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Bradford College Students’ Union has triumphed in the National Union of Students Awards 2014 – winning the accolade for ‘Campaign of the Year’.
“We would like to thank everyone that participated in the campaign and we were delighted in winning this award."
Umar Rafique, Students' Union Vice President
The union took the honours at a glittering awards ceremony held in Bolton’s Reebok Stadium. Representing Bradford College at the event were Students’ Union President Fatima Sohail, Students' Union Vice President Umar Rafique, Students’ Union Manager Neil MacKenzie and Student Representation Coordinator Laura Pike.
The win comes after Bradford College Students’ Union launched the campaign ‘Save Bradford Youth Service’. The campaign followed the announcement by Bradford Council in November 2013 that it proposed to reduce the Youth Service budget by 79% in the budget for 2014-17.
This woulddecimate the service to only statutory levels, in a city that will become the youngest in Europe by 2020.
Between the announcement of the consultation on this and the final decision being made in February2014, Bradford College led a campaign coalition that successfully saved over £2m of the Youth Service’s budget, reducing the cut to 29%, in line with other services in the authority.
In the course of the campaign, the Students’ Union hosted question and answer sessions with the leader of the council and local MPs; engaged over 4,000 people through a social media campaign, including the magician Dynamo, who continually tweeted and promotedthedemo as he had been supported by the youth service when growing up in Bradford; organised demonstrations outside council meetings and showcased the talents of young people in Bradford that had been supported by the Youth Service.
From nothing Bradford College Students’ Union had created the biggest campaign the city had seen in years.
Commenting on the latest win from Bradford College Students’ Union, Umar Rafique said: “We would like to thank everyone that participated in the campaign and we were delighted in winning this award. The campaign was directly led by young people and this was a great achievement for all those involved, especially the youth and students from around the city and everyone else who came together to fight the cuts to the Youth Service. This demonstrates the impact and change that can be achieved when people from all backgrounds and circumstances unite and take a stand. Saving the majority of the youth service was extremely important for the future of Bradford and the Youth Service.”