Rotary Young Citizen Awards 2021

Meet this year's Rotary Young Citizen Award winners and be inspired by the stories behind their achievements

Rotary Young Citizen Awards 2021

Young people are often considered to be a bit wild and rebellious but the young citizens featured below show just how far from the truth that stereotype can be.

Each year Rotary clubs throughout the UK and Ireland can nominate people under the age of 25 for Rotary Young Citizen Awards. Winners are usually presented with their awards during a special programme on the BBC News channel. However this year, due to covid-19, winners received their 2021 Rotary Young Citizen Awards at a virtual ceremony on 22nd May, hosted by BBC TV Presenter Ellie Crisell.

See Ellie Crisell's intoduction and then meet these extraordinary Rotary Young Citizen award winners and be truly inspired!

Ayaan Moosa & Mikaeel Ishaaq

These two friends set up a ‘Lemonade for Yemen-Aid’ stand outside their home to raise money for the children of Yemen. They thought they might raise £100 but have helped raise about £100,000 for the Yemen Crisis. They even received  a generous donation from Angelina Jolie. The UN World Food programme has made a video about them with messages of thanks from children in Yemen. View their story Here.

  Max Woosey

11-year-old Max Woosey has raised more than £533,000 for North Devon Hospice by sleeping in a tent in his garden since the start of the first lockdown in March 2020. He decided to camp out after his neighbour Rick Abbott gave him a tent before he died of cancer. Max took on the challenge to fundraise for the hospice which helped Max’s family care for Rick before he died of cancer in February 2020. View his story here.

Poppy McGhee

16-year-old Poppy McGhee, who suffers from epilepsy, started playing the violin aged five and passed Grade 8 – the top musical examination – with distinction two weeks after her 8th birthday.

She also started fundraising at the age of five. After seeing a performance when she was seven by blind and autistic pianist Derek Paravacini who inspired the setting up of The Amber Trust, she decided to use her talents to raise thousands of pounds for this charity. See Poppy's story here.

Seanna and Clara Hamill

Sisters Seanna and Ciara Hamill, aged 18 and 20, are two Rotaract members from Kenilworth in Warwickshire, whose mother is a senior healthcare professional with a BAME background. When the pandemic hit, she faced huge difficulties accessing PPE, despite having a front-line role. Faced with this, Seanna and Ciara decided to do something about it. They set up SanHanzUK, a social enterprise community interest company (CIC) to manufacture hand sanitiser with a mission to get sanitiser to people who most needed it.. See how they achieved this here.

  Lanai Collis-Phillips

19-year-old Lanai Collis-Phillips has been volunteering for over five years at Volunteering Matters. Within that charity, she is involved in Women Against Sexual Exploitation and Violence Speak Up (WASSUP), to raise awareness of domestic abuse, child abuse and sexual violence.

She has helped deliver “Gang Grooming” workshops to more than 1,500 schoolchildren in Suffolk and was part of the presenting team for Crucial Crew showing children how to protect themselves and others.

She is the first young person in Suffolk to become a representative on the local safeguarding board. In 2019, Lanai became an #iwill UK Ambassador for Youth Social Action. See lanai's story here.

  Alfie Dean

14-year-old Alfie Dean set up The Babbacombe Pantry outside his home, using a shelf taken from his bedroom to offer elderly and vulnerable people the chance to collect essential items during lockdown. He set up a GoFundMe page to help keep the pantry well-stocked. He said: “The Pantry was something that was relied on by so many people and when we started delivering food parcels as well, I noticed that people of all ages were using it. I noticed lockdown was causing people to struggle in so many different ways, be that financial or social issues.” Alfie tells his story here.

  Shanea Oldham:  Young Peacemaker Award.

  20-year-old Shanea Oldham was spurred into action after a teenager was stabbed in her neighbourhood. She went to help him lying in the street and what she witnessed left a huge mark on her.

Having also suffered the loss of a friend in 2017 to youth violence, Shanea vowed to do everything possible to make sure his life was not in vain and is determined to bring about change in her community and reduce the fear amongst teenagers on the streets. 
  See her story here


  Jemima Browning: Young Sporting Hero Award

Jemima Browning, 20, started Tadcaster Stingrays, a swimming squad for young people with disabilities at Tadcaster Swimming Pool. Driven by her younger brother Will, who has Down’s Syndrome, it was Jemima’s belief that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy sport.

The Tadcaster Stingrays are coached by Jemima and some are now competing in the Special Olympics and the Great Britain Down’s Syndrome Swimming Group. Jemima and Will were both selected to represent Great Britain on the Special Olympics Inclusive Youth Activation Committee. See Jemima's successes here.


If you wish to see the entire awards show, hosted by Ellie Crisell, click/tap HERE.

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