Our annual awards

The Stephenson Awards celebrate the people who go the extra mile to help us improve the lives of children in the UK

Over 150 years ago, The Reverend Thomas Bowman Stephenson changed the lives of homeless children living under the arches of Waterloo station. He took them in off the streets, forming The Children's Home – the beginnings of Action for Children.

Each year, in memory of that life-changing kindness, we celebrate the people who make a difference.

The Stephenson Awards recognise the work of our amazing supporters, volunteers, carers and staff members. We also celebrate the children, young people and families we support.

I’m stunned to receive the award. It was a lovely experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There are lots of people who deserve this award, but it is on behalf of the youngsters we advocate for.

Eve - Outstanding Volunteer Award 2017
Group of award recipients holding up plaques and certificates during award ceremony

Who’s eligible?

Anyone can nominate an outstanding individual or organisation connected with Action for Children. It could be a young person who has shown enormous courage in their life, or a volunteer who never gives up.

All the nominations are reviewed by a panel of judges. Everyone shortlisted is then invited to a ceremony in London, where the winners are announced.

This special evening is also our opportunity to recognise and thank our longest serving staff members.

Stephenson Awards recipients seated at table during awards ceremony

Who are the judges?

Our judging panel features a diverse mix of experts each year. It includes our supporters, trustees, staff, young ambassadors and celebrities. Previous judges have included newsreader Alastair Stewart, Nicky Campbell and Richard Farleigh.

How to nominate someone inspiring

Nominations for this year’s awards are open. You can read more about the award categories below. Follow the link in each description to nominate for that category.

The General Stephenson Award recognises the commitment and expertise of those who make a difference to the UK's most disadvantaged children, young people and their families.

The Young People’s Champion Award recognises those who campaign on behalf of the UK's most disadvantaged children and young people. This can be a colleague, someone who advocates for young people’s issues, or an organisation.

The Young People's Choice Award is awarded to someone nominated by a child or young person. It recognises the support they have shown. This form should be completed by a child or young person, with help if needed.

The Young Achiever Award recognises the achievements of a child or young person who has overcome adversity through their own determination, and with the support of Action for Children.

The Walter Tull Award recognises those who work hard to promote inclusion and diversity across Action for Children.

Tables of recipients and staff at Stephenson Awards ceremony