We Believe Youth Matters Winner

13 November 2019

Safiyyah Patel from YMCA St Paul’s Group has been awarded the coveted We Believe Award at YMCA England and Wales’s national Youth Matters Awards ceremony on 8 November 2019 for her fantastic work with young people at YMCA Walthamstow. 

Safiyyah Patel 19 from Walthamstow was presented with the award at the Youth Matters 2019 awards ceremony. It took place at the exclusive central London venue 8 Northumberland Avenue, and was hosted by acclaimed broadcaster and TV presenter Nihal Arthanayake. 

The We Believe Award goes to a young person who is working towards improving their life, and for whom the £1,000 award money will help make significant progress in achieving their goals. It’s one of two awards where winners are chosen solely by judges and is not part of the public vote, unlike the other 11 award categories. 

Safiyyah was praised by judges for her passion, professionalism and consistency, which led to her becoming an apprentice at YMCA Walthamstow where she helps to run a popular teen gym session. Safiyyah’s self-discipline and professionalism always shines through, and while fasting during Ramadan she delivered gruelling cycling and boxing classes. Safiyyah is involved in delivering sessions designed for teaching students with troubled pasts how to exercise, learn about nutrition and engage with healthy living. 

On winning the award, Safiyyah said: “I am really excited to have won such a significant award.” 

“My life has changed so much since getting involved with YMCA and I appreciate everyone who has supported me. Thank you to everyone who made this night memorable.” 

Kristina Lastoweckyi, Head of Children Youth and Families services at YMCA St Paul’s Group celebrated Saffiyah saying: 

“We are really proud of Safi, and for her dedication to supporting young people in East London. This award recognises her as a young role model, who we all believe will go a long way.” 

Youth Matters is YMCA’s national awards programme that has been an integral part of the charity’s calendar since 2009. It celebrates the outstanding skills and achievements of young people from across the country and also recognises the vital work that YMCAs deliver every day. 

Massive congratulations to Safiyyah!