After years of social distancing, lockdown and virtual meetings, in 2023 we were delighted to hold the most awaited YAV AGM & Cultural evening 2023 celebrating culture, diversity, partnerships and togetherness in the iconic City Hall Sunderland on May 09th 2023.
The event commenced with a joyful video countdown by YAV members children and young people followed by an introductory speech of YAV.
The event was hosted by YAV Executive Manager K. Ramanathas (Ram).
We welcomed The Right Worshipful the Mayor of the City of Sunderland, Councillor Allison Smith who also kindly delivered the inaugural speech.
YAV Chairperson Dr Paul Andrew welcomed dignitaries, guests, YAV friends, members, partners and young people. We also heard inspiring words of friendship, positive action, striving for equal opportunity and impact of YAV work as an organisation and in partnership from guest speakers:
- Chair of Asian Business Connexions, Ammar Mirza MBE, a multi-award winning entrepreneur who has helped establish several hundred businesses in the North East, Founder and Chairperson of Asian Business Connexions, President of the Federation of Asian Business, Fellow of the Institute of Leadership & Management (FInstLM), and Royal Society of Arts(FRSA). He has a particular interest in enterprise education as Chair of Governors of a Primary School, Chair of the Progression Forum and a visiting Professor of Practice at Newcastle University and having helped launch the Primary Inspiration through Enterprise (PIE) Project Charity. Ammar is the North East LEP Board’s local SME representative
- Nickie Kilkenny, Local Enterprise Manager, NatWest Group
- Dr Angela Brown, CEO, Training in Care Ltd UK, Chair of England and
England’s employer representative for the UK on the Playwork Education and Training Council, Board of Trustee for Skills Active, member of National Training Council and a local authority workforce development strategy group, CEO of The Care People CIC; a delivery model incubator for care professionals.
- Ged Grebby, CEO Show Racism the RED Card
- Gary Bennett MBE, SAFC Legend and Back 2 Basics Coaching.
- Ash Rahman, CEO, ProTouch Soccer Academy London
Colourful cultural performances included:
· Song by Maybelline Pineda, YAV Young Ambassador & Girls Cricket Team, a success story moving on from YAV – Durham CC Performance Pathway to being selected on to Durham CC Performance Pathway.
· Bharatanatyam Dance Performance by Maya Dhananjay, YAV Staff who presented Sri Vighna Rajam Bhaje, showing a playful & fun quarrel between the Mouse (vehicle of Lord Ganesha) & the Snake.
· Punjabi Folk Dance Performance by Gaganpreet Kaur, YAV Volunteer, an
integration performance of Punjab in India and in Pakistan.
· Dance Performance by The Mollik Brothers: Issah & Zain Mollik, members
of YAV Juniors, YAV Football Academy, Wearmouth & YAV Junior Cricket teams, on Billie Jean – Michael Jackson.
· Multi-Cultural Fusion Dance Performance by Maya Dhananjay & Gaganpreet Kaur
· Solo Bengali Song by Abu Bakar Al Amin, YAV Volunteer, a popular Bengali song about spending days that were wonderful because of
integration and togetherness “Agey ki shundor din kataitam”.
· Turkish flute by Tugay Yalcin
· Football skills by Richard Silky Skills
YAV also presented surprise gifts for Volunteers, Cultural performers, Guest Speakers and YAV Committee Members followed by cultural buffet and YAV AGM.
YAV friend and professional photographer and film maker, Ian McClelland, captured the event in fantastic photographs throughout the evening.
We thank everyone again for all the support throughout 27 years of YAV and more to come.