A new and unique event took place at the Bank Street last weekend and it was a real pleasure to take part. This was the Kent Young Black Achievers Award organised by the relatively new Ashford BME Association, and I came away full of inspiration for the way some young people are approaching life.
The slogan of the BME Association is “Share, Inspire, Empower”, and this was perfectly illustrated by the succession of winners in a number of categories. They all paid tribute to their parents for instilling in them the necessity of hard work, and many of them gave thanks to God for the talent they had which was giving them success in either sport or music.
The extraordinary success of the Ashford music scene was audibly illustrated throughout the evening which music from various genres. This was visibly a multi-cultural demonstration of the fusion which lies at the heart of modern Britain, with bands containing members from different ethnic backgrounds, and also playing music which combined 21st century urban music with what sounded suspiciously like the prog rock guitar breaks of my youth. It was great.
The awards themselves did not just cover the usual subjects such as success at school, or in sport and music, but also covered key skills like entrepreneurship. The young people receiving nominations and awards were very vocal about the fact that they wanted to take responsibility for their own lives, and saw it as their role to get on in life as well as help others.
There was a special award for mentoring, and this is in many ways the key to long-term success. Adults who are prepared to encourage and help young people to achieve their potential are doing great work. This work was fully on display at the Awards, and it was good to see.