The first Word 4 weapons and Bob Jones Memorial Awards were presented at The Molineux Wolverhampton on Saturday Night (3rd October).
Below are details of all award winners and we are pleased to announce the recipient of the first Bob Jones Award was PC Robert Pedley of West Midlands Police and was presented by Bob’s Widow Sarah Edmondson and Deputy PCC Yvonne Mosquito.
Bishop Dr. Derek Webley
COMMUNITY CHAMPION Presented by Rev Les Isaac OBE, CEO Ascension Trust
This individual has been described as inspirational leader, a champion’s champion, community advocate, a man of ‘exemplary character’ to name but a few. The hallmark of his outstanding work in and around the West Midlands community bears witness to the many accolades attributed to him in this year’s nominations. He has been instrumental in the bringing together of gangs and more recently actively supported West Midlands Police in getting knives off the streets. His ability to reach out, reach down and reach within any group in the community is first class. He has been known to move mountains where many before have tried and failed. Through much perseverance, patience and a willingness to put himself in the firing line, disenfranchised young people and troubled adults have found they have a voice. He has helped to bring about a truce with the different gangs within the Aston, Handsworth and Lozells areas of Birmingham. He has tirelessly worked with individuals from diverse backgrounds and a cross section of the community within Birmingham. A man of faith, commitment and selfless dedication, a man we are sure you would agree to be a worthy winner of this year’s Community Champion award.
COMMUNITY YOUTH CHAMPION Presented by Councillor Waseem Zaffar
This young man, unsure of what he wanted in life, exhibited a sombre approach when questioned about his medium to long term goals. His lack of progress in academic studies and deficit in receiving substantial counsel, support and direction, had caused him to fall deep into the recesses of social oblivion. It was not until an activity that was planned by Platinum People around the life of Martin Luther King, that this young man turned to his attentiveness to that of current affairs and a desire for self-improvement. He was tasked with the writing and delivery of a speech on his subject of choice to his peers. What followed was an impressive dialogue around his past misdemeanours, his regrets and future ambitions, enveloped in a real and stark message to the youth who were present and ones who were played back his recorded speech. His speech expressed his issues with knives, being in possession of one and how it had and continues to affect him. The vocalisation was extremely raw and extremely powerful, moving all those who were in attendance. This young man has inspired and sparked a fire of expression within the hearts of the students at Platinum People he is a positive role model and a worthy winner in the category of Community Youth Champion.
European Welfare Association CIC
Community Group Inspiration Award presented by Ch. Supt Emma Barnett WMP
This community group is aimed at supporting Eastern European migrants in the UK focussing on the themes of education, welfare and assimilation. They run a Polish Saturday supplementary school for more than 300 pupils from Walsall, Sandwell, Birmingham and other areas in the West Midlands. They organise cultural events aimed at Eastern European communities, but above all, they are great ambassadors of diversity and dialogue between cultures. This group regularly involves themselves in borough-wide multi-cultural events such as cultural festivals, anti-hate and discrimination events such as “We Are Walsall”, multi-agency groups, and many others. As spokespeople for the Polish community in the UK, they focus on working with migrants directly, supporting them through regular classes for children, ESOL classes for adults, sport sessions, arts and crafts, employment surgeries, speech and language therapy, psychological support, advice on welfare and living in the UK, interpreting, translation and legal services - and all that run in the main by volunteers. This group is a worthy winner in the category of Community Group Inspiration.
Desta Hall & Oaklands Youth Group
9.00pm COMMUNITY YOUTH GROUP Presented by Georgina Mendez, MD Platinum People
This Handsworth based youth group has made its mark in the community in more ways than one. Through various campaigns and workshops, the group have tirelessly sought to address the issues surrounding young people and violent crime. They became ‘peer educators’ and actively sought to raise awareness in their community around the dangers of knife crime and the consequences of carrying a knife. In their ‘Knives End Lives’ Campaign the young people committed to a 6 week program and worked together to devise ways in which they could share their message with other youths. The sessions included taking part in the Crimestoppers’ ‘Fearless’ workshop and anonymous reporting. They learnt about the consequences of carrying weapons. The group were also able to formulate questions they wished to ask the police in a Q & A session surrounding knife crime and stop and search. For all their efforts, commitment and hard work, this group truly deserve recognition and are worthy winners of this year’s Community Youth Group award.
Activating Creative Talent
COMMUNITY AWARENESS Presented by Simon Griffiths Technical Director, RedSpeed International
This team of committed individuals together with its Founder aims to engage young people in the community using arts based programs for tackling social issues. With their innovative campaigns they are able to address issues surrounding youth violence, knife crime, underachievement and unemployment. Most recently the organisation’s Knife Awareness Project has been in high demand and over the last year they have engaged more than 3,500 young people in their youth and antiviolence campaigns using arts and crafts. They have been successful in using T-shirt design and printing as well as the use of film production, lyrics and poetry writing to help young people relate to subject matters in a creative way. The team of loyal volunteers contribute significantly to the cause and have also collaborated with other community groups to help raise awareness of the knife bins located in Birmingham city. Despite limited resources, this organisation have become highly creative as to how they engage people in the community. It is safe to say that based under the excellent leadership of the Founder, the team will continue to grow from strength to strength in their efforts to making Birmingham a safe place for our young people.
PC Robert Pedley
BOB JONES MEMORIAL Presented by Sarah Edmondson (widow) & Yvonne Mosquito Deputy PCC
Since 2010 this individual has dedicated his time and efforts into delivering his “Guns & Knives Take Lives” and “Precious Lives” presentations to numerous establishments throughout the West Midlands. His presentations on this emotive subject has successfully been delivered to schools, colleges and other educational establishments now reaching over 90,000 young people. In many cases, schools have reported a lasting effect on their pupils’ attitudes and conduct following the presentations. The in depth program looks at the consequences of carrying a knife or associating with someone who does. This individual has developed an excellent reputation which has allowed him to involve community guest speakers who tell of the tragedy of losing a loved one to violent youth crime. Through experiences of his own personal tragedy, he demonstrates a commitment to protecting young people from violent crime with energy, passion and as such is a worthy winner of this prestigious award in memory of the late Bob Jones
Fb: Desmond Jaddoo