The Spirit of London Awards is an awards ceremony that awards young people for their talent across London and the UK, in the arts, media, sport, campaigning and education. The project was created by the Damilola Taylor Trust in 2009 as a way of addressing the imbalance young people are portrayed by the national media by creating a Community Oscars for young people to rival the MOBO Awards and the BAFTAs. SOLA is also a youth movement aimed at decreasing crime by young people, decreasing poverty and ensuring every young person reaches their potential. They do this by working in conjunction with the Greater London Authority, local government and Parliament.
Supporters include David Cameron PM, Frank Warren, Leona Lewis, Brooke Kinsella, Noel Clarke, Diversity, Boris Johnson and Rio Ferdinand. It is supported by Barclay's Bank, The Sun, Team GB, Kiss 100, Working Links, PlayStation and many other organizations and companies.
The first Spirit of London Awards was held on 27 November 2009, at the Alexander Palace in London. The second awards took place 27 November 2010, at The O2 Arena IndigO2 in London. The 2011 awards took place at the Royal Albert Hall on 20 November 2011 and the 2012 awards took place on 10 December 2012 at The O2 Arena.
Before each awards night there is a reception at 10 Downing Street so the short-listed nominees can meet the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The Prime Ministers to have greeted and congratulated the nominees so far are Gordon Brown and David Cameron.
Approximately two weeks before the awards night the three nominees in each category, the sponsors of the event and performers on the night get a chance to meet each other at 10 Downing Street before the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom delivers a speech.
Previous nominees along with a celebrity ambassador go to secondary schools all over London to speak to the students about their experiences. There is also a Q&A at the end when students can ask questions.
In 2012 the roadshow went to over 20 schools in London.
In 2012 using the collection of ideas from 140 young ambassadors of SOLA and other young people around London's most disadvantaged areas a youth manifesto was created which delivers ideas on how the government can effectively engage young people in the UK. It was written by 23-year-old Oliver Hypolite-Bishop who also wrote Siobhan Benita's manifesto for the London mayoral election, 2012. It was presented to David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband on 29 November 2012.
Each category has three nominees shortlisted. (Sometimes one more is added in special circumstances.)Community Champions Award - Young people who strive through their endeavors and positive actions to make their mark on their local community.
London Legend Award - The award goes to the iconic Londoner who young people feel deserves recognition for their role in promoting London positively on the world stage.
Young Heroes Award (Mayor's Order of Merit) - An award for special kids whose special deeds have made a difference to their local community.
Achievement Through Sport Award - For young people who either excel themselves against the odds or who use sport to help others in the community.
Achievement Through Music Award - Young people who use their ability with music to progress in life or to brighten up the lives of others in their communities.
Community Business Entrepreneur Award - This award is for a young person or group of young people who light their local community with their enterprise through business.
Achievement Through Education Award - An important award category and one which will be awarded not necessarily to an individual but perhaps to a class of young people who have excelled together and brightened up their local community in doing so.
Achievement Through The Arts Award - An awards category for those that make their mark creatively in the arts world - film, television, theater, literature and then light up the world for others in doing so.
Special Recognition Award - This award is made for outstanding contribution to charity campaigning.
The awards ceremony on 10 December was held at The O2 Arena in Greenwich. The hosts for this event were Emily Atack and Russell Kane; the confirmed line up performing on the night included Labrinth, Maverick Sabre, Stooshe, McFly, Noisettes, YolanDa Brown, Diversity and Angel.
The submissions for each category this year averaged 3000 nominations.
The Spirit of London Awards will become the biggest ever youth event with an 8000-seater audience celebrating the young people of the UK.
The awards were held on 20 November 2011. The event was at The Royal Albert Hall and was hosted by Stacey Solomon and Eddie Kadi.
Performers on the night included Tinchy Stryder, Beverley Knight, DJ Fresh, Diversity and Keri Hilson.David o'Connell - Winner
Miranda Gunn - Shortlisted
J - Sol - Shortlisted
Alexandros Pamnani - Winner
Kay-Jay Simmons - Shortlisted
Jamal Walker - Shortlisted
Bobby Jenkins - Winner
Creative Nerds - Dirujan Sabesan & Sam Thornton - Shortlisted
Courtney Dionne Carr - Shortlisted
HYPE - Winner
Barking & Dagenham young inspectors - Shortlisted
Horizons ShoutOut Council - Shortlisted
Jude Samuel Escol - Winner
Jahmila Connage - Shortlisted
Jessica Rose - Shortlisted
Antoinette Rita Opeyemi - Winner
Torron-Lee Dewar - Shortlisted
Fabien Soazandry - Shortlisted
Pechkam BMX Club - Winner
Mauro Vilhete - Shortlisted
Darius Knight - Shortlisted
Lucas Pinto - Winner
Louis French - Shortlisted
Cynthia Masiyiwa - Shortlisted
Jessica Anuna - Winner
Jada Simone - Shortlisted
Nicholas Amfo - Shortlisted
Callum Fairhurst - Shortlisted
Eliza Reberio - Shortlisted
Jahanara Chaudhry - Shortlisted
Harry Redknapp - Winner
The awards were held 27 November 2010. This year's event was held at the IndigO2 in Greenwich, and was hosted by Tamar Hussan (Clash of the Titans) and Tasha Danvers (Olympic bronze medalist in 400m hurdles).
The supporting cast included such acts as Toploader, Roll Deep, Labrinth, Robbie Craig, Diversity, and Alexandra Burke.Vanessa Sanyauke (Rafiki Network) - Won Community Champions Award
Nutmeg - Shortlisted for the Community Champions Award
Bigga Fish Street Team - Shortlisted for the Community Champions Award
Prendergast Ladywellfields College - Won Young Heroes Award
Supakids - Shortlisted for the Young Heroes Award
Joshua Sukama - Shortlisted for Young Heroes Award
Jessica Elliott (Dancing After School) - Won Community Business Entrepreneur Award
Omar Choudhry - Shortlisted for the Community Business Entrepreneur Award
Sabirul Islam - Shortlisted for the Community Business Entrepreneur Award
Hayley Rea (Aim High Dance Academy) - Won Achievement Through The Arts Award
Big Deal Youth Arts Company - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through The Arts Award
Alice Moore - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through The Arts Award
Camara Fearon - Won Achievement Through Music Award
Clarence 'Poetic Preacher' Jackson - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through Music Award
SwiftKnight - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through Music Award
Robert Hughes - Won Achievement Through Sport Award
Ryan Jones - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through Sport Award
Chloe Spiteri - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through Sport Award
Bobby Kensah - Won Achievement Through Education Award
Nathan Ghann - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through Education Award
Jesse Andrews & Jessie Brock - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through Education Award
Dennis Gyamfi (Endz2Endz) - Won Achievement Through Media Award
The Exposure Team - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through Media Award
Raphael Oyelade - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through Media Award
Barbara Windsor - Won London Legend Award
In attendance were distinguished celebrities such as Sir Michael Caine, JLS, Tasha Danvers, and Tamar Hassan, the majority of the mayors from the 33 London boroughs, senior executives from various sponsors, and notable government officials.
The show was hosted by Brooke Kinsella and Lemar. There were performances by Alexandra Burke, DJ Ironik, and Diversity to name but a few who gave their time for free to celebrate the young people.Daniel De Gale - Won the Special Recognition Award
Nathan Storey - Won the Young Heroes Award
The Silvester Cousins - Shortlisted for the Young Heroes Award
Thomas Robertson - Shortlisted for the Young Heroes Award
Steve Jones - Shortlisted for the Young Heroes Award
Dean Atta - Won the Achievement Through the Arts Award
Islington Youth Theatre - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through the Arts Award
SuperArts Dancers - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through the Arts Award
Ebonie Reid-Barlow - Won the Achievement Through Education Award
Tommy Williams - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through Education Award
Michael Adewale - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through Education Award.
Kolor Skeme - Won the Community Business Entrepreneur Award
MBG Funhouse - Shortlisted for the Community Business Entrepreneur Award
The Cordless Show Team - Shortlisted for the Community Business Entrepreneur Award
The Respect Team - Won the Community Champions Award
Ascension Eagles Senior Coed Team - Shortlisted for the Community Champions Award
Burntwood School Envision Team - Shortlisted for the Community Champions Award
Mariama Samba - Won the Achievement Through Music Award
Frances Davies - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through Music Award
Matthew Haynes - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through Music Award
Liam O'Brien (aka Ritz) - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through Music Award
Marlon Mellish - Won the Achievement Through Sport Award
Sean Safo - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through Sport Award
Jack Booth - Shortlisted for the Achievement Through Sport Award
Sir Michael Caine - Won the London Legend Award