The Young Audio Awards, the national awards for 8-18-year-olds with a passion for creating audio, are back for another year and are open for entries. The awards give recognition to young people with a talent for producing audio content and are supported by both BBC and commercial radio. Winners are offered a chance to host their own show on a national radio station, along with mentorship, masterclass events, and state-of-the-art audio recording equipment.
Following a rollercoaster two years, it is apt that the new category My Year in Audio has been created with mental health support charity for young people YoungMinds, where under 18s across the UK are being asked to use phones, tablets, or microphones to record their thoughts about the last two years. The aim is to encourage people to talk about their feelings and emotions during this stressful time. Entries could be about the things that have helped young people to cope in challenging times, advice for others or lessons learnt during the pandemic. The audio entry could be in the form of a podcast or radio show, an interview, a piece of poetry or more. Audio can be used in any form, as long as it shows creativity, honesty an expression.
Teachers and schools will have access to a free assembly video featuring some of radio’s biggest stars explaining everything about the awards and how to enter, along with classroom resources to help students record their audio entries at school. These can be downloaded at YoungAudioAwards.co.uk from the first week of January.
Other categories include BBC Sounds Rising Talent Award, Arquiva Award for Technical Excellence, Achievement within the Community, School Radio Station of the Year, Most Innovative Team – Sponsored by Broadcast Bionics and Best Podcast with Cast. Last year’s Young Audio Awards ceremony was watched by over 4,000 people live on YouTube, featuring stars including Greg James, Clara Amfo, Fleur East and Rylan. Past winners have been given a link to the audio sector, with prizes like shows on national radio station Fun Kids, masterclass events with radio presenters and producers, new recording equipment and being invited to an event at parliament.
The award are run by the industry body for commercial radio Radiocentre, with support from partners Acast, Arqiva, BBC Sounds, Broadcast Bionics, Fun Kids, KISS and BBC Young Reporter. The 2021 Young Audio Awards will be supported with a national radio campaign, live social media masterclass sessions from radio presenters and a comical launch video.
Radiocentre’s CEO Ian Moss said: “We’re excited to once again shine a spotlight on the next generation of audio talent and provide under 18s with a taste of our amazing industry. We also hope that by teaming up with the brilliant team at YoungMinds, young people across the UK can use the intimacy of audio to creatively express their thoughts and feelings, following a turbulent few years.”
Tom Madders, Director of Campaigns at mental health charity YoungMinds said: “We are delighted to be launching the ‘My Year in Audio’ with YoungMinds’ awards category this year to encourage young people to talk about how they got through the pandemic.
“Many people told us that they struggled in the past year as they lost their coping mechanisms, their daily routine and had to deal with social isolation and fear about the future. Sharing how you coped or giving advice to other young people is a really powerful reminder to anyone listening that you are not alone with your mental health and it’s okay to reach out for support if you need it.”
It’s free to enter the awards on their website. The entry process closes for entries in mid-February.