UASC celebrate success at YMCA Youth Matters Awards

Staff at our UASC (Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children) accommodation provision are celebrating after taking home the Diversity Award at the highly anticipated return of YMCA’s Youth Matters Awards on Friday (5 November).

The focus of UASC is to support Asylum Seekers across Ipswich between the ages of 16-21. Ipswich is a diverse town, but a divide still exists between locals who have been there for years and those who have moved from other countries. 

Youth Matters is YMCA’s national awards programme marking an integral part of the charity’s calendar since 2009, and was sorely missed last year due to COVID-19. It celebrates the outstanding skills and achievements of young people from across the country and also recognises the vital work that YMCAs deliver every day.

After an incredibly challenging time, this year’s awards are even more vital in recognising the innovation and resilience shown by YMCAs in the continued and unwavering support shown for their communities.

UASC won the prestigious title at the leading youth charity’s national ceremony, which was held at the exclusive Sheraton Grand Hotel in London’s Park Lane and hosted by acclaimed comedian and expert quizzer of ITV’s The Chase, Paul Sinha. The Diversity Award recognises YMCAs that have actively encouraged and/or promoted diversity across either age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or disability.

The UASC team triumphed over strong competition from other projects across England and Wales during shortlisting, a public vote and a final decision by judges.

Danielle Parodi, Deputy Accommodation Manager, said; “ It was a brilliant night at the Youth Matters awards and I’m so proud of the UASC team for winning the Diversity Award. Being recognised and winning this award really has built our confidence to aspire in our roles here and push ourselves to our full potential in supporting the residents.”

Jonathan Martin (CEO) adds: “We are absolutely over the moon to be taking home the YMCA Diversity Award! Our team has worked incredibly hard to support our young people and community through an exceptionally difficult time, and I could not be prouder of everything they have delivered and achieved.

Thank you so much to everyone in the community who supported us-we couldn’t have won this without you, you are all part of the YMCA family. We can’t wait to celebrate this fantastic win and use it to inspire YMCA Trinity Group to accomplish even more in the future.”

Congratulations also to our YMCA Shine team who were finalists at the ceremony for the Family Work Project of the Year award. However, despite fantastic work with their Allotment Project in the past year which involves children growing flowers, fruits and vegetables, they just missed out to YMCA Norfolk for the award.