Jaffer Ali Hussain
Jaffer’s life is driven by the idea that young people can make a difference when given the opportunity to do so – a difference not only to their own communities and societies but to themselves personally, to their family and to their friends. In January 2014, Jaffer set up his own youth empowerment organisation SLYNCS (Strengthening links between young people, networks, communities and specialists). SLYNCS aims to support young people in developing key life skills whilst at the same tackling hard hitting community issues. This is achieved by creating a forum for young people in Blackburn to deliver social action projects in their local communities. With the help of the Shackleton Foundation, SLYNCS has managed to develop and improve its programme from working with 45 young people weekly to 75 young people weekly. The Award will allow for a total of 90 young people working on 18 different community outreach projects within Blackburn. The Award also enables the SLYNCS team to run a plot project on behalf of UpRising, a Cabinet Office-backed national youth leadership development organisation. Jaffer is now working for SLYNCS full time allowing him to tender for other pieces of work making the organisation sustainable for the foreseeable future. Growing up in a working class family in the North West of England, in a town where deprivation is high and aspirations are low amongst Pakistani young males, Jaffer feels that by seizing the opportunities that he has had, has led him to where he is now. An Olympic torch bearer, a finalist in numerous awards and the founder and Operations Manager of his own youth empowerment organisation. “Youth work is not just a job, it is a lifestyle”.
Award Date: December 2014