It’s not every day that your CEO is up for an award and you get all glammed up and head to the Premier Suite at the Whites Hotel! That’s what we did last night at The Bolton News & Bury Times’ Bolton and Bury Business Awards.
Saeed Atcha, Xplode Magazine’s Founder and Chief Executive was up for ‘Young Person of the Year’ and I was there along with Saeed and 8 of our team listening to The Bolton News’ Editor-in-Chief making a clear point about young people in his opening speech. He was followed by Bolton Council leader Councillor Cliff Morris who said ‘young people are the future. Young people are our tomorrow.’ Then Dr Zubair Hanslot the Principal at Bolton UTC was talking about the impact of young people.
It was very clear to see that young people were the heart of the event and as a youth organisation, it was so nice to see! Two multi-award winning apprentices from MBDA talked about the impact of apprenticeships and how you’re still secured a future without going to university and they were a shining example of how Britain’s future is in safe hands.
In 2011, Saeed presented his vision of creating a magazine to be part of the press and change the negativity surrounding us as young people and I was well and truly sold! How can we sit here and let people call us ‘feral animals, yobs and hoodies’?
4 years on, we’ve been able to support over 500 young people across the country on our various projects from training them in job skills to media and business training – young people are at the heart of what we do. We’re by and for young people through and through with our 95 annual volunteers helping in everything from social media to sales. We’re able to give young people experience to go to jobs, colleges and universities with and how impressive is it for them to say they’ve helped gain 35,000 readers?
Working with our partners O2, ASDA, Cineworld, Dominos, Bury College and Market Place Shopping Centre, we’ve been able to offer our volunteers relevant work experience.
And all of this was rewarded and recognised last night at the awards! Saeed only went and won the Young Person of the Year! On stage at the event he said:
“I’d like to say a few words. This award might be in my name and I might now be the young person of the year, but for me, this award is for my team – it’s their hard work and dedication that we can now go out and celebrate”
After the event Saeed talked about how proud he is: “I am so thrilled and thankful for the award. This local award means so much to me, I love the Bolton family and wouldn’t change it for the world. This award sees Xplode’s 3rd year out with a bang!”
To read more about our impact over the past 4 years, you can read Saeed’s ‘looking back’ piece here.