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Nominations open for London “Community Oscars”

11 July, 2011

Nominations open for London “Community Oscars”

London, 11th July 2011: Now in its third exceptional year, the hugely anticipated Spirit of London Awards (SOLA) returns to centre-stage today, announcing the call for nominations. Celebrating the greatest achievements of young people across London, the awards will be held on Monday 10th October 2011. The shortlisted nominees will join a stellar line-up of musical artists and celebrities at one of the world’s most prestigious venues - the Royal Albert Hall, as they honour the city’s young people who strengthen their local communities.

Whether through music, sport, art or social enterprise, Londoners are being urged to nominate the young people in their local communities who are acting as inspirational beacons by making exceptional contributions to local society.

The Awards are supported by a number of organisations and ambassadors including, Prime Minister David Cameron, London Mayor Boris Johnson, Brooke Kinsella, Richard Taylor OBE and Rio Ferdinand.

David Cameron said:
"These awards are a great way to recognise young role models in London. Young people are not only the future, they are the best resource this country has. So I welcome any opportunity to celebrate their positive achievements and honour their contribution to the capital.”

London’s Mayor Boris Johnson commented:
“These awards are a fantastic way of recognising and rewarding the many young people that make a positive contribution to our communities. It’s important to raise the aspirations of young people and providing positive role models from amongst their peers is a fantastic way of doing that. 
Do come forward and nominate young people you know who are making a difference to others lives so that their hard work and talents receive the recognition they so richly deserve”

Brooke Kinsella commented:
“There really are so many more good kids out there than bad and SOLA addresses the imbalance brought about by all the media attention paid to a small minority who are negative”

The winners of the 11 available categories will be decided by a diverse judging panel from the world of music, campaigning, sport and community – all unified in their support and pride of the London spirit.  A special “London Legend Award” which honours someone who embodies the true spirit of London, will also be presented on the evening.  Previous winners have included Sir Michael Caine (2009) and Barbara Windsor (2010).

Londoners can nominate someone for a SOLA simply by logging onto the website, clicking on the category for which they wish to nominate and explaining using between two and five hundred words, why they believe their nominee is deserving of a SOLA.  Nominations remain open from now until the 11/08/2011.

Richard Taylor OBE who developed the awards as part of the Damilola Taylor trust in consultation with other youth organisations commented:
“Damilola’s legacy is now enshrined in the awards as we honour the kind of young person he was turning into”

Another strong supporter of the awards Rio Ferdinand commented:
“These awards recognise young people who are the true face of London’s youth. I am proud to be associated with them”
This year’s awards launch with 11 categories:

• The Young Campaigner of the Year – Born to Inspire (national award in conjunction with Save the Children)
• London Community Champions (Working Links)
• Young London hero (The Mayor’s order of merit)
• Achievement through Music  (Kiss 100)
• Achievement through the Arts
• Achievement through Education
• Achievement through Sport (London Sports Camps)
• Achievement through Media (SB.TV)
• Achievement through Fashion
• Young Business Entrepreneur (Barclays)
• London Legend  – An iconic Londoner (previous winners 2009 Sir Michael Caine – 2010 Barbara Windsor)

To find out more about this year’s Spirit of London Awards (SOLA) or to nominate someone in the local community who you think deserves a SOLA, visit www.spiritoflondonawards.com
- Ends -

For further information please contact the Spirit of London Awards press office on:
SOLA@freud.com
0203 003 6366

Notes to Editors

• The Spirit of London Awards celebrates and shines a spotlight on young people who are making a positive difference in London.
• The Awards stand for empowering and inspiring young people. They are run by young people, for young people.
• SOLA is run by a dedicated Youth Management Foundation of young social entrepreneurs who are blazing a trail for their peers.
• The Awards brings together young people across the 32 London Boroughs to celebrate their own, and each other’s achievements
• The aim of the Awards is to create a positive youth movement that encourages and inspires positive achievements and invests in the positive majority.
• The Awards attracts a stellar line up of musical superstars and celebrities; the real stars of the show, however, are the nominees and winners themselves.

• The Royal Albert Hall has provided the Hall free of charge for  the Spirit of London Awards

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