Press Release: IARS 4th Research and Youth Leadership Awards Winners 2015 Announced

Press Release: IARS 4th Research and Youth Leadership Awards Winners 2015 Announced

14 Young Role Models and youth projects were recognised for their roles in our communities

Around 100 young people, representatives of youth organisations attended this year’s IARS Research and Youth Leadership Awards 2015, in partnership with the 99% Campaign that took place last night at the Canada Water Culture Space in London.

The Awards, now on its 4th year recognise and champion young people and their initiatives in their communities as drivers for social change.

This unique youth-led event, organised by a group of young people involved in the IARS Youth Advisory Board, hosted influential keynote speakers in the field of youth policy and practice, including Howard Williamson CBE FRSA FHEA, Professor of European Youth Policy, University of South WalesJustin Pettit, Human Rights Officer at the Commonwealth SecretariatMak ChistyCommander for Engagement in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and Mark Parker, I LIVE IN SE16 Coordinator.

14 inspirational young people and projects from up and down the UK were awarded in 7 categories, designed carefully to cover a broad area of truly youth-led projects, skills and competences, supported by leading businesses  and organisations across the UK.

The Winners for 2015 are :

Winner: Eloise Peabody Rolf – The ‘Volunteer’s Perspective’ of the Hampshire Community Peer Court programme

Runner Up: Karolina Kombert: Young people, homelessness, UK welfare reform and food poverty in Scotland, published in the Youth Voice Journal.

  • Community Leader Award – Sponsored by  Community Action Southwark

Winners: Kike Ibikunle and Ijeoma Datha-Moore for their contributions to the Just for Kids Law team as volunteers and ambassadors.

Runner Up: Jack Samuel David Wilson for his exemplar campaigning work to raise awareness about young peoples’ mental health issues and to tackle stigma that incur.

Winner: Suleman Amad

Runner Up: Mathios Sirak and Ashna Zabair

The Peacemaker of the Year Award this year marks the celebrations of Restorative Justice Week 2015! Read the winners’ stories here.

Winner: Camden Youth Action Showcase: A showcase programme of 13 short films directed by young people and presented at a youth–led event in March 2015.

Runner Up: Domino Effect: NEET Photography Project –Domino Effect’ was a three-year project engaging NEET (Not in Education, Employment and Training) young people in photography workshops, led by professional photographers. Supported by The Dorset Foundation, the project aimed to remove barriers to participation in arts and culture for 14-21 year olds who were NEET, through working in a sustained way with two different community partners each year, drawn from local boroughs Southwark, Lambeth, Camden and Westminster.

  • 99% Campaign Young Journalist Award – Sponsored by the IARS International Institute

Winner: Maya Oppenheim for her article: Racist Guards and the Myth of Radicalisation: What it’s like being a Muslim in British Prison

Runner Up: Harry Blain for his article: Searching for alternatives: restorative justice and why it matters young people

  • Partnership of the Year Award – Sponsored by Beyond Me

Winner: Living Streets Move Makers Project –  Living Streets’ Move Makers project ran for six months in partnership with five special educational needs schools (SEN) in Tyne and Wear with 53 young disabled people aged 14-19. This was funded by Schools Go Smarter, of the Go Smarter Local Sustainable Transport Fund programme for Tyne and Wear.  Living Streets empowered the students to become leaders and create five unique student led campaigns to tackle the barriers to active school travel for young disabled people.

Runner Up: We Stand Together –  GemArts, The Gateshead Housing Company and Gateshead Council  partnership – We Stand Together was developed by three partner organisations based in Gateshead, North East England, with the aim to engage secondary school pupils in creative participant led sessions exploring discrimination and hate crime topics. To increase the impact of the project participants created resources which can now be shared, a poster campaign and an animation.

  • Special Contribution Award – presented by the IARS International Institute

Arti Lad and Faisal Kassim received the Special Contribution Award for their contributions to our work.

IARS’ Founder and Director, Dr. Theo Gavrielides, said: “We are proud to be hosting this timely annual event. On Friday 13th, our humanity, freedom and dignity were attacked. Politicians and the media were quick to blame young people. What they did not say was that most victims were below the age of 30. We hold these annual awards to counteract the bad stories that marginalise and allineate our youth. Thank your all for joining us in celebrating their achievements once again”

Award Winners, Speakers and presenters commented: 

Eloise Peabody Rolf winner of the Youth Research Project Award said: “I am honoured and delighted to receive the IARS ‘Youth Research Project Award’, in recognition of the study I made into the ‘Volunteer’s Perspective’ of the Hampshire Community Peer Court programme.  The enthusiasm and contribution of the youth volunteers has played a large part in enabling the success of the programme, so I felt it was important to understand and learn from their experiences, particularly as we’re looking to expand the programme. It is very rewarding for the findings and recommendations from my research to be used to improve the service and development of our volunteers, and great to receive wider recognition for my report from the IARS International Institute. “

Maya Oppenheim winner of the 99% Campaign Young Journalist Award said: “I was thrilled to be awarded the Young Journalist Award. At a time when young people are shouldering a disproportionate burden of austerity measures, it’s great to see IARS doing such remarkable youth work with marginalised communities.”

Kike Ibikunle and Ijeoma Datha-Moore winners of the Community Leader Award said : “Today we won the IARS Community Leader Award, supported by Community Action Southwark. Thank you Lord for blessing Kike Ibikunle  and Ijeoma Datha-Moore.  Because of your grace and mercy we are inspiring young people in our generation, even during all the adversity we have been through and overcome. We also want to say a big thank you to Just for Kids Law for nominating us for this prestigious award. So thank you and we pray you continue to bless us more.”

Karolina Gombert runner up for the Youth Project Award said:  About a year ago, I was able to publish the background to the project in the Youth Voice Journal. Working together with the editors in the review process, was a very positively critical and constructive experience; and the rationale behind the journal to “Actively encourage and aide those young people whose voice is rarely heard by policy makers to be heard” fitted with our own rationales.  A big thank you goes to IARS not only for making journal publications with this important goal possible, but also for recognising everyone’s work in today’s event. So,  an even bigger thank you for shortlisting us for the IARS Research and Youth Leadership Awards 2015 and the Buckinghamshire New University for their generosity in sponsoring the award.

Howard Williamson CBE FRSA FHEA, Professor of European Youth Policy, University of South Wales said “Effective re-motivation of ‘marginalised’ youth has to be based on a PROCESS of learning, listening, discussion, negotiation, development… and a willingness to be flexible and responsive to changing conditions and relationships. Gradually you built the trust and motivation, through which the next step is THEIR social action and contribution to their environment and their community”.

Maria Ansbro, Buckinghamshire New University said:  ‘As research is part of our core business, Bucks New University was delighted to sponsor the IARS ‘Youth Researcher’ Award for 2015. The range and standard of nominations was impressive, and Eloise should be commended for report on restorative justice that took first prize’.

C/Insp Mat Shaer, of the Metropolitan Police Service, who was involved in setting up the 99% Campaign said:  “I found the event exceptionally uplifting. The contribution to society and the enthusiasm of the young people highlighted at the awards was amazing. Thank-you to IARS and the 99percent campaign for, yet again, promoting and supporting this great cause”.

Mahin Khawaja, Accountax LTD Director said: We were honoured to be part of this event and sponsor the Youth Digital Award. It was amazing to see and listen to guests talking about youth and answering their questions put forward by the youth during the event. I have gone through similar circumstances when I moved in this country about 12 years ago so such an activity is always very close to my heart. This is one of the reasons I have always have great belief on youth to deliver amazing ideas and performances.

Anisha Patel, Head of Partnerships, BeyondMe said “Congratulations to Living Streets’ Move Makers project for winning ‘The Partnership of the Year’ award. It is a fantastic example of a partnership engaging young people to tackle a societal injustice. BeyondMe is all about building partnerships and motivating and mobilising millennial professionals to take an active role in creating the society they want to live in. All the nominees in this award category are successful partnerships working effectively with young people to tackle some of today’s pertinent social problems.”

Mark Parker SE16 Coordinator said: “The attainment of young people seeking to bring change to their world is amazing. These awards show how many young people are committed to justice and peace and their example is testament to a renewal of social conscience in our day. We need young people of this calibre and determination working to deliver on the big issues of our time.”

Justin Petite Human Rights Officer at the Commonwealth Secretariat said: “I applaud IARS’ bottom-up approach to fostering a more inclusive society. Tonight is a testament to the impact and success of its approach. It is an honour to be here and be able to recognise the many contributions of young people to bettering their communities.”

Joel Carter, Just for Kids Law said: “The IARS awards have enabled us to formally recognise and reward the outstanding contribution of two young people, Kike and Ijeoma, who have contributed so much to Just for Kids Law and to the lives of other young people in London. Having their nomination selected by the IARS judging panel further validates their work”.


Notes to Editors

  • The event is kindly sponsored by Southwark Council
  • We are grateful to British Land, Living London, Adroit Accountax LTD for their kind contributions to the event

For more information: Contact Andriana Ntziadima – IARS Communications and Youth Projects Manager,, +44(0)2070644380 or Direct Mobile 07931596900

About The IARS International Institute

The IARS International Institute is user-led and user-focused charity with a mission to give everyone a chance to forge a safer, fairer and more inclusive society. Over the last 10 years, the Institute has been providing world-class educational, research, policy and networking services of local, national and international significance. We are focused on empowering the most marginalised communities through direct service delivery, while enabling organisations to achieve, measure and improve their social impact. To find out more about the IARS International Institute please follow the link

Contact details:

Phone: +44(0)2070644380

Mob: 07833224442




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