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Deptford-based youth arts charity receives top award

Second Wave Youth Arts has been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK. Only 16 groups in London have been successful in receiving this award in 2021.

The Deptford-based charity offers young people a safe space to develop their creative skills and confidence. Its young volunteers use the skills they have gained to support other young people, foster trust and strengthen community safety.

During the COVID crisis, Second Wave’s volunteers continued to support vulnerable young people, and helped produce a film and other online materials tackling the issue of grooming.

The charity – established in 1982 - was nominated for the award by Lewisham Council for its innovative approach in supporting young people to find and express their independent voice creatively, developing their confidence and skills across a range of art forms, and strengthening their relationship with the Council, the Police and other local partners.

In nominating the charity, Cllr Jonathan Slater, Lewisham Council Cabinet Member for the Community Sector, said “At Second Wave, young people enjoy the practice of working creatively on something that brings together first-hand experience of what it means to be a young person; the dialogue of narrative and drama; and dialogue of ideas and debate…. The group has generated an outstanding level of good will and respect among those it serves and the whole community.”

Mayor of Lewisham Damien Egan said “I am so proud that Second Wave has been recognised for their contribution to supporting young people in Lewisham. The programmes they are delivering are helping to develop invaluable skills for our next generation of leaders and trailblazers. Having a space for young people to express themselves is vital and Second Wave has played a key role in making Lewisham a great place to grow up in.”

Cheryl Brown, the Director of Trustees for Second Wave Youth Arts, said “It is amazing to receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of the work of our volunteers - they have shown dedication in serving their community over many years.”

Representatives of Second Wave Youth Arts will receive the crystal award and certificate later this summer from Sir Kenneth Olisa, Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London. In May next year, two volunteers from Second Wave will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace, alongside other recipients of this year’s award.

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