In July 2023, we announced that this year’s Youth CEO, Maddie Marsden, 15, was a finalist in the BBC Make a Difference Awards 2023 in The Volunteer Award: awarded to an individual who makes a real difference to their community by giving up their time voluntarily to help out a good or charitable cause.
Local heroes who have been making a difference in their communities were shortlisted as finalists in a community award scheme run by BBC Radio Lancashire. BBC Radio Lancashire created the Make a Difference Awards to recognise remarkable people across the country; marking their achievements and contributions to their communities.
Over the weekend, BBC Radio Lancashire hosted their Make A Difference Awards at Chorley Town Hall where Maddie was announced as WINNER of the Volunteer Award, for the continual volunteering work she does for us here at The Boathouse Youth.
‘’Honestly, I’m baffled, I’ve no words! Never mind being nominated for the Make a Difference Awards, I’m a winner! I’ve faced many adverse childhood experiences when I was younger, and to be able to have The Boathouse Youth help me overcome them and to have a safe place and environment to go to at the end of every day, helps you open up – I wouldn’t have it any other way’’.
Maddie, on becoming the winner of the award.
Laurance Hancock, CEO, said ‘’Maddie was nominated because she is a phenomenal young woman who has overcome the most heart-breaking adversity, but uses this to help define the ambassador she has become. There is no doubt she will continue to grow and learn in leadership. Well done Maddie, the credit is all yours!’’.
Maddie is the charity’s Youth CEO and, despite living in the UK’s “most deprived” community and having to overcome daily challenges linked with living in poverty, she is wholly committed to improving the lives of young people, just like her.
Over the last 12-months Madison has brought audiences of 350+ guests to tears at Blackpool’s Village Hotel and London’s Landmark Hotel where she spoke at charity fundraising events. She has marched in protest through Blackpool town centre campaigning for safer streets for women; and she has written to local headteachers requesting single-sex sex education lessons and free access to sanitary products in schools.
She has represented The Boathouse Youth in interviews with partner organisations such as UK Youth, the Red Rose Awards and with many of our major donors. Her work has directly raised pledges in excess of £75,000 for our charity The Boathouse Youth; and supported the raising of more than £100,000 for other local and national charities.
There is no doubt she will continue to grow and learn in leadership. She is fully deserving of this award!
BBC Radio Lancashire’s Breakfast Presenter, Graham Liver, said: “I’m so proud that we can recognise brilliant Lancastrians who really care about where they live’’.
Check out Maddie’s interview with BBC Lancashire.