Dozens of Coventry young people joined VIPs, staff and trustees to celebrate a decade since the launch of a youth engagement charity and thank the people behind its success.
Positive Youth Foundation (PYF) welcomed more than 100 guests, including major UK business and sports figures, to its 10th anniversary celebration at the Village Hotel in Coventry, as it reflected on its achievements and goals for the future.
The charity was formed in 2012, fifteen years after Chief Executive Rashid Bhayat established his first social venture as a way to support young people in his home city of Coventry.
Since 2012, PYF has supported thousands of young people across its engagement and education programmes.
Trustees including charity patron Sir John Egan, Andrew Jack and co-founder Vince Mayne – who were influential in the creation of the charity and its rise to the national spotlight – joined more than 30 young people who have benefitted from PYF’s support as a range of awards were handed out.
Some of those young people, including 17-year-old poet Abdi, took to the stage to perform original poetry and music in front of esteemed guests, drawing high praise and emotion on an evening that saw the charity also being highlighted on national TV as part of BBC Children in Need.
The prize-giving ceremony recognised the achievements of young people across each of PYF’s programmes, as well as the work of trustees and partner organisations who have supported the charity’s development since its launch 10 years ago.
Among those recognised were the former Chief Executive of Jaguar Cars Sir John Egan, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People Cllr Patricia Seaman, and Executive Director of Place at Sport England Lisa Dodd-Mayne, who each received Outstanding Contribution Awards for their commitment to PYF over the last decade.
Rashid Bhayat hosted a charity auction before a spoken word performance from PYF participant Aicha Bamba and closing remarks from Andrew Jack capped the black-tie affair.
Andrew Jack, Chair of Trustees said: “It’s hard to put into words how much the support from our young people, staff and partners has meant over the last 10 years. We look forward to the next phase of PYF”
Vince Mayne commented: “As Trustees it is a privilege to be able to work with PYF and see the incredible things the staff do a on a daily basis, supporting young people through some difficult challenges, giving them some great experiences and also helping them to achieve so much, finding the talent that they have inside them and letting them bring this out. PYF provides a safe and exciting place for young people to be and become the best versions of themselves.”
Rashid Bhayat, Chief Executive of PYF, said: “The charity would not be in the place it is today without many people, including people in this room who have worked so hard to ensure its success, keeping us motivated and always wanting to improve our offer for young people.
“It’s a huge credit to our young people who have joined us on the night, with some delivering incredible performances to a room full of people.
“They have truly stepped out of their comfort zone, as attending a black-tie event with some hugely influential public figures is not something that happens every day, and I hope that everyone that joined us has left wanting to make a difference to the life of a young person.”