Award-winning Young Advisors

Published on 01 September 2015

LEICESTER’S Young Advisors have won two awards at a national ceremony.

Young Advisors are young people aged 15-24 who show community leaders how to engage young people in community life, local decision-making and improving services.

Leicester’s Young Advisors are supported by the city council’s youth service.

At the Young Advisors national awards ceremony, held in Derbyshire last week week (26th), Leicester’s Young Advisors won the award for Best Partnership.

The award is about working with other organisations to deliver great pieces of work that have made a positive difference. Leicester’s Young Advisors won the award for their work organising a hate crime conference, which was held in the city in June this year.

The conference brought together academics, police and safeguarding experts who shared their expertise with young people and took part in a ‘hotseat’ exercise. More than 80 young people from city secondary schools attended the event.

Orhan Ahmed, 20, one of Leicester’s Young Advisors, helped to set up the conference. He said: “We wanted to raise awareness of the fact that hate crimes can go beyond physical crimes – it was quite emotional, because people shared their experiences. But it felt great to be a part of it and we’re so pleased to have won this award because we worked so hard.

“This award shows Leicester has the best partnerships – we worked really closely with groups like the Big Mouth Forum, which represents disabled young people, and the Children in Care council. I’m so pleased that our efforts have been recognised.”

The awards ceremony also recognised the work of Raakhee Varia, from the city council’s youth service, for her work as Young Advisor Lead.

Raakhee helped to guide and advise the young people as they set up the conference, and continues to support Leicester’s Young Advisors.

Raakhee said: “I love working with the Young Advisors because they have so much enthusiasm.

“When I heard I’d won the Lead award, I was speechless. It’s great to be recognised, but that’s not why I do it – it’s more because I’m really passionate about helping young people to make their voices heard in their local community.

“I’m very grateful to those who nominated me and I’m proud to receive this award.”

Cllr Sarah Russell, assistant city mayor for children, young people and schools, said: “I’d like to congratulate the Young Advisors and Raakhee for these fantastic achievements. The hate crime conference they organised had a big impact and was a great example of what can be achieved when we all work together.

“Our youth service has a very good reputation for coming up with innovative ways in which young people can make a difference to our communities. This is another example of that great work, and I’m really pleased that we have received national recognition for it.”