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Million Minutes and St Mary's Celebrate Young People at Inaugural Award Ceremony

Catholic youth charity Million Minutes, supported by St Mary’s University, Twickenham, celebrated outstanding social action by young people.

Catholic youth charity Million Minutes celebrated outstanding social action by young people at its inaugural Celebrating Young People Awards. The awards, supported by St Mary’s University, Twickenham were hosted at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square on the 1st July. The ceremony brought together leading voluntary organisations and figures from the Catholic Church to recognise young people and youth workers whose contribution reflects the values of Catholic social teaching. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Chancellor of St Mary’s and Archbishop of Westminster, presented the overall Pope Francis Award, to Ryan O’Neill for his work at his secondary school in Merthyr Tydfil. Baroness Hollins, former President of the British Medical Association, Francis Campbell, Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s, and Johnny Toryusen, Vice-Chair of CYMFed, were amongst the presenters. Danny Curtin, CEO and Co-Founder of Million Minutes said, “It was truly inspiring to meet and hear from the amazing young people transforming lives in their local communities. From the young family carer upholding human dignity, to the teenager promoting peace by leading the campaign to eliminate bullying, all the young people we met are living out the social teaching of the Church. Their commitment and drive is infectious, mixed with real humility. Million Minutes is looking forward to continuing the journey with them. We’re very grateful for all those who got behind the Awards and supported them - here’s to 2016!” Francis Campbell, Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s University, said, “I am delighted that St Mary’s supported this valuable event and congratulate the young people on their well-deserved awards. All the nominees are an inspiration and show how the timeless principles of Catholic social teaching remain relevant in homes and communities across Britain and the world. They are bringing light and hope to those who need it most, and St Mary’s is proud to support Million Minutes and those committed to fostering the best of Catholic social teaching.” Prize categories included the Dorothy Day Award for fostering community and participation, the CYMFed Award for inspiring youth worker of the year, the Jimmy Mizen Award for promoting solidarity and peace and the Pope Francis award for overall outstanding young person. Another prize that was bestowed was the St Josephine Bakhita Award for celebrating human dignity. The Bakhita Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery is due to launch later this year at St Mary’s University with the support of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, as well as other charities that support victims of human trafficking. Award winners will receive support to develop their projects, including mentoring, in-kind donations, and partner work to develop their commitment to social action.  

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