On Thursday 26th November, Blackburn Youth Zone hosted an exclusive virtual dinner which brought together the BYZ Patron network. The event thanked all our patrons for their support over the past 12 months, which has helped thousands of young people across Blackburn with Darwen.
Even though a pandemic, Blackburn Youth Zone ensured that the annual patrons’ dinner still went ahead regardless of the obstacles COVID-19 has brought with it. The event, held on a virtual platform, was attended by representatives of companies and individuals who provide support towards the £1.2 million required every year to keep the Youth Zone open; including Graham and Brown, BAE Systems, Cardboard Box Company, Totally Wicked, Crown Paints, Napthens Solicitors, Blackburn College, PM+M Accountants and other supporters.
Throughout the day, BYZ team members delivered to patrons the delicious food hampers prepared by Breda Murphy, which included a personalised letter to the BYZ Patron written by young people as well as a handmade gift.
The spectacular event saw speeches from Chairman Rt Hon Jack Straw, Founder of Blackburn Youth Zone Andrew Graham MBE and Chief Executive Hannah Allen highlighting the work BYZ has done to support young people and their families during this unprecedented time.
BYZ members then took to the zoom call and spoke to the patrons about the barriers young people face and how the Youth Zone has supported them through this challenging year.
This year Blackburn Youth Zone has helped support thousand of young people, which would not be possible without the business community who attended the virtual dinner. The business community of BwD has risen to the challenge from such hard times and ensured they continue to support the future generations of the town, whatever it takes.
Trent Brand, a youth member of Blackburn Youth Zone, took to the call and read out a poem about his 2020:
“2020 I became a young leader, 2020 I set goals for myself, 2020 I learnt how to use zoom, 2020 I stand proud here, 2020 I found my voice matters. Some say 2020 is cancelled. I say it made me excel. Some say 2020 is too painful; I say look for the beautiful.
This some may think, but this I know. So you see, I do know, 2020 is shadowed by Covid, 2020 is still not so morbid, 2020 does not belong to Covid, 2020 is mine, yours, ours. 2020 gave me the opportunity to sit here, 2020 allowed me to say ‘thank you.'”