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Youth Leads UK has been selected to receive The Dame Mary Perkins British Citizen Youth Award for its #BeTheChange campaign, led by nine inspirational young people. The charity will receive the honour on 20th October at the Palace of Westminster, where several of the group will be in attendance.  

The #BeTheChange social action project tackled three major issues: hygiene poverty, mental health issues and the climate crisis. The group ran a social media campaign tied into an action day, where they gave out 100 care packages to residents in the local community. These packs included a leaflet on each of their chosen topics, with tips and signposting for support to those who may be struggling. Also included were eco-friendly ingredients for the community to make their own ‘DIY’ cleaning products, as well as low-waste alternatives to cleaning products. 

Resources were also sent out by the group to 94 schools across Greater Manchester, as well as writing letters outlining the project and urging the schools and the young people in the area to educate themselves on these important issues.  

Typically, the British Citizen Youth Award (BCyA) recognises individual young people making a difference in their communities and to society. This year, the BCyA, in association with Specsavers, has launched The Dame Mary Perkins British Citizen Youth Award, to recognise groups of young people (under the age of 18) that have significantly impacted their communities. 

Dame Mary Perkins DBE , Patron of The British Citizen Awards said:

“We really hope that Youth Leads UK’s recognition will encourage other youth groups to come forward to demonstrate what amazing and heart-warming levels of citizenship exist within our society. The BCyA is viewed as the nation’s way of recognising extraordinary, everyday young people for exceptional endeavor. Congratulations to Youth Leads UK.”

Saeed Atcha MBE DL, CEO of Youth Leads UK said:

“#BeTheChange was such a fantastic project tackling some huge issues. Young people don’t shy away from supporting their communities and contributing to a better world. It’s wonderful to see their hard work recognised.”

The Dame Mary Perkins British Citizen Youth Award will be presented to Youth Leads UK by the Specsavers’ founder herself at the annual BCyA presentation at the Palace of Westminster. 

The group will be presented with a Medal and Certificate of Honour in a display case, and the charity will receive a donation of £1,000 to help them continue their good work.