Young Asian Voices (YAV) Sunderland has received a special Recognition Award for their ‘Positive Impact in the Community’ at an inspiring VIP event held at Sunderland College.

The high-profile event was attended by a number of senior leaders from the City of Sunderland and the wider North East region. It took place at the College’s City Campus where VIP guests and stakeholders were served a three-course meal in the college’s City Bistro restaurant by professional cookery and hospitality students and entertained by a musical performance from former BTEC music student, Marianne Hume.

During the event, a surprise honorary award for YAV was presented to Kumareswaradas Ramanathas (RAM), Executive Manager of YAV, and Dr Paul Andrew, Chair of YAV by James Stuart, Chair of Education Partnership North East, of which Sunderland College is a part.

Speaking at the Sunderland College-led event, Ellen Thinnesen, Chief Executive, said: “Across the city and region, YAV is an active role model demonstrating best practices in engaging BAME youth and adults in sports as well as individual development and progression.

They are also a highly valued partner of Sunderland College and have actively contributed to the advancement of the college’s integrated approach to equality, diversity and inclusion, sport in the community and governance. YAV always goes above and beyond.”

Young Asian Voices is a multicultural youth and community project which works and supports young people and adults across the city of Sunderland. YAV provides youth sessions, junior sessions, holiday programmes, sports opportunities, volunteering, talent pathways, employment opportunities and various educational training.

YAV was established in 1996 to address the lack of provision for young people from BAME communities in Sunderland. Initially it supported predominantly Asian Communities, however, it is now a fully inclusive service working with diverse ethnicities including French, Polish and British as well as young refugees.

Since YAV was established, it has supported well over 300 young people (many college students) with training, education, outreach, community integration and anti-racism work, health and social activities, youth sessions and volunteering. YAV also runs a domestic violence and forced marriage programme for young women.

Kumareswaradas Ramanathas, YAV Executive Manager, said: “Thank you for the kind invitation to a special evening. We have enjoyed it very much and also thank you for the award, it’s an honour to receive such a special award from an outstanding organisation in the City.

“We are very much excited about the new partnership opportunities in the new year.

“Thank you to Ellen and her team for this fabulous recognition for all our work with young people and the community.”

Dr Paul Andrew, YAV Chairperson, added: “We are thrilled to receive this recognition from Sunderland College and Education Partnership North East. Young Asian Voices is working to engage and empower communities across the region and Education Partnership North East is a valued partner.

“We are learning from each other in our collaborative activities, and we are strengthening our relationship as we move forward.”

Why Education Partnership North East (EPNE)?

Highly commended - Employer of the Year, Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards 2019

Engagement with Employers - Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award 2017

(Sunderland College On-programme Survey 2017)

Selected by DfE for 2021 T Level pilot to deliver the new high-quality technical qualifications.

98% overall employer satisfaction - Employer Survey 2018/19