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Over 100 young black people set to receive major honours

AWARDS: Over 100 young black people set to receive major honours

MORE THAN 100 black youth are to be recognised later this month for achieving excellence in the 10th annual Young, Gifted and Black awards.

The awards, started by youth mentoring organisation the Kreative Culture Klub in 2002, recognise the achievements of young black scholars in Waltham Forest, east London, who achieved five or more A-C GCSE’s or level six SATs (Standard Assessment Tests).

The awards ceremony will be held on March 9 at the Walthamstow Assembly Hall, east London.

Organiser Yvonne Bailey said “We want the young people to be recognised and highlighted, to show the wider society that they are not all the same. Some kids are out there doing well, why are they not getting the recognition? I thought to myself ‘If you’re not prepared to do it, we will do it.’”

Bailey said that this year’s awards will include a category to recognise children who excel in areas outside academics.

She said: “At the beginning we only had 30 children and parents involved. But now we have over 800 people participating in each event (awards ceremony).”

Bailey founded the Kreative Culture Klub in 1998. It helps young people build self-confidence and motivation through education, motivational speakers, creative arts and black history lessons. It also provides street dance and ballet classes for children age five and over.

Over the past decade, Kreative Culture Klub has helped hundreds of students improve their grades at school and given them extra curricular activities that enable them channel their energy positively.

Despite this, Bailey said the charity still struggles to achieve financial security. “We don’t get a lot of funding for most of the things that we do. We’ve had funding three or four times in the 10 years that we have been going. In our first year, I went to Waltham Forest Council and they gave us the hall for free. That was a big plus.”

She added: “We didn’t get any funding this time, but irrespective of that, we are going to go ahead with the ceremony, because when young people get on stage and tell the audience what gave them the confidence to achieve so much, that might motivate others.”

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