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News release from: 15/12/2023

Latest award for Greater Cambridge Shared Planning as Youth Engagement Service praised

Latest award for Greater Cambridge Shared Planning as Youth Engagement Service praised

Greater Cambridge Shared Planning’s Youth Engagement Service (YES) emerged victorious, earning the coveted 'Best Local Authority’ and 'Individual Youth Engagement Practitioner of the Year’ Awards at a ceremony held at the Building Centre in London.

The Inspire Future Generations Awards, initiated by Thornton Education Trust (TET), celebrate exceptional efforts in youth engagement by architects and built environment professionals, spotlighting individuals and organisations that go beyond mere tick-box commitments to produce meaningful participation and co-design.

Greater Cambridge Shared Planning is a partnership between South Cambridgeshire District and Cambridge City Councils.

Members of staff at the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service.

The Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service won ‘Best Local Authority’ and has been recognised as one of the few UK Local Authorities that commits resources to ensure effective youth engagement. Judges were particularly impressed by GCSP’s pioneering methods for approaching youth engagement and architectural education to deliver social value.

Tom Davies, Urban Designer and integral member of the YES team, secured the title of 'Individual Youth Engagement Practitioner of the Year.' This accolade recognises Tom for his profound experience and extensive knowledge in the field of youth engagement and for going the extra mile to engage children and young people who are often underrepresented in the architectural design and engagement process.

In addition to their wins, the YES team also garnered recognition as finalists in multiple categories, including 'Social Value,' 'Community Engagement,' 'Long-term Programme - Children,' and 'Mentoring' Awards.

Cllr Katie Thornburrow, Cambridge City Council Executive Councillor for Planning, Building Control and Infrastructure said: "The individual and collective TET Inspire Future Generations Award wins were well-deserved for a remarkable team! Young people are our future, and the award for 'Local Authority of the Year' and 'Individual of the Year' reflects how we are committed to inspiring the next generation. Greater Cambridge Shared Planning's Youth Engagement Service's dedication, talent, and hard work have truly shone through, setting a remarkable standard for excellence. We know that there are many more awards to come on their inspiring journey. Well done!"

Cllr. Dr. Tumi Hawkins, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Planning Policy and Development Management said: "Youth engagement is not just a key; it's the very heartbeat of a vibrant and progressive society. Greater Cambridge Shared Planning's Youth Engagement team are experts at tapping into the energy, innovation, and fresh perspectives of young minds. When we actively involve and empower our youth, we unlock the potential for a brighter, more inclusive future. Congratulations to the team for their wins at the TET Inspire Future Generations Awards.  They are thoroughly deserved."

Victoria Thornton, Founder of Thornton Education Trust said: “Educating, Empowering & Inspiring the next generation, will only make for a better, creative and more inclusive, diverse society. Creating more opportunities for young people to influence their local environment and participate in the development of their communities is absolutely necessary. The IFG Awards celebrate those who contribute to achieving this goal, ensuring our built environment authentically mirrors the needs, aspirations and values of its most important stakeholders–the next generation”.

Greater Cambridge Shared Planning’s YES Team Lead and Principal Urban Designer, Dr. Bonnie Kwok said: "We are grateful for the recognition and appreciation of our efforts by all the judges in ensuring children and young people have a genuine voice in development proposals, planning polices and masterplanning in the Greater Cambridge region."

Learn more about Greater Cambridge Shared Planning’s Youth Engagement Service.