National volunteer award for Ilkley church youth worker

Ilkley Gazette: Carol Stewart, with flowers, celebrating at All Saints, Ilkley Carol Stewart, with flowers, celebrating at All Saints, Ilkley

The work of a volunteer youth worker has been recognised at the National Christian Youth Works awards.

Carol Stewart, who is a member of All Saints Church in Ilkley, was named Volunteer of the Year, having served young people in the area since the 1970s.

Carol was nominated by past and present members of the many youth groups she has been involved with, for the work she has done amongst young people over five decades. One former young person was quoted in her nomination as saying: “I still consider Carol one of the top three role models in my life, and will forever be grateful for her love and sacrifice.”

The third annual Christian Youth Work Awards were presented at London School of Theology, on Friday, November 15.

The awards recognise excellence in church-based and other Christian youth work, and are judged by a panel of youth work practitioners, lecturers and young people, from a pool of public nominations.

The awards were presented across five categories, including best youth employer, most innovative youth work and best youth work resource.

Winners also included Bradford-based Adie Hinsley, who was named Youth Worker of the Year for her pioneering work with E:merge Bradford.

Carol has been involved in youth work of some description for over 50 years. She now volunteers in All Saints, leading youth groups, as well as overseeing a national camp for young people alongside her son and daughter. Carol took on the main leadership of the holiday the year she got her bus pass.

During her acceptance speech, Carol said: “It’s the most incredible thing to see young people grow and change because of the choices they make.”

The Christian Youth Work Awards are an initiative of Youthscape, a collective of youth-focused projects based in Bedfordshire, working in partnership with the UK’s most popular youth ministry resource, Youthwork magazine.

Youthscape’s Ruth Bennett, who hosted the ceremony, said: “It’s so encouraging to hear first hand, stories of people doing exceptional youth work. By highlighting some of these stories, we hope that it will encourage us all to keep going, keep innovating and keep carrying out excellent youth work.”

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