2016 Community Organisation Award for Age
Using music to amplify the voice and concerns of young people in Handsworth, this intergenerational project creates a safe space for communities to come together across ethnic, age and religious boundaries. Handsworth has long been an area of high deprivation and youth unemployment; sadly it has suﬀered more than its fair share of gun crime and other types of violence. With the closure of many of the youth facilities caused by government cuts, this left a number of isolated communities even more so, and a lot of young people in a new country, unable to mix and socialise with people from diﬀerent communities. AIM Academy is bringing communities together with a very strong ‘respect’ agenda. Every week the Academy holds valuable music work-shops; Music is something where no language is needed for people to unite.
We caught up with AIM Academy after they won The Community Organisation Award for Age at The National Diversity Awards. Here’s what they had to say…
How did you feel about the other shortlisted nominees within your category?
All the nominees in the category do great work and did very well to be nominated; it was an honour to be mentioned alongside them.
After winning the award, where is AIM Academy going to go from here, with regards to diversity?
Aim Academy will continue its work in the community and this award will mean we can spread the message of diversity even further. The award gives our young people and community a great boost as they feel a part of a winning team. This helps with confidence and progress on all levels.
How is the work you are doing within all strands of diversity making a difference?
The work we do firstly aims to make a difference to each individual, as everyone’s needs are different. Secondly, we make a difference as a team that breaks down barriers using music. And thirdly, we go out into the community as a collective representing diversity and its importance.
Why do you think it is important to highlight Diversity, Equality and Inclusion?
Its is important to highlight Diversity, Equality and Inclusion for the simple reason of bringing people closer together in a community and to eventually get rid of anything obstacles that keeps us a part.
Who or what is the inspiration behind the amazing work that AIM Academy does?
The inspiration comes from experiences in my personal and professional life. It also comes from a passion to want to see real change in the community that I was born in. And it comes from a frustration of seeing some simple solutions to the problems we face today that we are missing.
What has the reaction from fellow employees and supporters been since winning the award?
Everyone is genuinely very happy that Aim Academy won the award as they have seen the Academy build up over the past 3 years and seen how it has changed young people’s life’s. We are based in a College in the heart of the Handsworth area and the Academy is known as the diamond in the community! We share the award with our students, staff, extended team and the community.
What were your thoughts on the awards? Did you enjoy the night?
The Awards show itself was a spectacular event and was inspiring!