© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2024

Youth awards night set to be a celebration of success

Emma Turton

The bi-annual YMCA Canterbury Youth Awards night will be held in Christchurch on August 31st.

The awards night exists to "recognise young people and their successes" as Founder and Project Manager Tayla Reece said.

It will be the coming-together of the Canterbury region youth sector, with sponsorship from local community organisations and representatives attending from each of the six youth counsels.

This year there will be 32 awards that reflect the young heroes.

Ngai Tahu is donating greenstone that will be carved by Ngai Tahu Pounamu into necklaces for awards recipients, with designs unique to the awards night. 

Any person between the ages of 12 and 24 can be nominated until July 31, to highlight their leadership, positivity and contribution to community.

Reece believed the Canterbury region had one of the "most connected" youth sectors in the country.

Youth Voice Canterbury connects young people to the youth counsels, the Canterbury Youth Workers Collective and the workforce. They provide workshops in CV writing, professional development courses and networking opportunities.

The ceremony will be sponsored by organisations such as YMCA, Pylat, Youthtown, Christchurch City Council and the Wayne Frances Charitable Trust.

Reece said "we couldn't be more fortunate" about the calibre of the sponsors because of how "local and youth-focused they are".

This year Ngai Tahu and Environment Canterbury will be presenting their awards at the ceremony, which further emphasises the community-spirit that will be showcased on the night.

Reece said young people were getting a bad representation through the media so she created the event to "champion youth participation".