The Home Office has chosen Nacro, the crime reduction charity, to run the Philip Lawrence Awards.
Now in its fourteenth year, the awards celebrate the positive difference young people make in their communities all over the UK. Targeting groups of young people aged between 11 and 20, the focus of the awards is on reducing crime, breaking down barriers and promoting respect.
But this year, Nacro will seek to broaden the pool of nominations, particularly in high crime neighbourhoods, and extend the reach of the awards to young people in custody. Nacro will work directly with young people and encourage greater participation by developing an active online community.
Frances Lawrence said: “’Young people are the future of society and its greatest hope. They are often the first to come into contact with crime and anti-social behaviour and to experience first-hand the waste of human potential. The Philip Lawrence Awards scheme provides a platform for them to share their vision of a better world and celebrates their achievements. Working with Nacro marks a significant step forward. We want to involve those serving custodial sentences because it is crucial that they are inspired to contribute positively to society. It gives them a chance to discover the value of helping other people, and that in doing so their own lives also can be enhanced.”
Home Secretary Theresa May said: “The Philip Lawrence Awards promote the contribution of young people who make their communities better and safer places. By linking the awards to a crime reduction charity like Nacro, we can do more to involve the young people we want to turn away from crime and maximise the awards’ impact in the communities that need this most.”
Paul McDowell, Nacro’s chief executive, said: “We are honoured to be given the opportunity to manage the Philip Lawrence Awards. The awards aim to encourage the best from young people which aligns directly with Nacro’s mission to change lives and reduce crime.
“Our extensive experience of working with thousands of young people across the country means we understand the challenges these important awards address. Crucially, we recognise the opportunities that exist to change lives for individuals and our communities. We are really looking forward to working with Frances to extend the reach of the awards, to inspire young people to get involved, and change their lives.”