Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire Youth Volunteer Beth Stephenson, Age 16 from East Yorkshire, was  presented with The British Citizen Youth Award Medal at the Palace of Westminster last week after being nominated for the difference she has made to the community along with 22 other extraordinary young people.

Despite the pandemic, The British Citizen Youth Award continued to receive nominations from around the UK for young, inspirational members of the community who were making a difference for the 2021 Roll of Honour.  In a daunting and unprecedented year, these selfless young people continued to show kindness and a commitment to their community.

Beth was  presented with the Medal of Honour at the Palace of Westminster by Lisa Collins, Objective HR. The British Citizen Youth Award in association with Specsavers is now in its fifth year and recognises exceptional under 18’s who have positively impacted their communities through the county.

Beth has volunteered for the Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire as a Young Healthwatch Volunteer for over six months and has been a keen and passionate volunteer. Despite training to be a lifeguard and studying for her A levels in Biology, Chemistry and Spanish, she has taken time out to attend virtual meetings and events and support local young people with health and social care issues.

Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire have undertaken a project with the Deaf Community and Beth has dedicated her time to attend Deaf Awareness training and also to develop her sign language, sitting in on meetings with social workers and other professionals to engage the young person and ensure they can communicate.

In her own time, Beth has been researching allergies and how more needs to be done for people who suffer with obscure allergies. She has joined the Youth Board for the NHS Humber Teaching Trust, to raise these and other issues. In addition, Beth has supported her local Brownies as part her Duke of Edinburgh Award, raised money for Macmillan Cancer Support by selling jewellery, has volunteered as a mental health ambassador at school, and is starting to volunteer at her local Disability Centre for Adults.

Hosting the event television presenter Anthea Turner said

This group of British Citizen Youth Award medallists represented community leadership, tech for good, climate campaigns and social conscience. Having met them all, it made me more confident of the future than I have felt for some time. These are amazing young people who deserve this recognition and I hope others aspire to be like them.

Dame Mary Perkins, Patron of the BCA said:

The British Citizen Youth Award recipients are very special individuals. These young people all go above and beyond for others with selfless acts of kindness and community spirit with no thought or expectation of praise or reward. These awards are a great opportunity to shine a light on what they do and give them the recognition they so thoroughly deserve. They are the nation’s true unsung heroes and the rising stars of the future.

Each Medal of Honour bears the words ‘For the Good of the Country’ and are presented to only a small number of exceptional young individuals annually. The British Citizen Youth Award is widely viewed as the nation’s way of recognising extraordinary, everyday young people for exceptional endeavor and are truly representative of today’s multicultural Britain.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2022 medal presentations, register online at www.britishcitizenyouthawards.co.uk.

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