Groundbreaking boys2Men project wins major award

22 December 2005

An innovative Brent-based project designed to raise the self esteem of young African-Caribbean boys and enable them to realise their full potential has won a prestigious Department of Health award – topping the ‘Social Care’ category in the 2005 Health and Social Care Awards 

boys2MEN – a joint initiative between Brent Council’s Children’s Fund, Brent Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Coram boys2MEN Project – had won the London area award (worth £1,000) earlier in the year. On 13 December it was one of sixteen individuals and teams from NHS and social care organisations across England who scooped national awards at the prestigious final held in London’s Docklands.

The winners were chosen from more than 2000 entrants and each receives £15,000 to spend on sharing their innovation and ideas with others in the health and social care field. Each entry was quality assessed at a regional level by a panel of experienced representatives from health and social care organisations in that region. For each category, the panel put forward up to three or four entrants as regional finalists. This shortlist then progressed to the regional judging panel, where one finalist in each category was selected as a winner.

The ceremony, hosted by Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt and TV personality Gabby Logan, attracted an audience of front-line staff from NHS and social care organisations, and followed on from the annual ‘NHS Live’ event consisting of presentations by front-line organisations showcasing ongoing development and learning.scooped the London final of the Health and Social Care Awards on Wednesday night. The awards, now in their fifth year, recognise and reward excellence in NHS and social care provision.

The judges had high praise for the boys2MEN project, which provides mentoring and support, parenting advice and relationship counselling for families and boys aged between eight and 13. Many of the youngsters have little or no contact with their fathers. The predominantly male team, staffed by boys2MEN, also provides work and employment training, extra support in school or individual tuition, home visiting, anger management classes and mentoring from positive black role models.

Melvyn Davis, Project Manager of boys2MEN, says: “Winning this award is a tremendous recognition of the hard work and dedication of a team of very committed individuals who came together from statutory and voluntary agencies determined to make a difference. But the real winners are the children, their mentors and the parents whose lives we’ve been able to improve.”

Anita Mehta, Manager of Brent Children’s Fund, says: “In a year with a record number of entries, this is a wonderful achievement for our unique partnership. By providing mentoring and support at an early age, the project is playing a vital role in helping these young people play a more active role in society and reducing the risk of social exclusion.”

For information about the Coram boys2MEN project contact Melvyn Davis 0207 604 5960 or email: melvyn@coram-b2m.org.uk You can also log on to www.coram.org.uk.

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