Getting involved in really important agendas has really lifted me up

Getting involved in really important agendas has really lifted me up

Our Ambassadorial project provides opportunities for residents such as Hammaad Ahmed to make a difference in their communities. Hammaad, an eighteen year old, found the role of a Young Ambassador life changing and an experience he will never forget: “I was only a young 17-year-old when I started in my role as an Ambassador and I feel that this opportunity where the Bradford for Everyone programme empowers local people to get involved in really important agendas has really lifted me up.”

Hammaad represented himself and other young people like him on the Stronger Communities Partnership Board. He found this experience important: “I think it’s amazing that we are the UK’s youngest city, so it’s even more important that the voices of young people are heard. It just felt so surreal that I was given this opportunity to sit on the Board, where really important decisions where being made and I was part of this. At one meeting I spoke about the importance of social media, especially amongst the young people,it was a really good feeling to see how all our social media accounts then soon went live – even a Bradford for Everyone Instagram.”

Hammaad ensured the voices of people were heard when designing a set of Shared Values for the Bradford District. He was involved in meetings, discussing how projects could be designed or improved, for example projects such as the Citizen Coin – a mobile app project which aims to recognise and reward people for doing social good. He was also involved in The Graduate Project which inspired opportunities for South Asian graduates to get into graduate employment. He was active in our Anti Rumour campaign as well as being a large influence in the Participatory Budgeting process where he and other Ambassadors decided which projects should be given funding. “These opportunities have allowed me to really grow up and make some really important decisions which many other 17 year olds don’t have the opportunity to do so.”

Hammaad attended training sessions which focussed on developing skills in key areas such as critical thinking, communication and social development. It was important to train and develop our Ambassadors to give them opportunities for personal growth. Each training session helped Hammaad strengthen his existing skills and polish what he was struggling with. For example, Hammaad learnt the significance of viewing situations through a neutral perspective and understood the consequences of unconscious bias. He also understood why talking clearly and rationally can improve communications with his team and across the wider community. Hammaad found the training invaluable: “I have met some really wonderful people along the way, but most importantly I have learnt how wonderful it is when people from all walks of life come together and how easily this is possible. I have seen how we all are different but the same and so much stronger when we come together”.

More importantly, making it as one of the finalist in the 2019 Community Stars Awards has shown Hammaad where hard work and dedication can take him. As Hammaad steps down from his role and starts a new chapter at Lancaster University to study Nuclear Engineering, his contributions towards the programme will be missed.  

We are looking for more ambitious people to help make a difference no matter how big or small.

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