An inspiring youth-led social action initiative that empowers and gives young people the platform to serve their local community won the 2018 BAE Systems Youth Leadership Award.

Volunteers and community cohesion campaigners joined entrepreneurs and sporting talent at this year’s Fusion Awards.

The ceremony held in the Concert Hall at King George’s Hall Blackburn was attended by guests from across the North West and hosted by Noreen Khan.

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They were presented the honour by Denise Whitaker, Business Operations Manager at BAE Systems.

Let’s Be Foundation run by The Hollins, focusses on engaging with young people from all backgrounds and helping to better their local communities.

The youngsters from Accrington aim to inspire change through positive action.

The Foundation is run entirely by young people aged 11 to 16 and focuses on three priority areas – helping people in need and the homeless, tackling social isolation amongst the elderly and supporting people with illness.

Recently, the students embarked on a project finding out about the lives of residents at the Woodlands Home for Older People to create a giant 100-piece jigsaw puzzle. 

This inter-generational arts project was hailed as a great way to combat loneliness in the elderly through meaningful and poignant conversations.

The Hollins and Let’s Be Foundation have hosted their annual ‘Great Elderly Tea Party’ at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel with more than 120 guests from across East Lancashire attending.

The Foundation work dedicatedly at their monthly Curry Café supporting people in need and the homeless.

In December last year the foundation spent time at the Saheli Centre in Accrington in collaboration with Feed the Needy holding a special Christmas Eve lunch, with all attendees receiving a gift.

The team also painted and decorated their local charity Lancashire Women's Centre.

Denise Whitaker Business Operations Manager at BAE Systems said, "It was an honour to support the Fusion Awards, which celebrate the fantastic achievements of the people in our community.

"It was inspiring and humbling to hear about the great work that is carried out on a regular basis within our community and to see those deservingly benefitting from it. 

"The recognition given to these feats by all attendees of the event, who had given up their own time to attend, was wonderful to see."