The East Midlands Lived Experience Panel have been awarded the AAA award in the Community Contribution category. Community Contribution is about making a difference in your community and having an impact that affects the lives of others in a positive way.
The East Midlands Lived Experience Panel is made up of people with lived experience of the criminal justice system. Supported by Revolving Doors and the NHS, they work together with commissioners and other charities, to help tackle issues with lived experience knowledge. The panel are passionate about making positive changes to help reduce reoffending by tackling healthcare needs.
In September 2013, Antoin Akpom was the victim of a fatal knife attack in Leicester. His mother, Cheryl Armatrading, set up the Antoin Akpom Achievements (AAA) Foundation and, together with 2FUNKY Street Kitchen, they organised an award ceremony to recognise local achievements.
The awards were a recognition and celebration of individual or group talent and achievements which model positive behaviours and/or contributions to society. The organisation’s motto is ‘Challenging Behaviours, Changing Lives’.
There was home-cooked Caribbean food, music, dance, poetry and singing. At the end of her initial welcome and sharing of lovely memories of her late son Antoin Akpom, Cheryl Armatrading serenaded the audience with a beautiful and touching rendition of the song “Memories”, in tribute of her late son.
There was reduced attendance due to torrential rains on the night – however, some managed to brave the weather. Due to the smaller number of attendees the evening felt very intimate, and by the end of the initial welcome and introduction one could easily be mistaken for thinking they were in the living room of Cheryl’s home. In attendance were award winners and guests of all ages, a dance group, a spoken word poet, DJ and musician. On hand to help present the awards was Assistant City Mayor and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Kirk Master.
Awards won on the night were ‘Future Star’ and ‘Community Contribution’. Some were awarded for long-standing contributions and others for new and ‘inspirational’ contributions and/or talents. The NHS and Revolving Doors East Midlands Lived Experience Panel won a Community Contribution Award for our inspirational work and positive contributions.
My words when receiving the award were: “It’s a privilege for me to be able to accept this award on behalf of the Panel, and to be recognised for the work we do. I can feel the enormous amount of love that’s in this award, and in this room, and I’ll make sure to try my best to express that to the rest of the panel”.