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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

Over the weekend 19/20 Feb 2021, six exceptional young people were chosen as Young Ambassadors to represent their Lions districts in the National Lions Young Ambassador Award and Shipshape Award for 2021.


Ellie-Mae Banks sponsored by East Anglia New Century Lions Club (105CE)

#YoungAmbassador Winner for 2021 is Ellie-Mae Banks (sponsored by East Anglia New Century Lions Club). Ellie-Mae is a volunteer with St John Ambulance #StJohnPeople and is working towards her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award whilst studying Health and Social Care at college. She engages with a range of youth forums to promote a youth voice across Suffolk. Ellie-Mae presented her project – “to help find new opportunities for young people so that they can be involved in and engage in society in a positive way, whilst improving young people’s aspirations”. #Congratulations Ellie-Mae 💛 Lions Clubs wish Ellie-Mae well with her young people’s project.

Katie Bladon sponsored by Shirley Lions Club (CW)

#YoungAmbassador Shipshape Award Winner for 2021 is Katie Bladon (sponsored by Shirley Lions Club). Katie is a Young Carer for several members of her family. Katie is a Peer Mentor and Young Leader who volunteers her time with Beevers, Cubs, and Scouts, and the Learning and Work Institute – to give them a better understanding of the needs of young carers. Katie is a Student Ambassador at the college where she is in her final year of studying. Katie has set-up a book club for young carer’s to help them develop their literacy skills and improve socialisation. #Congratulations Katie 💛. Lions Clubs wish Katie well with her young carers project.

Hannah Chowdhry sponsored by Fairlop Lions Club (105A) Hope Jeffcoat sponsored by Stoke on Trent Lions Club (105CN)

Kenan Bryan sponsored by Jersey Lions Club (105SC)

Leo Harris sponsored by Adur East Lions Club (105SE)

They all shared a Lions Clubs community ethos.

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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