21 August 2017

YMCA Coventry & Warwickshire is asking local people to vote for one of its inspiring young people ahead of a prestigious national youth awards ceremony hosted this autumn by business woman, Sky presenter and BBC’s The Apprentice winner, Michelle Dewberry.

The local youth charity, which has operated in Coventry and Warwickshire for over 125 years has nominated YMCA young person, Keelum Cumberbatch as Young Achiever of the Year in Youth Matters Awards 2017.

Youth Matters is YMCA’s national awards programme that has been an integral part of the charity’s calendar since 2009.

Keelum Cumberbatch is up against four other young people from across the country within his award category. Other award categories are YMCA of the Year, Young Leader of the Year, Young Volunteer of the Year, Young Worker of the Year and Young Campaigner of the Year.

Keelum Cumberbatch has been entered for the award because despite personal challenges he has used his ambition and drive to set-up two companies to inspire, support and increase the confidence of local young people. The KWC Academy is focused on dance and KWC Entertainment on music, signing artists, providing mentoring and offering free studio time to build skills and confidence.  Keelum is also a committed volunteer, having been involved with a number of YMCA projects and is also a Youth Ambassador and member of YMCA Coventry & Warwickshire’s Youth Board.

Voting starts online at midnight on Monday 14 August and runs until midnight on Friday 25 August. Votes cast by the public will be combined with judges’ choices and the three finalists will be announced on 29 August. All the finalists will attend the ceremony at the exclusive venue 8 Northumberland Avenue, in central London, where the winner will be announced.

Keelum said: “I am really excited to be nominated for such a significant award and to have reached this stage of the process.

“I have always wanted to use my skills and experience to inspire and support local young people and I hope everyone will support me and vote. To make it through to the final judging panel would be incredible.”

Jennie Evans Co-Director of Communications and Fundraising at YMCA Coventry & Warwickshire said: “It is fantastic news that Keelum has been shortlisted as Young Achiever in the Youth Matters Awards.

“Keelum has overcome significant obstacles in his life, but still strives to make a real difference to young people in the community. Please do take the time to vote for him”.

Youth Matters celebrates the outstanding skills and achievements of young people from across the country. It also recognises the vital work that YMCAs deliver every day to help transform the lives of young people and give them a brighter future.

The Young Achiever of the Year Award recognises the exceptional achievements of a young person who has overcome significant obstacles to make a real difference to their lives and their community.

Vote for YMCA of the Year at www.ymca.org.uk/awards. Follow YMCA England & Wales on Twitter and join the conversation using #YMA17.

For more information on Youth Matters, visit www.ymca.org.uk/awards. For more information on YMCA Coventry & Warwickshire visit www.ymca-cw.org.uk