20 September 2019

YMCA Weston super Mare have become finalists in the Young Campaigner and Diversity Award categories at the 2019 national YMCA Youth Matters Awards.

The national YMCA Youth Matters Awards, held annually, recognise hard-working and dedicated individuals or projects who work to support local YMCA initiatives.

After judging and a public vote, Weston Youth Café has been announced as one of three finalists in the Diversity Award category, alongside Iris Farler-Smith who is amongst the finalists in the Young Campaigner of the Year category.

Weston Youth Café hosts many groups, including young carers, the Ups and Downs group for young people with Down’s Syndrome, home educators network and club for home educated young people, and a weekly coffee morning for local church group. Social evenings for adults with disabilities are also held at the café, and support those with mental health issues or feelings of isolation into feeling safe and more connected with the community.

As a key member of the Youth Council, Iris Farler-Smith has organised youth environmental protests against the expansion of Bristol Airport; facilitated consultations with North Somerset Council on transport developments and petitions for change locally as well as nationally.

Martin Hodgson, CEO of YMCA Dulverton Group said: “It’s great news to hear that we have two finalists at this year’s Youth Matters Awards.

“W-s-M Youth Café have been recognised for outstanding work, which can sometimes throw up challenging situations where the team are tested. We have a strong and committed partnership with the Town Council in Weston-super-Mare which has given us a great platform to connect with a truly broad mix of young people and groups in the community.

“The Weston team are dedicated to their work within the community and go above and beyond to ensure the best possible outcomes are achieved, so this recognition is well-deserved.

“I look forward to the awards in November and will be keeping my fingers crossed for our finalists, as well as wishing the others the best of luck.”

The awards will be held in London on November 8th, where the overall category winners will be announced on the evening.