Awards ceremony celebrates the young people of Hackney

The outstanding achievements of Hackney s young people were celebrated at the 10th Hackney Youth Awards at Ocean Music Venue in Hackney last week (Thursday 24 September).

More than 300 people attended the biggest and best ever awards ceremony to celebrate the young people of Hackney who have made a special commitment and positive contribution to their community over the last year.

The evening featured the presentation of eight main awards, including a new Higher Achievement Award that was won by Queensbridge Football Team for their outstanding efforts and achievement in winning this year’s Five Boroughs’ football tournament.

Other award winners on the night included Kelly-Louise Edward in the Citizenship category; Niahl Warner for Enterprise; Lindsay Jones for Personal Achievement; Sarai Neale for Peer Education; Rachel Piper for Environment; and Aisha Koia for Special Contribution. The Group Award was won by Luminous, and everyone short listed for an award received a special mention.

Councillor Rita Krishna, Hackney s Cabinet Member for Children Services, said: "Congratulations to everyone involved, especially the young people who have shown great enterprise and creativity and are an inspiration for their peers.

“The awards are an important way for us to celebrate and showcase the talent and commitment of young people in Hackney, and are a fantastic rebuttal to the negative portrayal of some of our young people."

BBC Radio 1 host Ras Kwame was the compere for the glitzy event organised by a Youth Steering Group that included a nominations team and Special Award winners from 2008. The evening included music and entertainment featuring some of Hackney’s exceptional young talent and a special live performance by emerging teenage star Tinie Tempah.

Nominations for the eight categories were made by youth workers from within Hackney Youth Services. The awards were presented by special guests and dignitaries, including Diane Abbott MP, Jennette Arnold, London Assembly Member, Councillor Muttalip Unluer, Speaker of Hackney, Alan Wood, Hackney Council’s Director of Children’s Services and Chief Executive of The Learning Trust, Atique Choudhury, Owner of YumYum Restaurant, Jean Lambert MEP for London, and Yiannis Kouris, Head of School – London City Hospitality Centre.

Hackney Youth Awards is organised by Hackney Youth Service, Hackney Voluntary Action, Rising Tide, Hackney Homes and the Metropolitan Police. They aim to highlight the care and hard work young people put into the community.