Kevin Mullins, a youth worker from Luton, has been selected as a finalist for the National Youth Agency (NYA) Youth Worker Award 2012, after being nominated by parents, volunteers and young people.
The NYA received Youth Worker Award nominations from all over the UK, but just four finalists, including Kevin, have been chosen to attend the Youth Worker Award ceremony in London on Thursday 8 November. Here, the overall winner will be announced, receiving the national award that commends their outstanding commitment to supporting young people within their community.
The finalists were chosen for their dedication to improving the lives of young people and working tirelessly to maintain quality youth services in their area.
Kevin Mullins has worked in his role at Lea Manor Youth Centre since April 2009. He started as a youth worker in training with part of his role involving attending University of Bedfordshire two days a week while undertaking a degree in Youth and Community Studies. Kevin has launched initiatives such as the Street Robbery Awareness Project which involved young victims and perpetrators of robberies working together, and The Lea Manor Friendship Scheme, a disability project for 11-25 year olds with a wide range of disabilities.
Kevin said: “I was overjoyed when I was informed that I had been nominated for a national youth work award. It is rare that you get the time to sit back and reflect on the impact your work actually makes. Anyone who does this work does so as they want to make a positive difference. This nomination was my confirmation that I am achieving that.
“I am very fortunate to work with some brilliant and inspirational young people who demonstrate that issues which young people are faced with are not individual to one particular culture. The membership of my disability group is evident that disability does not discriminate, it can affect us all. The young people and young volunteers on the project are a true reflection of Luton’s diverse population and I believe the project is a positive example of what can be achieved when people forget what makes them different and celebrate what makes them the same.
“Shared learning of best practice leads to better outcomes so I’m looking forward to meeting other youth workers from around the country at the national awards and hearing about their projects and achievements and sharing in their success.”
Cllr Waheed Akbar, Executive Member with responsibility for children’s services, said: “In Luton, we have a fantastic team of youth workers, making a positive impact on young people’s lives. Well done to Kevin for getting nominated and becoming a finalist in the NYA award, which is a testament to his hard efforts and achievements."
The Youth Worker Award was introduced by the NYA as part of Youth Work Week, an annual celebration of youth work run by the Agency since 1993, to highlight the impact of youth work nationally. This year’s Youth Work Week theme of ‘Connecting Cultures’ has established a unity between the NYA and the Commonwealth Secretariat, who are working together to extend the reach of the campaign this year.
The finalists will be invited to an event at the London headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough House on 8 November to meet other leaders in the youth work sector and celebrate their achievements. The Youth Worker Award winner will be announced during the awards ceremony, which will also showcase a selection of exemplary community changing projects that are taking place across the UK and Commonwealth.
For further information on Youth Work Week and the Youth Worker Award visit: http://www.nya.org.uk/youth-work-week-2012.