Acknowledging Youths is a community interest company formed to provide a place where people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds are encouraged to develop their full potential through educational, recreational and social activities. Acknowledging Youths CIC is a private company limited by guarantee and our company number is 9258001. The company was formed in 2012 by our CEO.
Community affairs are run by the appointed Chief Executive with the consent of the board of directors and the Chair. In the future, there will be a Management Committee (MC) of at least ten (10) elected annually from the membership. An Executive Committee (EC) will be elected from the Management Committee, which will include the Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. All local neighbourhood forums, resident associations and neighbourhood watch will be invited to be represented on our Management Committee.
AYs was set up in 2012 as an employability service for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Despite national figures that need continues to exist today. AY developed its programme not only to prepare people for the job market, but to engage them in volunteering where they could make sense of the way people come together to achieve tasks and objectives. Beyond that AY realised that more was needed to guide young people through the job market so it became a pioneer recruitment organization enabling young people to gain entry to the job market with support.
During this time AY used three sites to operate, one in Tower Hamlets, one in Victoria and one in Hammersmith and Fulham. This gave our CEO the background and understanding to manage facilities often working co-productively alongside other community organisations.
As for Danny the CEO. As founder Danny Barnes, inspired by his daughter, started asking local young people in Hackney, Newham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets, what they needed to help them. The result of these conversations, many of which were done through focus groups and surveys, focused on how difficult it was to get work. Danny decided that he wanted to try and do something about it and started Acknowledging Youths in 2012. Danny inspires people because of his background. He has been in prison, he has been in gangs and he has been homeless. Danny’s troubles started when his sister died of leukaemia at 14 and he grew up not knowing his mum. He has a personal insight into the disadvantaged situation some face and therefore, can help young people and adults, because he knows what they are experiencing. Danny inspired the department heads from the DWP in Tower Hamlets (TH) and was awarded his first contract to deliver training and workshops for CV Writing to 200 young people from across TH. Danny established his working base in the Chrisp Street Exchange in the East India and Lansbury (EIL) ward of TH, he partnered with the Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association (HARCA), using their community centre to deliver the training. All of AY staff, volunteers, Youth Forum and consultation group are from the local community. Danny and his organisation are known to the local councillor, Member of Parliament and the businesses in the area, which have supported and contributed to the success of AY and AYR. Danny is the face of his organisation and he is held in high regard by the residents of Chrisp Street Market and throughout the EIL ward. He is always being approached by residents for advice about theirs or their young adult’s job prospects or education matters.
We are piloting a community hub/space on the Peabody Estate and increasing our service hours to deliver out of hours activities to youths and young people in Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea. We will be focusing on youths and young people who experience a higher risk of poverty due to low income and unemployment, social exclusion, discrimination and violence than the general population. They include, but not limited to ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, isolated people and children; who can be disadvantaged not just through unemployment, but poor education, lack of skills, English not being a first language, literacy or numeracy, cultural differences and loneliness.
AY CIC aims to offer a facility that will provide social, educational, recreational and well being activities in a safe and secure community environment. It will also promote community cohesion through dialogue and discussions at the centre where all groups from diverse backgrounds will be welcome. We will attract new groups and maintain our existing groups. Our aim will be to provide a service that will exceed the expectation of our customers. Ultimately the mission is to provide young people with a positive focus and access to skills that will enable them to have equality in life alongside their London counterparts.
The objectives of the AY CIC in particular to AY Group Community Service CIC are:
- To support, represent and develop the skills of young people in the Tower Hamlets area.
- To develop the Community Centre to house programs are geared towards revitalising the community and providing a place where people from diverse backgrounds and faiths are welcome.
- To provide facilities where young people get to meet older people in a symbiotic and managed environment.
- To initiate an event planning business operated by community members.
- Alternative therapy (health & fitness) and Artistic therapy (utilizing art forms therapies such as Dance, Yoga, theatre arts, music, poetry, artwork etc.)