London '15

Young People of the Year

Revealing, Recognising and Rewarding Positive Role Models

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Local dignitaries, sponsors and young people are YOPEY's judges

Below you can read about the sponsors of this YOPEY and some of our dignitary judges.

However these are not all the judges. Every YOPEY since 2006 has been judged by young people as well as 'great and good'. These Youth Judges' opinions and votes are as valid as the adults. The youngest judge's vote is worth the same as the vote of a representative of the Queen!

YOPEY's aim is to have as many Youth Judges on every YOPEY as dignitaries and sponsors. If you are aged from 10-25 and would like to be a Youth Judge, please contact us via our Contact Us form, telling us a little bit about yourself and why you would make a good Youth Judge.

The dignitary judges tend to include a representative of the Queen*, a senior clergy from any religion, a top police officer, the local MP and councillors as well as representatives of the businesses and other organisations sponsoring this YOPEY. We are very grateful for their support.

We ask the dignitaries and sponsors to provide photographs of themselves as young people – as well as today – to show they were young once!

* The Queen is represented by the Lord Lieutenant of the county in which the YOPEY is held or the Vice Lieutenant or a Deputy Lieutenant. The High Sheriff, who also represents the Queen in legal matters, can also judge.


Judge – Commissioner for London North East Girlguiding

Janette Goss is Girlguiding's County Commissioner for London North East.

Janette’s first experience of Girlguiding was as a Guide and she achieved her Queen’s Guide Award.  

Janette says,: “Guiding has given me so many opportunities, first as a teenager and now as a leader. My love of everything outdoors, including skiing, walking and camping, was inspired through my early experiences in Guiding."  

“The importance of giving time to our community was also rooted

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Judge – PR officer for City of London ACF

Lieutenant Kay Walker is the Public Relations and Sports Officer for City of London and North East Sector Army Cadet Force (ACF).

Kay was encouraged to join the ACF in 2005 as a cadet force adult volunteer in Cambridgeshire, where she was born.

In 2009 she transferred to the ACF in London. She has held the positions of detachment commander, commander of senior platoon and also participated in the International Army Cadet Exchange programme to Norway, before deciding to specialise in Public Relations.

She now helps publicise

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Judge – Speaker of Hackney

The current Speaker of Hackney is Councillor Sade Etti.

The Speaker is a serving councillor elected to the office for by fellow council members at their Annual Meeting.

The job of the Speaker is to chair meetings of the full Council and, as the Borough's Civic Representative, to attend numerous events throughout the year and welcome visitors to the Borough. In addition, the Speaker presides over citizenship ceremonies at the Town Hall.

Quote from The Speaker: "This is a very good award,

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Judge – Chris O'Connor, London Fire Brigade

Chris is the Deputy Head of Community Safety for the London Fire Brigade, joining in May 2013. 

Chris has responsibility for all youth engagement programmes including Cadets, LIFE and Education and leads on a range of community safety projects, programmes, policies and initiatives including Safeguarding, Hoarding and Home Fire Safety Visits.

Previous to joining the London Fire Brigade, Chris pent three years in the civil service with Ofsted leading on community engagement and before that spent 12 years in local government.


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Judge – John Barber DL

Click See More on left to see the DL as a young person...

John Barber is representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Newham and Greater London.

John is chair of governors at Carpenters School, the nearest school to the Olympics, and a trustee of the Newham Music Academy.

In addition John enjoys being Chair of YOU or 'youth in uniform', which was the brain child of the Prince of Wales.

For the last 20 years John has chaired the grants and bursary panel for a City of London charity giving money and advice to help young people

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Judge – Mayor of Waltham Forest

Click See More on left to see the Mayor as a young person...

Councillor Mahmud has lived in Waltham Forest all her life, attending local schools Greenleaf Primary, Walthamstow School for Girls and then Sir George Monoux College.

At university she received a Masters in International Law. Cllr Mahmud has been a councillor for nine years, representing the Hoe Street ward and holding a cabinet member post.
As part of the promotion of her main themes for her year in office - community cohesion and human rights, Cllr Mahmud is engaging

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Judge – Mayor of Sutton

Click See More on left to see the Mayor as a young person...

The Mayor, Councillor Muhammad Sadiq, resides in the Purley area of Sutton with the Mayoress Mrs Aasia Sadiq and his two children; son and daughter.

The Mayor is a successful entrepreneur, having built a variety of successful businesses in the retail industry. He has been serving the local community since 1975 and his passion for Sutton is demonstrated through his contribution to the local life in many ways.

He has chaired the curriculum & standards committee and has also been a

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Judge – Deputy Mayor of Wandsworth

Click See More on left to see the Mayor as a young person...

Leslie McDonnell was born in Ilford in north-east London, was educated at Forest School in Snaresbrook and moved from there to Queen’s University, Belfast where he read Law before qualifying as a Solicitor.

He moved to Putney some 35 years ago and became a Wandsworth Borough Councillor in 1998. He has served as Mayor of Wandsworth and is currently the Deputy Mayor.

He has chaired the planning committee and currently chairs the finance and corporate resources overview

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Judge – Speaker for Tower Hamlets

Councillor Mukit MBE has lived and worked in Tower Hamlets for 43 years and was amongst the first few Bangladeshis in the East End to receive the Queen’s Award in the Millennium Year, for youth and community development.

He has a passion for politics and advancing community interests.
Cllr Mukit MBE has established a continuous record of working for the community. His achievements include setting up numerous youth initiatives; the Sylhet Friends Society, Bangladesh Sports Association, UWA, Progressive Youth

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Host – Queen Mary University of London

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) is one of the UK's leading research-focused higher education institutions. With around 17,840 students, 4,000 staff and an annual turnover of £300m, we are one of the biggest University of London colleges, and a member of the Russell Group of leading UK universities.
Our status as a leading UK university was confirmed in the 2014 REF review for assessing research quality in higher education, in which QMUL came 9th among multi-faculty institutions.
We teach and research across

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