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The Key Awards 2023

On Tuesday 4th of July, we rolled out the red carpet for The Key Awards 2023. It was our biggest year yet with over 200 people in attendance to celebrate the inspirational achievements of young people, KEY+ Facilitators and the Key Community.

It was a night to remember with young people at the heart of absolutely everything including the planning, hosting, presenting and entertainment. It was a night to remember as we handed out 9 awards and celebrated so many.

Every nominee was exceptional and it was a hard task to crown 9 overall winners. Check out the photos and read all about the 9 nominees that were crowned winners...

Community Champions: Female Dreamers

Female Dreamers came together to create a social action project; inspiring positive social change amongst young people in the context of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). The female dreamers created 'Are U Sexist' cards, which had education about sexism, what it is, what it looks like and helpful alternatives to helpful behaviour and how we can challenge sexism.

The cards have been widely distributed around all local schools and community- in shops, community centres etc. They created fantastic and meaningful change; sparking various important conversations with the group's community.

Key Pitch Innovators: The Avengers

The Avengers wrote and performed a song to bring their project to life. As well as this, they also did an excellent job of explaining their idea, talking the panel through their skills development and had a clear and detailed budget. The group have subsequently gone from strength to strength, successfully pitching for both their stage 2 and stage 3 projects too!

One of the group commented "we proved our innovative skills whilst doing our pitch, showing off our creativity with song and tunes attached to our various slides. And we also spoke about ourselves showing how we are all different and unique in our own rights."

Best Group Name: We are contacting you about your car's extended warranty

A name that truly made the judging panel chuckle!

Inspirational Award: The Lionesses

The Lionesses faced several barriers when beginning the KEY+ Challenge. Stepping out of their comfort zone and bonding together, these young women found a passion for enterprise which drove them to make tremendous leaps in their personal development. 

The judging panel were amazed with their growth in confidence and development of their skills. The Lionesses constantly pushed themselves out of their comfort zone, took on the unknown and transformed personally. All group members are displaying positive behaviours including moving into employment and re-engaging in education!

Summing up their journey as group, their facilitators have said "they have become good friends and have helped each other with personal barriers like independent travel, communication, confidence and money barriers. learning life skills."

Exceptional Facilitator: Lynne and Michelle

Lynne and Michelle have become real advocates of the KEY+ Challenge this year. They’ve facilitated 12 diverse groups across a range of different settings and even became pioneers, using KEY+ to deliver an employability programme for NEET young people.  

They have also done a fantastic job supporting one of our young CPMs, Paige, encouraging her to sit on panels, which has seen Paige thrive both in her role as a panel member but also in her work for Groundwork.

Unique Project: Notorious 4

Notorious 4 used their project to raise awareness and put a spotlight on youth violence in pupil referral units and the impacts this can have on young people. The group were really successful in creating an emotionally engaging short film to highlight the issue, using the scenario of a penalty shoot-out as a relatable plot device to shed light on an important but often sidelined topic.

The judging panel were impressed by the truly unique nature of the Notorious 4. Their film not only tackled the important topic of youth violence but focused upon something specific that is often ignored. An inspiring project, congratulations Notorious 4! 

Outstanding Delivery Partner: Bright Futures Young Women’s Project

Bright Futures use the KEY+ challenge to enhance their impactful work with young women in South Tyneside. Supporting young people to get creative and make an impact, there's barely a week that goes by where Bright Futures are not doing something in relation to The Key. 

The inspiring and diverse projects that the young women they support deliver through the KEY+ Challenge is amazing to see. We are honoured to be part of their incredibly meaningful work with young women. 

Volunteer of the Year: Andy Hodgkinson

Andy is a prolific community panel member who has shown commitment to youth organisations across Gateshead and Newcastle. An always willing, supportive and enthusiastic panel member, Andy is a great addition to the Key Community.

As an experienced KEY+ Facilitator himself, Andy brings great Key knowledge and insight to every panel he sits on and is great at encouraging groups as well as giving them advice and suggestions that help young people to enhance their projects. 

KEY+ Completers: Community Hope

Community Hope delivered some great projects through the KEY+ Challenge with a renovation of a community café, a community Christmas lunch for those struggling and a family fun day, they have consistently focused on helping their local community and making an impact to those around them. Completion of the KEY+ challenge has taught them transferrable skills and has given them the confidence to now move into voluntary community roles.

The judging panel were particularly impressed with their commitment to the community and making an impact to others. They were delighted to read about the pathways that Community Hope were inspired to take after the KEY+ Challenge as each group member volunteers their time to community causes they’re passionate about. 

Read more about Community Hope here.

See you at The Key Awards 2024!

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