top of page


Our story starts back in 2001 when the BME Awards Steering group was set-up in Stoke on Trent. Here a group of young people were brought together to develop, organise and manage an awards ceremony. A few of the young people from the project then worked with Jay to start the You Can Do It project which was funded by the European Social Fund . followed by a two year consultation project with Haywood High in Stoke, Kenilworth High in Coventry and Bourneville High in Birmingham.

BME Awards Ceremony
A youth project that put the youth up front

The BME Awards was an awards ceremony that would highlight the achievements of young BMEs, and groups of any culture working towards racial harmony in Stoke on Trent. This event was run and managed by a group of 30 young people age 7 – 21 and ran for three years, by the third year the ceremony had an audience of just over 1000 people and businesses and was held at the Victoria Hall in Hanley. Jay Gardiner would teach these young people a range of skills, one of which would be writing funding applications. They would raise a staggering £120,000.00 for this event and associated cultural workshops and activities. Within two years the cultural workshops attached to the award ceremony had started to make a different in none BME areas such as Chell and Fegg Hayes, Bentilee and Burslem. The awards ceremony also received sponsorship from Britannia Building Society for the amount of £20,000. Young people from the steering group would go on to become productive members of the community. With members of the steering group now in roles such as a city councillor, nurses, youth workers and a founder director of Chameleon WM CIC.

You Can Do It youth project
by young people for young people

Through this project we were able to open up discussions with the young people across the city. They would focus on issues that affect them, while they were provided with a range of positive regular activities that inspired and motivated them.  The project gave them real life experiences, as they build themselves as individuals and work towards their own unique event.  The motivational train aspect of the project developed the ambassadors into confident, out spoken individuals and positive role models.  The project worked with the head of outside play and education at the city council Pat Shelley to enable the project to link with local strategies.  The issues that were the projects main focus were under aged drinking and related issues such as anti social behaviour and employment. Much of these issues were down to the lack of after hour's activities available to young people across the city. The project provided the young people with training to enable them to have the confidence to say NO, and promote a more active and healthier life style through activities they can all relate to. This project was funded by Awards for All and Give It Sum.

bottom of page