Awards honour young people blazing a trail in Hackney

Some of the hardest working young people in Hackney were honoured at a special awards ceremony at the Hackney Empire.

The annual Trailblazer awards celebrate young people who are exceeding in their chosen path. Categories include: music, sport, creative arts, turning your life around, achieving against the odds and academic achievement.

The children, from schools across Hackney, attended the event on 26
March with their teachers and families. Special guests included Nathaniel Levy, who runs The Robert Levy Foundation, which he established following the tragic death of his younger brother Robert, in 2004. Robert was killed when he tried to intervene to stop a fight. The Foundation set up in his memory supports local young people to prevent them becoming involved in anti-social behaviour and violence.

He said: "The Hackney Trailblazers event was amazing, inspiring and left such a positive legacy in the hearts and minds of all that attended. The celebration of our young people, the boroughs schools, along with parents, supporters and Hackney Learning Trust showed Hackney in such a positive, cohesive light. The future for our Hackney educated young people looks bright".

Ife Grillo from Bridge Academy who received two awards both for Outstanding achievement and Outstanding team said:  "I felt extremely proud to receive these awards, especially the team award. I joined the Debate team in Year 7 and it has grown so much. We are currently first place in the Urban Debate Mate League which is amazing considering our team has only been running three years. I am really passionate about Student Voice as well and am Vice Chair of Hackney Youth Parliament and Youth MP for Shoreditch. Sometimes it is hard to get the balance right and I have to work really hard at weekends on my school work, so to get the Outstanding Achievement Award as well has made me really happy.”

Emmerdale star Wil Johnson – who has appeared in films Anuvahood, Adulthood, Golden Globe and Oscar winner In a Better World and dramas Waterloo Road and Holby City - also spoke at the event.

Cllr Rita Krishna, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, said: “This inspirational event celebrates the achievements of some of our most talented and hard working youngsters. From academic excellence to brilliant team work and success against the odds, they have some remarkable stories to tell and do Hackney proud.”