The Black Youth Achievement Awards (BYA Awards) were founded by Kay Oldroyd, who woke up in the middle of the night on 12th February 2008, with a calling to do something to challenge the negative stereotype of black and mixed black heritage youth in the UK.
Kay Oldroyd with Darhys and Dharnell Nugent, winner and finalist respectively, BYA Awards 2014.
Coming from a background of education and personal development, Kay had seen first hand the impact of how negative images and stories of young people had a detrimental effect on their confidence and self-esteem, which in turn affected their life opportunities, interactions, behaviours, attitudes and mental health.
Conversely, Kay also knew how uplifting and empowering it was (is) to be surrounded by images that positively reflected someone’s ‘group’ (in this case the group label being ‘black youth’).
Youngest attendee at BYA Awards 2014! A future leader
With the help of good friends (and total strangers) the BYA Awards grew from a random, middle of the night idea into what is now the UK’s only national platform of recognition and celebration of young people of black African / Caribbean heritage.
At Lambeth Country Show, 2010.
It is Kay’s goal to create a legacy that young people will aspire to receive a BYA Award as an endorsement of their excellence, which will be recognised throughout the country and eventually the world!
BYA Ambassadors at ‘Building Your Aspirations’ event, 2012
Kay and her 2 (adult) children