Winners of this year’s National Black Youth Achievement Awards (BYA Awards) were recently announced in London at an event hosted by Sky1 and Radio 1Xtra presenter Remel London.
During the event sponsored by Barnardo’s, 14 individuals were celebrated for their achievements and stories of success across.
The 6th National Black Youth Achievement Awards ceremony was held at The CEME Conference Centre in Rainham.
The Mayor of Havering Councillor Philippa Crowder welcomed the guests to the borough and expressed after the event how much she enjoyed hearing about the young achievers.
The winners of the 6th National Black Youth Achievement Awards are: Aaron Plummer – Resilience Award; Luke Doyley – Performing Arts Award; Tunde Amao – Literary Arts Award;
Khadija Abdelhamid – Community Award; Simone Darling – Choices Award; Floriane Fidegnon – STEM Award; Na’ariyah Hall – Business & Enterprise Award; Chazi Mwale – Education Award; Jamie Williams – Visual Arts; Marian Adejokun – International Champion Award; Nathan Mavila – Sports Award; Carol Stewart – Mother of the Year; Daniel Gabriel Headley – Father of the Year; and Working With Men – Youth Organisation of the Year.
Sam Monaghan, Barnardo’s Corporate Director of Children Services, spoke about their involvement as Headline sponsor of the awards and also as sponsor of the Resilience category which recognises young people in care, care leavers and those overcoming adversity.
MOBO award winner Nadia Rose showed guests exactly why she’s one of the fastest rising stars in the UK music scene with a lively performance of 3 of her tracks including summer hit ‘Crank It’ followed by spoken word artist ‘She Speaks True’ who took everyone on a poetic journey with her thought-provoking words.
The BYA Awards youngest ever winner Joshua Beckford returned to give an amazing run down of all that he has been doing since winning the Education Award in 2012 when he was just six years old. Joshua, who is on the autism spectrum, is fascinated with human anatomy and wishes to be a scientist when he is older, as well as a doctor and heart surgeon. He has written books as well as being on Oxford University’s Gifted & Talented programme.
Now a highly respected and regarded event on the community calendar, the BYA Awards welcome previous winners to come back and co-present in their respective winning categories as BYA Ambassadors. This year, nine ambassadors were in attendance and shared their inspirational stories and journeys since winning in various years.
Rasheed Ige, Community Award Winner 2014 said: “The BYA Awards are a much needed celebration of black positivity and prosperity with a strong focus on young people. The awards provide motivation and inspiration to not only the award nominees but all those who attend also.”
Kay Oldroyd founded the BYA Awards in 2008 in a bid to challenge and counteract the negative stereotype and portrayal of black and mixed heritage youth in the UK.
Relying on sponsorship and fundraising to be able to host the not-for-profit ceremony, Ms Oldroyd spoke about the challenges that she still faces each year and asked for more community and business involvement to ensure that she can continue to provide the platform of celebration that is so desperately needed.
“It’s essential that we continue to uplift and support our young people so that they can be the positive change within our society. I started the Black Youth Achievement Awards to focus on all the great things that happen rather than the stories of gangs and killings which only a minority of people are involved in -it’s really important that we don’t forget that and help our children to feel valued and worthy,” Ms Oldroyd said.