Young People of the Year

Revealing, Recognising and Rewarding Positive Role Models

Welcome to... Young People of the Year awards or 'YOPEYs', pronounced yop-peas! ... Who will be the YOPEY winners in 2015? We are currently looking for nominees for London, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Hertfordshire. But love to hear from positive role models throughout out UK. Follow links to Nominate

• Young People of the Year or 'YOPEY' is a campaign to give young people a fairer image in the media – and society as a whole – by 'revealing, recognising and rewarding' young unsung heroes and setting them up as positive role models for other young people to copy.
• By doing this YOPEY improves relations between the generations, including reducing the elderly's fear of teenagers.
• We also give free citizenship lessons in schools and are looking at giving micro finance to young people wanting to improve their community.
• National leaders have praised YOPEY. You can read endorsements from David Cameron, Ed Miliband and others on this page.
• YOPEY is mainly supported by commercial companies as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility. But it can also promote your business. YOPEY can train staff volunteers to give presentations on good citizenship. 
• We also receive support from public services – the police and councils have become big backers in recent years – and charitable trusts.
• Together with all these people YOPEY is building a better society.
• Sponsors range from FTSE100 companies to SMEs. You can see all of them on our Thanks pages.

• If you prefer not to call 0845 numbers, please call YOPEY on 01440 821654.

Week at a luxury Spanish villa for as little as £80 per adult

Holidays being sold in aid of YOPEY charity

Nestled in the southernmost foothills of Andalucia lies a stunning privately-owned villa that can sleep up to 10 adults plus children. The villa’s owner has donated three one-week holidays and three two-week holidays to the YOPEY charity to sell online for a minimum of £800 for one week and £1400 for two weeks.

If you are interested email your name, address and phone number and the amount you wish to offer to YOPEY founder Tony Gearing on

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YOPEY's first 10 years celebrated at The Ritz London

YOPEY founder Tony Gearing spoke about the first 10 years of campaigning to give young people a fairer image at The Ritz London.

He also called on young people “not to do a Russell Brand” and vote in the general election.

Tony also thanked The Ritz for donating the reception – held in the famous hotel’s Music Room – and praised its staff for “serving us so smoothly and efficiently”.

This is his full speech:

“It is 10 years since I ran my first Young People

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You heard it here first

Build towns for young people and give them hope for future

YOPEY founder Tony Gearing said: “It is an election year, and I am going to be political but not partisan, well only a little.

“Please – I say to the young people here and your whole generation – do not do a Russell Brand. If you haven’t already registered to vote, DO SO, and make sure you vote on May 7th.

“I read an article by a young person – We don’t vote because the politicians ignore us. I’m sorry you’ve got it the wrong

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Past winners, volunteers and befrienders speak up for YOPEY

YOPEY founder Tony Gearing told the audience at The Ritz London: “A couple of years ago I became aware of the loneliness suffered by the elderly. Surveys showed that one million over-65s felt lonely some or all of the time. It occurred to me that there are about one million sixth-formers in the country. Why not put the two together, ease the loneliness and have the young learn from the old.

“We are currently in the second year of trials whereby YOPEY links schools with care homes. I’d like Yousif Ali from one of these

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Honorary YOPEYs reach parts others don’t

At Young People of the Year we never cease to be amazed at the marvellous ‘giving to others’ that young people in the UK do. They commit themselves without seeking recognition or reward, but YOPEY believes in ‘revealing, recognising and rewarding’ these unsung heroes.

Unfortunately, YOPEY competitions do not take part across the whole of the country (yet!) so some amazing young people still miss out on getting the praise they deserve. But not any more…

YOPEY has decided to create a special category of Honorary YOPEY

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Your school to put on YOPEY awards?

How your school could help to put on a YOPEY awards ceremony. Here about 30 volunteers from Ely College, the local comprehensive in the town of the same name, put on the 2012 Cambridgeshire YOPEYs at Ely Cathedral...

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YOPEY's main aims and objectives

On the Charity Commission's website, YOPEY’s Activities are listed as:
We run campaigns to combat the bad press inflicted on young people by revealing, recognising and rewarding young unsung heroes and setting them up as positive role models (PRMs) for other young people to copy. These campaigns are usually held in a single counties but we have done larger areas, such as the whole of the UK for a magazine in 2008, and smaller areas, such as a town or council district.

The Charity Commission lists YOPEY’s Charitable Objects as:

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The YOPEYs in five minutes! 

Ideal to show in school assemblies, this short film is about the kinds of young positive role models that YOPEY promotes and how to nominate.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

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Boris backs London YOPEY

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has become the latest political leader to endorse YOPEY following, among others, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband.

Upon hearing about the John Lewis Young People of the Year – the first YOPEY in the capital – Boris said: “London is full of talented young people who are doing amazing things to help their communities.

"It is fantastic that Young People of the Year are showcasing the achievements of these role models and encouraging more youngsters to strive to be the best they can.”


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© YOPEY registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales as charity number 1145573
Registered with the Registrar of Companies for England and Wales as company number 7751145

Teaching Resources - YOPEY on TV - YOPEY on radio - YOPEY movies made by young people