Two Sandwell council employees have won a top award for their inspirational work in giving Sandwell young people the opportunities to fulfill their potential in life.
Neesha Patel and Tariq Karim were presented with the Police and Community Inspirational Award from the Black and Asian Police Association for their work over five years in giving young people the chance to engage in positive activities.
Neesha, SHAPE Project Manager and Tariq, Youth Services Manager, were nominated by West Midlands Police for their work in very successfully running the SHAPE Programme for the council and helping thousands of young people to get a better start in life.
The SHAPE Programme is a child’s voice initiative led by Sandwell Council and involves many partner agencies. SHAPE stands for the five things that matter to every child – Staying Safe, Being Healthy, Achieving and Enjoying, Making a Positive Contribution and Economic Wellbeing.
It has been running successfully now for five years making a huge impact to children and young people in Sandwell.
Karen Geddes, chairperson of the West Midlands Black and Asian Police Association, said: “We were very impressed with the work done by Tariq and Neesha on a programme which has at the heart, the young people and helping them to develop, organise and focus on issues relating to them and identify how to tackle them through a variety of means.
“Over the past five years a large number of projects have taken place to encourage young people to engage in positive activities and make a difference
“Neesha and Tariq set high standards and they have inspired so many young people to go and fulfill their potential and go onto bigger and better things.”
It is a unique programme led and developed by young people who form part of SHAPE Youth Forum to develop, organise and coordinate events.
Councillor Simon Hackett, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “I was very pleased to hear of this special award being made to Neesha and Tariq because they have done outstanding work in the SHAPE Programme to inspire young people to get involved in activities and to make the most of their talents.”