The winners have been announced of Manchester's prestigious Youth Buzz Awards that see young people recognised for their stand-out achievements and for making a positive difference to their communities.
The annual awards, for young people aged up to the age of 19, are organised by Manchester Youth Council, supported by the city council's Youth, Play and Participation Service, and are sponsored by a number of local businesses and organisations.
This year saw a record number of nominations made since the annual awards first began in 2017, with over 160 entries received from a wide range of organisations including youth groups, schools, voluntary, and community-based organisations.
Nominations were made across twelve different categories with three nominees making it through to the final round of judging in each category.
For the first time in the history of the awards the judging panel was made up entirely of young people, each of them a member of Manchester's Youth Council.
The awards were announced at a special awards ceremony held at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel in Manchester.
Winners included Anisa Juma who won the award for Outstanding Achievement for her campaign 'Let Periods Flow' on making menstruation and periods a less taboo topic to talk about, and providing menstrual products across Manchester and Greater Manchester schools.
The Young Volunteer of the Year Award went to Idrak Zaman for his inspirational volunteering work that he does in his own free time for local charities and organisations, including Greater Manchester Bangladesh Association, Open Kitchen and many more. He also motivates other young people to get involved in charity work and has created an after school litter picking club at his school.
Blessing Bamidele, a young women described by those who nominated her as 'the spirit of Manchester in every sense of the word' and as someone who is nurturing, kind and goes above and beyond to help and support people, took away the award for Young Achiever after leading on a young carers fashion show extravaganza focused on climate change and sustainability at the Powerhouse in Moss Side.
The Young Artists Project at the Royal Northern College of Music came out winner of the Youth Project of the Year Award for its new programme of training and support for pop musicians aged between 11 and 18 years. The programme provides young people with life-changing opportunities to explore their talent and achieve their potential, while making music training from the very best artists accessible to all.
The Young Mentor Award went to 16-year-old Roberto Bayliss who volunteers at community youth group KYSO in Manchester and is a great role model for other young people, supporting and helping other young people and using his music to spread positivity to them.
The Changemakers, a group of inspirational disabled young people were crowned winners of the Most Effective Youth Voice or Campaign Award. They received their accolade for the inspirational work they do in championing the voice of disabled young people.
Winners of the Organisation of the Year Award were HideOut Youth Zone - who won the award for the broad range of work they do, the activities and opportunities they offer to young people, and for the life-changing support they provide that helps young people thrive.
Over the last twelve months the city council has been putting children and young people front and centre through its 2022 Our Year campaign to provide new opportunities, experiences and activities for young people. This work is set to continue and grow over the next few years as the city has just embarked on its journey to become officially recognised as a UNICEF Child Friendly City.
Councillor Garry Bridges, Executive Member for Early Years, Children and Young People, Manchester City Council, said: "As a city we take the happiness and success of our children and young people very seriously and this is a massive priority for us - which is why we're investing an additional half a million pounds more this year and next directly into youth services.
"We're determined to do everything we can, working with our amazing and inspirational Youth Buzz Award winners, and with all our children and young people to make sure Manchester is the very best place in the world to grow up in."
The full list of Youth Buzz Award winners is below:
Making a Difference - Joshua Solomon
Young Mentor - Roberto Bayliss
Young Carer - Asher Collins
Young Achiever - Blessing Bamidele
Community Champion - whole School Council, Chorlton High School
Youth Project of the Year - Young Artists Project, Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM)
Best Social Action Group - The Agency, Contact Theatre
Most Effective Youth Voice or Campaign - The Changemakers, Greater Manchester Youth Network
Young Volunteer - Idrak Zaman
Young Leader - Joseph Mendy
Organisation of the Year - HideOut Youth Zone
Outstanding Achievement - Anisa Juma