Canon Young Champion of the Year Award (free to enter)

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Category Description

Find out more about this category, previous winners, the judges and how you can encourage our Next Gen leaders to enter HERE.

We are looking for the next young person who has campaigned for a good cause around a social or environmental issue. If you’re passionate about supporting a local or global issue and are between 9-25 years old (at the point of the entry deadline: 3 May 2024), then you can submit an entry to this free-to-enter category (with the support of an adult if under 18), sponsored by Canon EMEA.

Judges will award winners from two different age groups (under 17s and under 25s) and will consider applications from more than one person per entry, e.g. where siblings, friends or groups have worked together to champion change.

To enter, you will need to submit up to 1250 words, up to six images and a video of yourself to tell your story; with a stronger emphasis on the story and video over the images. Images must be actual photos (not of slides, diagrams, screenshots of video calls etc) and will be either taken by, or of, the Young Champion.

Take a look at these icons below… you’re probably supporting one of these Global Goals without even realising it… these are the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs).

Whether it be mental health, cyber-bullying, well-being, environmental sustainability, education, charity activism, animal welfare, diversity and inclusion or any subject linked to the above SDGs, we want to hear how you are making people aware of the issue you are championing.

If you are under 18, an adult will need to submit the entry on your behalf, however, we want the story to be told as best as possible from the Young Champion themselves. So, if you are too young to write the entry, feel free to use as innovative ways to achieve this as possible (such as Q&As, short video and voice recordings, drawings etc). Submissions can be made by a parent, guardian, company or the charity/organisation in which they are championing / aligning to.

The judges will be looking for a heartfelt story, with supporting photos, showing how you have drawn attention to the issue you are championing. You may submit weblinks to published work or images, social media, or a video to demonstrate the reach you have gained so far.

To qualify, you must still be actively championing the work associated with your submission and you must be 25 or less at the time of the entry deadline of 3 May 2024.

All finalist entries will be invited to join a virtual gathering with all other finalists and Canon representatives in June – this is not part of the application process – just an opportunity to meet the other finalists.

The two Under 25’s and Under 17’s winners will each receive a Canon R50 Content Creator Kit (worth nearly £1,000!) plus both will be invited to have a Master Class with a Canon Ambassador. Eight further finalists will receive a certificate, sustainably made medal and a joint Master Class with a Canon Ambassador.

For some ideas and inspiration, see some examples of previous Canon Young Champion winners here and here.

Rules & Additional Information

  • You must still be 25 or under at the point of the entry deadline: 3 May 2024. Anyone who has turned 26 after that date will be withdrawn.
  • Your submitted photos must support your 1250 words. Judges will be scoring higher for the strength of your initiative or campaign; with less emphasis on the photos themselves. (The main application questions and how your answers are scored is below.)
  • Photos can either be taken by you, recording visuals of your chosen subject, or taken of you, as the subject being involved within it. They must be photos, not screenshots, PowerPoint slides or diagrams etc.
  • Video submitted should not exceed 2 minutes long (unless it supplied with a note to guide the judges on what section to watch). You will not be judged on the quality of the video.
  • If you submit any social media posts, please ensure you adhere to social media age restrictions.
  • Your photos do not need to have been taken on a Canon camera.
  • Any young person enrolled on the Canon Young People Programme in any country is eligible. No relatives of Canon employees are eligible to enter.
  • Applications must be in English (if you wish to send an application in any other language, please email us prior to submission).
  • You are not being judged on the quality of photos or videos submitted – you will be judged on their ability to help tell your story.
  • Judges reserve the right to change the age categories based on the number of entries received across the age groups.


The following questions form part of the online application form (available when you register to enter here after 1st Feb) and are shown with the percentage value of the overall score available to you. So, please ensure you put more effort into the ones with the higher available scores. This is not the full application; just the questions that carry a scoring opportunity.

  • Tell us more about the work you do and why. (20%)
    • Include the following information:- what you do, with who (other people or a charity), why is it different (or are you being influenced by another campaigner doing something similar), where did you get your ideas from, WHY are you doing it, how much time per month do you spend doing it.
  • Tell us more about the positive impact your activities have had. (35%)
    • Include the following information:- social media reach/hits, have you sold any products, delivered talks or workshops (and how many), been recognised by an organisations or charities, received awards, who and how many have been influenced, what countries have you reached.
  • Tell us more about the future for your activities and ideas. (15%)
    • Include the following information:- What is your vision for the future? How do you think your work will make an impact in the future? Do you allow others to copy your ideas, and do you support them to do so? Has anyone already copied what you’re doing and how do you work together?
  • Provide a video of you telling your story to camera. (15%)
    • This is to be no more than 2 minutes long, giving a short overview of your activity so the judges can see and hear your passion coming through. This section is particularly important if written English is a challenge for you and/or your entry is being submitted by an adult.
  • Provide no more than 6 photos (not screenshots or graphics/slides) of you in action or photos you have taken of your work. (15%)
    • Please ensure you include a caption for each one to explain what the photo is about.

We request a total word count of 1250 words +/-10% (excl. supporting docs).

Are we eligible to enter?

Our awards programme is open to all organisations of any kind… companies large and small, charities, not-for-profits, social enterprises, NGOs, membership and accreditation organisations and government departments including local and county councils. We are all about rewarding sustainability practice – in all its forms. So if your organisation is making a difference, directly or indirectly to people and planet, you’re eligible.

We don’t just recognise businesses that are operating responsibly, or supporting / partnering with worthwhile causes. We also actively encourage entries from organisations that have been specifically set up or adapted to offer a product or service that tackles a social or environmental problem.

Our category descriptions and criteria have been written to guide entrants on what content should be detailed in their entries. However, we do not expect square pegs to fit in round holes… Some of your business activities or dedicated programmes might not fit entirely with any one specific category. In these cases, the descriptions and criteria are open to an element of interpretation and rest assured that our judges will still take into account entries that are strongly aligned with the overall context of the category.

If you have any concerns about the suitability of your entry, or would like to discuss your activities in more detail, we are here to help. Give Karen a call on 07813 718541 or email: