacy on behalf of children and young people’s needs, and empowerment by supporting the voice of our young citizens.

“The overall objective is making Christchurch the best city to grow up in”, says Shareen Hudson, member of the Child and Youth Friendly Christchurch Committee.

“Our motivation in creating the Child of the Year and the Child Friendly Community Awards is to inspire and celebrate the contribution that children make in our society, and to highlight the importance of children’s views and needs in strengthening communities for all, by acknowledging those already working to promote their lives locally.”

“Children and young people thrive in a city that values all young citizens, and these awards are a great way to help get this message through,” says Hudson.

The YMCA Canterbury Youth Awards will be held on the evening of Friday 31st August at the University of Canterbury Student’s Association Events Centre.

Tayla Reece, member of Youth Voice Canterbury and taking a lead role in the YMCA
Canterbury Youth Awards a second-time around says it’s exciting to bring back the YMCA Canterbury Youth Awards for a second time to work towards creating a culture of celebrating young people in Canterbury.”

“We see a lot of amazing young people across the region that give back to their communities and make a positive impact on young people. Whether it be at school, at home, through a youth council or a project, youth in Canterbury are doing lots of selfless, inspiring, and innovative things and we want to give them the opportunity to be recognised for it.”

After huge success in 2016, Youth Voice Canterbury are excited to announce the Christchurch YMCA as the premium sponsor of the YMCA Canterbury Youth Awards, bringing huge value to the event with their own mission to invest in the next generation.

CEO of the Christchurch YMCA, Josie Ogden-Schroeder says, “it is a real honour and privilege to be able to support the contribution that young people make to Canterbury by sponsoring these awards.”

Ogden-Schroeder sheds light on the fact that young people are all too often under-valued in terms of the important role they play in a range of arenas such as arts, sports, recreation, education and leadership.

She says “sometimes I think adults forget that young people become our leaders, our parents and our visionaries. The YMCA is enormously proud to be investing in this great initiative by Youth Voice Canterbury.”

Other event partners include the Wayne Francis Charitable Trust, Christchurch City Council, the Pacific Youth Leadership and Transformation Council, and Youthtown.

If you or your organisation is interested in supporting the YMCA Canterbury Youth Awards please get in touch with Tayla Reece at

About Youth Voice Canterbury
Youth Voice Canterbury (YVC) is a network of young people and youth participation groups supported to have a voice and get involved in decision-making. With a vision for a region where there are pathways for young people to be leaders in their communities, the young team behind YVC are working to support young people to develop skills to participate, advocate, and be champions for young people in Canterbury.

CYA YMCA nominations flyer