YOUTH worker Ryan Kennedy won the Young Leader Award at the first-ever Young Ealing Foundation Awards.

The awards ceremony, hosted at the University of West London in Ealing, celebrated young people who have made a difference to their community.

Ryan’s journey started after a family bereavement made him decide to attend YMCA Hayes youth boxing sessions.

It proved to be an outlet and escape from constantly feeling sad and negative at home. 

After a period of homelessness and sofa surfing, he moved into supported accommodation at YMCA Hayes, where he engaged with the youth team.

This opened his eyes to a new way of life - meeting friends and positive mentors - which encouraged him to volunteer with the youth team.  

Since then, he has taken on a Kick Starter youth worker role.

The Young Leader Award recognises him as a role model who demonstrates exceptional leadership and has, through his passion, commitment and motivation, inspired those around him. 

Charlotte Bawden, Youth Development Manager at YMCA St Paul’s Group, said: “We are excited to see what further achievements he will gain as he begins his youth work career.”