The 2015 StreetGames Youth Conference and Awards took place on 28th and 29th May at Yarnfield Park Training & Conference Centre in Staffordshire.

Record numbers attended the event with 135 young volunteers and 43 staff members representing 28 StreetGames projects from across England, Scotland & Wales.  

More than 260 workshops were completed by the volunteers across the two days including a brand new football activator, athletics, dance, basketball, volleyball, empowering girls, inclusive community training and an introduction to Tri-Volle.

Our special guest, former Olympic boxer Natasha Jonas, joined us for the entire event, speaking to the young people, leading an aerobic group warm-up, presenting awards and participating in several activator sessions. The young people were inspired by her story of growing up in a large family in inner-city Liverpool and how she overcame many challenges to reach the top of her sport. In our conference feedback survey, 97% of participants voted that Tasha was ‘fantastic’. One volunteer commented that ‘Tasha Jonas is the most inspirational person I have ever met’.

The event also included a successful networking lunch where the young volunteers enjoyed a BBQ and took part in taster activities including glow in the dark table tennis, sprint trials on British Cycling Wattbikes, advice from the NSPCC and Youth Employment UK  and played rugby on an inflatable pitch. 

The annual Young Volunteer of the Year Awards were a huge success with over 200 people in attendance. Our hosts were alumni members Jason Elkelah and Beth Taylor who made sure the ceremony ran smoothly and kept the audience entertained throughout. 

Megan Riley, who volunteers at the Active Streets DSC for Burnley Leisure, was crowned Young Volunteer of the Year. Over the past 12 months Megan has helped to set up a steering group, of which she is the youngest member, to make sure that Burnley’s most deprived wards have access to top-quality sports sessions. She has also led female only fitness sessions and completed over 200 voluntary hours. Throughout this time, Megan has also been recovering from a serious back injury caused by a trampoline accident which has led to stress and alopecia. She  has shown incredible resilience and determination to overcome all of these obstacles and become a positive role model in her community.

Steven Mapstone from StreetGames Swindon was named the Volunteers’ Volunteer of the Year 2015 in recognition of his hard work and the transformation he has shown. Steven was involved in a lot of crime and by his own admission was on the road to prison, but turned his life around when he began volunteering with StreetGames Swindon via the Youth Offending Team. Steven did so well that he gained paid roles with Swindon Town FC and Swindon Council, he was released 6 months early from the YOT programme and hailed as an example of best practice by the courts!

StreetGames Young Volunteer Award Winners

UK Young Sports Volunteer of the Year 2015
Megan Kate Riley – Burnley Leisure Active Streets

Volunteers’ Volunteer of the Year Award 2015
Steven Mapstone – Street Games Swindon

Wales Winner 
Carwyn Williams – Conwy Youth Services

Scotland Winner 
Scott Dick - PEEK

England Winner
Panda Harrison – StreetGames Sport North Tyneside

North West Regional Winner
Courtney Welch - Everybody Volunteer Programme

West Midlands Regional Winner 
Sam Davies – Black Country in Motion

East Midlands Regional Winner 
Kyle Bailey – Positive Futures Lincolnshire

London & South East Winner  
Issachar Green – Sanjuro Doorsteps Clubs

North East Regional Winner 
Ashleigh Harrison – StreetGames Sport North Tyneside

South West & South Central Regional Winner 
Steven Morrell – StreetGames Swindon

Yorkshire & Humber Regional Winner 
Wesley Burke – Unity Gym Project

Unsung Hero Award 
Steven Morrell – Street Games Swindon

Community Impact Award
Shehnaz Amina – Salaam Peace

Best New Volunteer Award
Megan Kate Riley  Burnley Leisure Active Streets

Best Youth Led Activity, Event or Festival 
Panda Harrison – Sport North Tyneside

Dedication to Personal Development 
Ashleigh Harrison – StreetGames Sport North Tyneside

Best Volunteer Team Award 
Y Sort It – West Dunbartonshire

Huge thanks to our amazing team of Young Advisors who helped us plan, deliver and evaluate the Conference. They were Gary Penders from Active East in Glasgow; Shelley Kangur from Wirral Positive Futures; Craig Prudhoe from Active Newcastle; Jess Katsinas from MK College and Laura Harris from Archway in Leeds. They were supported by two of our Alumni members; Karl Barry from Sport North Tyneside and Gabby Megson of Archway.

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