Carole Roberts, Jaffer Hussain and Tina Ellen Lee named winners of the EU Citizens' Prize in the UK
Three inspiring Brits have been selected as winners of this year's EU Citizens' Prize, alongside 44 laureates from across the European Union. The prize, which has been run by the European Parliament since 2008, recognises the efforts of EU citizens who promote understanding and co-operation across international borders, integration between EU citizens and the EU values of democracy and human rights.
The UK winners, who were nominated by national MEPs, had to meet the rigorous selection criteria set out by the Chancellery - a committee chaired by the Vice President of the European Parliament, Sylvie Guillaume. The trio celebrated their achievement with the other winners in Brussels on 14th and 15th of October. The ceremony included meetings with MEPs who worked on awarding the Prize this year as well as a visit to the Parlamentarium.
Carole Roberts has been running the Rose Hill and Donnington Advice Centre in Oxford for 25 years. Over this period, she has helped hundreds of people with debt and benefit issues as well as advocating for disabled and elderly people. Labour MEP Anneliese Dodds nominated Carole for the prize, praising her promotion of ECHR values such as the right to non-discrimination, in her day-to-day work.
Jaffer Hussain grew up in what he describes as a "working class family in north west England; in a town where deprivation is high and aspirations are low". Having worked as a youth worker for several years, Jaffer founded SYLNCS, a youth empowerment organisation which operates in Blackburn. The group helps young people to start their own social action projects based on issues that affect them in their communities. The project has operated a successful exchange between the UK, Germany, Bosnia and Tunisia. Labour MEP Julie Ward, who nominated Jaffer, called him a "leader" and a "role model".
Tina Ellen Lee is an actress, singer and artistic director of Opera Circus, an experimental opera theatre company. Tina has, through her work, established links with NGOs in various countries, which she had used to promote reconciliation and understanding between different ethnicities and cultures. She continues to develop residential programmes in India and Bosnia working with children and young people, in particular those suffering from trauma as a result of war or conflict. Labour MEP Clare Moody praised her "endless enthusiasm for the arts and her tireless dedication to helping the youth, especially those less fortunate" in her nomination.
If you would like more information on the initiative contact: CitizensPrize@ep.europa.eu