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Lions Young Ambassadors and Shipshape Awards

Lions Young Ambassadors and Shipshape Awards


Contact details

Name: Sally Marsh
MD title: MD Young Ambassador Officer
Email: sallymarsh@lionsclubs.co.uk


Supporting exceptional young people

The Lions Young Ambassadors programme recognises, encourages, and supports young people (age 15-18) who are actively involved in helping others.

The competition operates throughout Europe and enables individual Lions, Leo, or Lioness clubs to select and sponsor a candidate as their Young Ambassador. Successful candidates progress through a series of levels – club, zone, region, and district – culminating in the final for Lions Clubs International British Isles (MD105) and an opportunity to participate in the European final.

Jubilee Sailing Trust Shipshape Award

Since 2000, all candidates for the Lions Young Ambassador Award are eligible for the Jubilee Sailing Trust Shipshape Award, (except the Young Ambassador chosen to represent MD105). The award is presented to a Young Ambassador who demonstrates a particularly strong personal commitment and enthusiasm for their community work. The Lions Clubs Young Ambassador Shipshape Award provides a life-changing adventure at sea for one of the Young Ambassador finalists. Its purpose is for the recipient to develop their leadership skills by joining a crew of young people with a range of abilities aboard one of the Jubilee Sailing Trust tall ships.

Finding Young Ambassadors

Young people who share Lions Clubs community service ethos can be found through schools, youth organisations, coverage in media/social media, or participating in Lions Young Leaders in Service initiative.

In previous years, entrants in the Young Ambassador competition have been involved in helping young and older people, as well as those who are disabled or disadvantaged. They have organised projects in conservation, crime prevention, promoting healthier lifestyles, hospital radio, and many other similar community initiatives.

To be eligible, candidates must have reached their 15th birthday, but not their 19th birthday, on or before 30 June in the year in which the MD Final is to be held.

Young Ambassador District Awards

The winner of each district final holds the post of District Young Ambassador for 12 months. They are eligible to attend the MD105 Young Ambassador final, where they will receive a £500 bursary, to be used for welfare work on their chosen projects, or training to help them in this work.

More information

Clubs interested in supporting a young person in the competition should get in touch initially with their Young Ambassador District Officer. You can also click below to download:


Questions may also be directed to the MD105 Young Ambassador Officer, Lion Sally Marsh by email: lionsallymarsh@gmail.com

Lions Clubs International (MD105) British Isles Award

The overall winner of the Young Ambassador competition for Lions Clubs International – British Isles, is awarded a further £1,000 bursary, and a trophy.

In addition, the MD Youth Trust will pay expenses enabling the MD105 Young Ambassador to:

  • Address the MD105 Convention.
  • Attend the MD International Youth Centre.
  • Participate in the European final.
  • Support the Young Ambassadors the following year.
  • Provide an update of their experiences during the year to Lions members at the MD105 Convention in 2021.

Young Ambassador finals weekend

The Young Ambassador finals weekend took place on 21-23 February 2020 at the Village Hotel, Castlegate, Dudley DY1 4TB.

Expenses for the district award winners are paid by Lions Clubs International – British Isles (MD105). Sponsoring clubs, and the candidates’ parents/guardians are welcome to attend. This is a fun – and busy – weekend where all the district Young Ambassadors get to know each other.

  • Friday afternoon arrives, introductions, and social activities during the evening.
  • Saturday, each finalist is interviewed in private by an independent panel of judges, non-Lions drawn from business, education, and voluntary sectors.
  • Social activities are provided during the day, and in the evening the Young Ambassadors attend a gala dinner with entertainment generally supplied by the Young Ambassadors and a disco.
  • Sunday morning, the award ceremony takes place in the presence of the Chair to the Lions MD105 Council of Governors, International Directors, Past International Directors, and the Mayor of Dudley.

Previous winners

Young Ambassadors have diverse backgrounds and interests. Further information about the programme can be read in the LION magazine Summer 2020

Here we profile two previous MD105 Young Ambassador winners.

Siena Castellon, sponsored by Fairlop Lions Club

I am a self-confessed math’s nerd. I have attended the sixth form at Kings College Mathematics School since September 2018, one of only two State specialist math’s schools in the UK. I have Asperger’s, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and AD(H)D, as well as anxiety, hypermobility, synaesthesia, and a sensory processing disorder. I created a website Quantum Leap Mentoring when I was 13 to support students with autism and learning difficulties.

I am a passionate advocate for autism acceptance and neurodiversity in schools. I speak regularly about the advantages of Neurodiversity to change negative perceptions about students with special educational needs, including Parliament, Downing Street, local councils, and schools and universities. I also work as a peer outreach worker for the Mayor of London, working with organisations to support disabled youth. I have recently launched a campaign – Neurodiversity Celebration Week-to change perceptions within schools.”

Jemima Browning sponsored by Selby Lions Club

“I set up and volunteer in a disability swim squad called Tadcaster Stingrays at my local community pool. Stingrays is a swim squad for young people aged 11-18 with intellectual and physical disabilities. Stingrays give a rare opportunity for young people with disabilities by allowing them the chance to take part in sport and belonging to a team. The swimmer’s skills have improved, they love training together and being included.

I am also involved in an initiative called Play Unified. Play Unified uses sport as a catalyst to build a unified generation where individuals with and without disabilities play sport together. My sister and I started a Play Unified dance group. My brother and I were selected to represent Special Olympics GB on the Special Olympics Europe Eurasia Youth Activation Committee. We aim to use youth voice, through our projects, to help shape the future of the Special Olympics.”

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