Double National Award Success for Sefton Young Advisors

A project which enables the voices of young people in Sefton to be heard in community life has landed two top national awards.

Members of the Sefton Young Advisors (YAs) are celebrating after one of their team was honoured as national Young Advisor of the Year, and they also collected the Community Project of the Year award for an initiative with Sefton Council.

Both awards were presented at the recent AGM and conference of the national Young Advisors charity which was held online this year due to Coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

The Young Advisors are managed by Sefton Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) and are trained consultants aged from 15-23 who help organisations to understand the interests of young people, and how to get their message across to them in a more youth-friendly way.

They also help agencies to ‘youth proof’ the way they operate, and to attract and maintain the interest of young people in their work.

According to the award citation, Isabelle Heeley was recognised as the country’s top Young Advisor for her leadership and communication skills, her friendliness and her valuable input into the key projects the Young Advisors have worked on over the last 12 months.

Commenting on Isabella – who has recently started university in Korea whilst continuing to work as a YA remotely – Co-ordinator Georgia Ribbens said: “We have been very lucky to have Bella on our team and she has set a great example for future members!”

Meanwhile, the Young Advisors received the second award for their consultation work as part of the Sefton Your Streets initiative. This involved gathering opinions from secondary students on issues around travelling to and from school safely.

Lee Davies, Principal Officer Transport Policy and Sustainable Travel with Sefton Council, said: “This was a brilliant piece of work and really helpful for our consultation moving forward.

“Congratulations to the Sefton Young Advisors for leading such a successful project, and we’re pleased they have received this national recognition as part of the annual Young Advisors Awards.”

Sefton CVS Chief Executive, Angela White OBE, said: “To win these two prestigious awards is a fantastic achievement and I would like to congratulate Isabella and the whole of the Young Advisors team on their success.

“As their work on Sefton Your Streets has again shown, they are consistently proactive and creative in finding new ways to ensure that children and young people are given more of a say in decisions that are made about services that affect them.

“I am delighted that their creativity and hard work has been recognised at national level in this way and for Sefton Council’s continued support of the YA’s” added Angela.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said: “Sefton Young Advisors provide an invaluable service supporting young people across the Borough and ensuring their voices are heard/ “I would like to congratulate Isabella and the team as a whole on this national recognition and look forward to our continued work with them.”