txtm8 Wins Children & Young People Now Award

Now in their sixth year, the Children & Young People Now Awards 2011 recognise the commitment, innovation and energy of those who work to support and improve the lives of children, young people and families.


Out of more than 420 entries, 21 winners were chosen by a panel of experts and a discerning line-up of young judges. txtm8, Living Well’s sex and relationship text service, won a Highly Commended award in the Advice and Guidance category.

Guest speaker MP Graham Allen praised the award recipients for championing programmes that support the most vulnerable members of the community, despite the challenging climate facing services.

“We know times are tough and there is less money around, particularly in local government,” he said. “But whether it is for the 120,000 so-called dysfunctional families or people caught in a summer of discontent, it is a vocation and you have got to do it. We can all sit here and complain or we can get stuck in, which is what you are doing and what the winners here tonight have done.”

Allen also reasserted his call for the Chancellor to choose early intervention as the theme of the next comprehensive spending review.

He added: “Early intervention unites everybody in this room. All of us are trying to get to the problem before it is deep-rooted, whether you are working with teen mums, with people with drug and alcohol problems, with people who are on a lifetime of benefits or with no aspiration to work or the million or so young people who face a future that is darker than it was a year or two years ago.”

Ravi Chandiramani, editor of Children & Young People Now, said the achievements of the award recipients were all the more impressive given the challenges that have faced public services and charities over the past 12 months.

“The reductions in public spending have put services and projects for children and young people under severe pressure, in many cases threatening their very existence,” he said. “What’s more, we are seeing from this coalition government a move towards localism, less control from the centre and, we are told, more freedom to shape services.

“So this makes the recognition and the spreading of best practice right across the country as important as ever and that is, of course, what these awards are all about. The winners have shown great creativity and great innovation, and, crucially, demonstrated that what they do makes a real and important difference.”

For a full list of winners click here.

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