Each year the Lord Mayor of Birmingham invites nominations for the Lord Mayor’s Awards and this year the outgoing Lord Mayor, Cllr Carl Rice, who is now the new Deputy Lord Mayor – presented them to: Anawim – a charity for vulnerable women; Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid – which supports survivors of domestic violence; Birmingham Youth Sports Academy – which provides sports and educational programmes to children; and Jim Simpson, the Festival Director of the Birmingham International Jazz Festival.
Anawim supports women and their children, especially women vulnerable to exploitation including prostitution. It was started by two nuns in 1986 who wanted to reach out to sex workers on the streets of Balsall Heath and it became a charity in 2015.
Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid(B&SWA) was one of the first organisations to support survivors of domestic violence in Birmingham. It opened its doors over 35 years ago is about to open a new refuge for 18-25 year old women.
Birmingham Youth Sports Academy(BYSA) began in 2002 and provides football coaching and education programmes for children aged 6-18 years old in the community on a voluntary basis. They have trained over 2,000 children since the project began.
Jim Simpson has been the festival director of Birmingham International Jazz Festival since it began 33 years ago. It is the longest-running festival in Birmingham, the longest-running jazz festival in England and the largest free jazz and blues event in Europe.
Outgoing Lord Mayor, Cllr Carl Rice, said: “The Lord Mayor’s Awards recognise outstanding achievements and exceptional service to the city and the people of Birmingham. They recognise those people and organisations that go the extra mile.
“Anawim, B&SWA, BYSA and Jim have all improved the lives of thousands of people in this city and have given selfless service to the city of Birmingham and its citizens. It therefore gives me great pleasure to give these awards and highlight some of the ways that people in Birmingham serve their community and their city.”
Anyone living in Birmingham or the surrounding neighborhoods can nominate an individual, a group of individual (or an organisation) living, working or based in Birmingham for the City of Birmingham’s Lord Mayor’s Award. The overriding principle of the Lord Mayor’s Award is that it is based on merit and this is defined as “outstanding achievement or exceptional service to the City and people of Birmingham”. No Councillor, past or present, will be eligible for the Award and the Award will not be given to any person(s) for services rendered to or for any Political Party or related organisation.