A group of young people from Brighton have set up an awards scheme to reward shops and other businesses that cater well for under-18s.
The Teen Verdict Awards, they say, will recognise local organisations and businesses that provide excellent products, services or facilities for younger people in Brighton and Hove.
The youngster behind the scheme have also set up a community interest company to operate the awards. Michael Stevenson, its managing director, said: “There are 45,000 under-18s native to Brighton and Hove plus 32,000 students and over eight million tourists and visitors each year.
“Operated by young people for young people, the Teen Verdict Awards are the only award scheme to recognise local businesses and organisations from a younger person’s perspective.
“Too often younger people are overlooked as consumers. Many young people have experienced poor customer service.
“But young people are an important part of the local economy so we wanted to award those local organisations and businesses who value the custom of younger people.”
The ten categories are
- Best Customer Service
- Best Venue
- Best Place for a Young Person to Spend a Spare £20
- Best Thrill
- Best Place for Young People to Meet
- Best Place to Feel Beautiful
- Best Takeaway
- Best Place for a Young Person to Unwind
- Best Place to Keep Fit
- The Wild Card Award
The closing date for entries is Sunday 5 February.
Julia Chanteray, president of Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce, said: “We at the chamber fully support this initiative to recognise companies that particularly appeal to young people in the city.
“We look forward to finding out which businesses make the grade and hope that these awards help to inspire the business people, and chamber members, of the future.”
All three Brighton and Hove MPs have lent their backing.
Simon Kirby, the MP for Brighton Kemptown, said: “We are lucky here in Brighton to have a vast array of wonderful local businesses providing excellent products and services for young people in Brighton and Hove to enjoy.
“The Teen Verdict Awards is a great way to highlight these businesses and I am very pleased to support the competition.”
Caroline Lucas, the MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “The Teen Verdict Awards are a terrific opportunity to recognise the work of those businesses in Brighton and Hove which offer the best products and services for our young people – and give teenagers themselves the chance to celebrate local enterprise.
“Best of luck to all of those taking part, and I look forward to finding out which of our city’s businesses get the teen vote.”
Mike Weatherley, the MP for Hove, said: “I fully support the Teen Verdict Awards which set out to promote and highlight the best of our local businesses.
“The venture is proving to be a unique way to promote the businesses of Brighton and Hove, to and with the young people who are soon be our next generation of
entrepreneurs. I wish all involved well.”
The Teen Verdict Awards is a Young Enterprise (registered charity) company operated by students at Brighton College, Brighton.
Mike Macfarlane, volunteer business adviser to the Teen Verdict Awards for Young Enterprise, said: “There is a lot of doom and gloom on the high street at the moment and almost daily stories about youth unemployment.
The Teen Verdict Awards are a reminder that as a city we have some great local organisations and businesses and some exceptionally talented young people with the initiative to create their own success.”