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lime Events & Activities Interview: Kay Oldroyd

Lime interview - Events & Activities

Kay Oldroyd

words by

Natasha Julien

Reporter: Natasha Julien

Kay Oldroyd launched the Black Youth Achievement Awards to provide a platform for young people to be recognised for their personal accomplishments. 

Why did you set up the Black Youth Achievement Awards?

To provide a platform for young people to be recognised for their personal accomplishments in a range of categories. The organisation itself will work on many different programmes and events all set to raise the expectations and opportunities of African / Caribbean / Mixed Heritage youth between the ages of 8 – 25 and resident in the UK.

The idea of the awards ceremony was born out of wanting to hear about good news instead of all the negative stories that dominate our media. These stories are one sided and a total misrepresentation of young people and I felt compelled to try and change this in a small way.

What kind of events and experiences do you feel can redress this balance?

The negative images of black people will always be something that mainstream media will continue to perpetuate. Stories like this sell and it helps to keep a community oppressed. We as a people need to be more aware of the negativity that we allow in our homes for one. For example, having certain music channels on in the house day after day, that display typecast images of black people. Parents need to take more responsibility for how they want their child to see themselves.

If a baby grows up in a household that feeds into the myth of how black people should be, then that child is going to grow up manipulated by a system that wants black people to have little self-esteem and pride for who they are, and will have misplaced expectations of themselves. Any experience that allows someone to take part in something different where their mind can be challenged and expanded is always a positive.

Lime Magazine’s issue for November is concerned with community issues and during times of recession people become more aware of those less fortunate then themselves how can any of our readers make a contribution to your organisation?

There are many ways to get involved with BYA. We always need volunteers to assist at our events, especially the awards ceremony. We would need people to help set up and decorate the venue, greet our guests, serve the food and generally just assist on the night. We would also welcome people to join us as promotion and marketing assistants, fundraisers and administrators throughout the year.

BYA will be hosting a radio show starting 4th November (SW London). We need a Street Team to come in to the studio once a fortnight and report on topics that concern those 25 and under. It’s a magazine show, meaning that all subjects can be covered:- education, business, health, wealth, theatre, music, arts; any and everything. There are many benefits to volunteering not just with BYA but in general.

It provides you with work experience, you gain new skills, looks great on your CV if you are looking for work, for those applying for University it adds value to your UCAS application, and I think most importantly it teaches you about the value of giving your time to others without necessarily receiving financial gain in return. In the materialistic world that we live in now, so much emphasis is put upon us ’having’; giving back is just as - if not more – important.

What spurs you on?

I am motivated by other people’s individual success. For me, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing someone’s progression, whether this be their personal development, their career choices or seeing a business idea flourish. I just want to be able to provide some of those options to the community but I don’t have all the answers.

The Black Youth Achievement Awards takes place on November 20, 2010 at the Camden Centre.


What can the community do to support your organisation?

Come along to Black Youth Achievements – The Awards. All money received from the ticket sales go towards the event and then back into the organisation.

BYA is a non-profit making company; therefore any income supports the projects that we work on. And spread the word, please tell others about the event and come and enjoy the evening.

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