Youth empowerment group throws down challenge to business as receives its Queen’s Award

October 16, 2020

Bristol youth empowerment social enterprise Babbasa has warned of the impact of increasing unemployment and social immobility in the city as it was officially been presented with the UK’s highest business accolade, the Queen’s Award For Enterprise.

Earlier this year the non-profit empowerment organisation became one of just seven winners across the UK of the Queen’s Award for Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility) in recognition of its ‘outstanding achievement’ in improving equal opportunity in inner-city Bristol. 

The socially distanced official presentation brought together city leaders including Lord Lieutenant Peaches Golding, Chief Constable Andy Marsh, Bristol Deputy Mayor Asher Craig and Business West CEO James Durie.

They were joined virtually by HRH the Countess of Wessex, Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones, pictured.

The ceremony coincided with the launch by Babbasa’s Youth Ambassadors of its latest campaign City Of Change, which urgently challenges businesses to offer work opportunities to underrepresented young people disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sarah, one of the Youth Ambassadors, said: “We are asking 30 businesses to create a career opportunity for one young person from a lower socio-economic or minority background in the next 12 months.

“Offering a work-ready young person an opportunity at the workplace will not only help you to attract diverse talent but also make Bristol a better place to live.”

Babbasa team member Gail also shared highlights of its recent research report Bridge To Equality, which outlines the needs and aspirations of low income and ethnic minority young people in the city.

The report, due to be published on the Babbasa website on Monday, October 19, shows that 79% of the main barriers to progression identified were linked to lack of information, experience of work and skills.

Babbasa founder and CEO Poku Osei said: “This award is a testament to the hard work of the Babbasa team.

“I’m proud that we have built a Babbasa that truly echoes our values of imagination, determination and kindness. And reminded hundreds of young people that their dreams are valid.”

The Lord-Lieutenant of Bristol Peaches Golding officially presented Babbasa with the award and a citation manuscript from the Queen.

Peaches Golding, pictured below with Babbasa founder Poku Osei, said:  “It was a wonderful event that puts Babbasa on a path to achieve even more.”


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