• 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.
• National leaders praise YOPEY. You can read endorsements from Prime Ministers on this page. To see endorsements by UK leaders click on Next Page at the bottom of 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.
• Sponsors range from FTSE100 companies to SMEs. You can see all of them on our Thanks pages. We also receive support from public services, such as police and councils, and charitable trusts.
• YOPEY also runs Befriender schemes where young people befriend elderly people in care homes, often living with dementia.
• Together with all these people YOPEY is 'Creating Tomorrow's Great Citizens Today'.
• We have stopped using an 0845 number, but this remains on older sections of this website, which are unaltered records of YOPEYs at that time. Please call YOPEY on 01440 821654.
Founder Tony Gearing is made an MBE
Tony Gearing, the founder of Young People of the Year, has been made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. The citation reads ‘For services to Young People in the UK’.
Tony’s aim is to change the unfair negative image of young people into a positive one and to set up the very best young people as role models for others to copy. Ultimately he would like to help create a generation of outstanding citizens.
Tony held his first Young People of the Year awards in Royston, Hertfordshire, in 2005. He expanded the campaign
Views on Tony's honour
What other people said this week about Tony Gearing MBE:
Helen Nellis, the Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, said: “I am delighted to hear that Tony Gearing has been recognised in the Honours List for his work to promote the huge contribution that young people make in our society.
“He works tirelessly to ensure that YOPEY is a key highlight of the year in Bedfordshire and other counties and has been very successful in securing the support of a range of people and organisations. My sincere congratulation and best wishes for the continuing
YOPEY nominator wins a royal award
Sometimes it is not just entrants in YOPEY competitions who make the headlines for their good deeds it is those associated with them as well.
Take the case of Marcellus Baz who nominated young boxer Dwayne Cooke-Peccoo who made it to the finals of the Nottinghamshire competition in 2014.
Marcellus, who was into gang culture as a young man, turned to boxing as a detraction from bad ways and then used the sport as a way of keeping youngsters out of crime.
Dwayne went to the Nottingham School of Boxing, run by Marcellus, who discovered
Education Secretary supports YOPEY
Justine Greening MP, the new Education Secretary in Theresa May's Government, has attended and judged two London Young People of the Year awards.
Here she writes a letter of support to YOPEY Founder Tony Gearing.
To read the letter in full click on the album to the left...
Watch our first film specifically about YOPEY Befriender and the young people who volunteer to befriend lonely residents in care homes. Click on the film immediately below......
Care trade press publicises YOPEY Befriender
Several publications in the media that serves the care home industry have published articles about YOPEY Befriender.
The Caring Times magazine gave YOPEY Befriender its front cover and ran a full-page feature inside. Care Home Management magazine ran a three-page feature.
Other care home trade press have published articles on their websites and in emails to subscribers.
YOPEY founder Tony Gearing and three teenage YOPEY Befrienders gave a presentation at the Care & Demenita Show at the NEC in October 2016 and this led to more publicity....
Younger age group trail blazed new YOPEY Befriender scheme
More than 20 14 to 15-year-olds from two schools blazed a trail as the youngest YOPEY Befrienders so far on a new befriending scheme in their town.
The year 10 pupils from County Upper and St Benedict’s in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, regularly visited elderly people with dementia at a care home in the town centre.
The scheme was run by the charity YOPEY, which stands for Young People of the Year and is based in the village of Stradishall near Bury St Edmunds. The charity wants to expand its ‘YOPEY Befriender’
'Northern HQ' shuts with Kevin's retirementFreelance journalist Kevin Palmer who launched many young people on the road to YOPEY success by researching and writing their stories is packing away his notebook and saying a fond farewell.
Kevin, who has been working with YOPEY since a year after it was founded, has been a vital member of the YOPEY team and the voice that nominators and nominees heard first when entries' case studies were being written up.
He has written around 630 case studies of entrants over nine years which have been used as stories in local newspapers
Bridging the generation gap
Teenagers make elderly friends – many with dementia
Photographs by Catherine Humphries, John Flynn and Tony Middleton
Teenager Kaylee Poloczek has a new ‘bezzy mate’ – 82-year-old Roy who she says ‘has done some cool stuff in his life’.
The 18-year-old met Roy at an old people’s day centre while taking part in a pioneering project uniting young and old people in friendship to help combat loneliness and isolation. The ‘YOPEY