27th May 2015
London Youth believe in the power of Youth Action: young people working together in groups to lead and learn from projects that they have created. Everyone who takes part in Athan 31 creates a positive outcome for themselves, their youth clubs and communities. On Thursday May 21st, we celebrated the brilliant team, club and community projects of young people taking part in Athan 31 across London at our end of year celebration.
In our 2015 report Getting Beyond the Usual Suspects we found that the wealth of youth social action opportunities in London do not translate to all young people having access to these opportunities.
Athan 31 provides young people with the framework and resources to develop skills as a team to improve their youth club and have a positive impact on their community, and to deliver this themselves alongside the support of a youth worker. This year, we have worked with 47 clubs and 787 young people through the programme.
71 people from 9 clubs attended the awards ceremony, with the winners as follows:
- Best Sports Project: BigKid Foundation
- Best Technological Project: Avenues
- Best Environmental Project: Fitzrovia Youth in Action
- Best Health & Nutrition Project: Caius House
- Most Creative Project: Copenhagen Youth Project
- Most Dedicated Volunteer: Copenhagen Youth Project (Anthony Ikenwe)
- Most Dedicated Youth Worker: Streatham Youth and Community Trust (Julia Kemal)
- Biggest Team Journey: Young People Matter
- Biggest Change to Club: Rathbone Society
- Biggest Change to Community: BigKid Foundation
Shaninga Marasha, Chief Executive of BigKid Foundation (which won 2 awards) commented:
“Our experience of the Athan 31 programme was simply AWESOME! Our young people thoroughly enjoyed themselves and delivered some amazing community projects. As a charity this programme added so much value to what we do, it enabled us to deliver projects that not only impacted our local community but promoted ownership of the charity to the young people. Winning the awards for Sports project and Community project was icing on the cake and came as a wonderful surprise. We would like to thank London Youth for all their support in helping us make this programme a great success for our young people, as well as congratulate them on delivering Athan 31 so brilliantly."
The event was held at the Court Yard Theatre, with the awards being presented by our Youth Action Officer Carl Clarke with Michael Adams and Michael Watson from our youth board Dare London. The two Dare Londoners were also joined by fellow youth board member Bethany Freeman, encouraging other people to follow their example and get involved with London Youth as “you get to get your voice heard by London Youth…and you get to eat a lot of pizza!”
There were outstanding performances from two London Youth member clubs groups: the Movement Factory doing three dance pieces and Sam King, a young spoken word poet from Copenhagen Youth Project in Islington, performing three of his pieces. Our Chief Executive Rosie Ferguson also gave a speech, and commented:
“Youth social action programmes like Athan 31 show that young people have the determination, passion and skills to lead projects that benefit both themselves and their communities. Projects such as Walking Football run by the BigKid Foundation break down barriers between young people and older residents. And they challenge the negative stereotypes that young people are often labelled with. We talk about investing in young people to create the leaders of tomorrow. But Athan 31 supports young people to be the leaders of today. It has been fantastic to celebrate the hard work of everyone involved.”