At a time when funding cuts threaten our much needed community youth services, the YMCA Youth Works initiative steps up to the challenge, celebrating the success of youth workers across the city in Birmingham’s very first Youth Works Awards Ceremony.
The Awards Ceremony for 100 guests took place on the 27th June at the Clayton Hotel, Birmingham showcasing the inspirational work of individuals and groups alike who have all made a significant impact on the lives of young people in the local community.
With 7 award categories to reward exceptional individuals as well as community projects demonstrating real impact, the ceremony, funded by the Big Lottery Fund also recognised youth workers in the voluntary sector and emerging junior leaders.
From the female empowerment programme (Taking Care of Business) which won the Participation & Inclusion Award to the Volunteer Youth Worker of the year (Rory Sizer), the event highlighted projects and people that change lives every single day.
Callum Gillam from Compass Support who won the Junior Leaders of the Year Award for their “No-one without” Social Action Campaign said the event was “a fantastic showcase of the good work happening across the City and a very enjoyable event to attend. The event had a huge impact on the young people we brought along; they left happy, proud of themselves and inspired to do more”
This event follows the successful Youth Works Conference held back in November which saw the launch of the “Youth Works” initiative and was the first in a series of 6 events aimed at celebrating youth work and young people across Birmingham.
The series of events, hosted by the YMCA Sutton Coldfield in partnership with Birmingham Youth Service, Birmingham Association of Youth Clubs (BAYC) and Laurel Road Sports and Community Centre, aims to raise the profile of youth work as a crucial service to young people; our next generation of leaders.
Stephanie Patrick, Deputy CEO of YMCA Sutton Coldfield, tells us more about the big idea: “Youth Work is all about helping young people reach their full potential, something that we are very passionate about at the YMCA. We want to celebrate the inspiring work that Youth Workers do and get Youth Work firmly back on the agenda.
“As a Youth Worker through and through, I’ve witnessed the life-changing work that youth work can achieve but I’ve also seen the negative impact on young people when projects can’t afford to continue. We want to address this decline and empower Youth Workers to keep fighting for young people and for their futures.”