Members of 206th Liverpool Senior Section were presented with an esteemed award by His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Charles at the Youth United Social Action Awards at Buckingham Palace last week.
The young women aged between 14 and 25, won the Teamwork Award at the ceremony – a national celebration of community work undertaken by uniformed youth groups across the UK.
The award recognises the group’s inspiring team spirit and commitment to improving educational options in Liverpool as well as raising awareness about mental health in young people.
The group’s journey began when they wrote to Liverpool West Derby MP Stephen Twigg last year about improving education in Liverpool. The girls then met with Mr Twigg MP to discuss their concerns, and have since become involved in numerous local campaigns around education and mental health.
These include working on a website offering support to young people struggling with stress, anxiety and depression and starting a petition calling for work experience placements to be made compulsory in school.
Emma Kevan, age 16, a member of the 206th Liverpool Senior Section, said: “Winning this award feels absolutely fantastic. I honestly didn’t think we would get this far and I couldn’t be more happy.
“We originally contacted our MP about widening educational opportunities, as we feel that providing more practical options in schools and colleges and being less results-driven can help take the pressure off young people.
“Leading on from this, we’ve also started a petition to bring back high quality compulsory work experience in school as we feel it can help give teenagers insight into what they want to do in the future and relieve stress.
“I think it’s really important that people get involved and take action in their community – there are so many things that will never change unless you make a change yourself.”
Averyll Green, age 16, another member of the group, said: “Receiving the award felt amazing and it’s nice to feel that we’ve been noticed for all the work we’ve done. I really enjoyed attending the ceremony and meeting Prince Charles.”
Mel Vaughan, Assistant Leader with the 206th Liverpool Senior Section, said: “I don’t have enough words to describe how proud we are of the group. Winning this award is a fantastic testament to how one idea, the girls’ voices and lots of determination can take them all the way to Buckingham Palace.”
The 206th Liverpool Senior Section Unit was one of fourteen youth groups across the whole of the UK nominated for the award after being selected by Girlguiding to represent the charity.
To find out more about the group’s petition to being back compulsory work experience visit: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/178236