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Medway youth campaigners nominated for The National Diversity Award

A group of Medway teens have been nominated for a national award for their efforts in tackling inequality.

The nominees are being recognised for campaigning on a range of issues, from cyberbullying to homelessness, as well as standing up against ageism in their community.

The Medway Youth Council (MYC) has been nominated for its work as a community organisation in The National Diversity Awards.

MYC is a youth run non-party political group which works to highlight young voices and run campaigns on issues they care about.

In the past, members have worked to raise awareness of sexual violence, bullying, knife crime and hate crime, promoted healthy eating in schools and tackled homelessness.

An annual conference is also run to give the youth in the community a voice about important issues. In 2019, the council asked for young people's views on climate change.

Even now, with the restrictions of lockdown, the group ran an online pub quiz which raised £788 for the National Emergencies Trust and has been encouraging young people to stay home.

The Medway Youth Council at its most recent annual conference on climate change
The Medway Youth Council at its most recent annual conference on climate change

Anna McGovern, chairman of the council, said: "People don't necessarily realise how much work goes on behind the scenes with the MYC. We and the members work so hard to facilitate our campaigns and events."

Miss McGovern has also been nominated as a positive role model for her work in representing young people.

In her nominee statement, she wrote: "Young people are the future generation of adults in our society. They have been discriminated against and subjected to disparaging ageism; I strive to overturn these biased stereotypes in everything I do. We are the future."

The nomination not only acknowledges her achievements as the youth council's chairman, but also her cyberbulling work with the NSPCC, her speech in Parliament about the importance of Childline, as an ambassador for the #iwill campaign supporting young leaders, and for sitting on the National Children's Bureau as a member of the government's Youth Justice Board.

The 18-year-old added: "I am really honoured to have been recognised in this way. It was a massive shock. It is honestly so amazing and I'm so grateful.

Anna McGovern, making a speech at MYC's most recent annual conference
Anna McGovern, making a speech at MYC's most recent annual conference

"If I did get shortlisted or win I would use the platform to carry on doing what I'm doing and make a massive difference to young people not only locally but nationally as well."

The National Diversity Awards is an annual black tie event celebrating the achievements of individuals and organisations across the UK in their fight against inequality.

The event sorts nominees into categories of age, disability, gender, race, faith, religion and sexual orientation.

Nominations and voting close on May 18 and winners will be announced at the ceremony on September 25 at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.

To vote for the Medway Youth Council in the National Diversity Awards, click here.

To vote for Anna McGovern in the National Diversity Awards, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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