Inspiring Youths Recoginising Roots




Achievements of Young Black People Celebrated


Mayor of Waltham Forest, Nadeem Ali, with one of 100 award
winners at Friday's Young Gifted and Black awards ceremony

First published Wednesday 16 October 2013 in News
Last updated 11:10 Wednesday 16 October 2013 by Amelia Burr

Awards recognising academic and cultural achievements were given to one hundred young black people at a ceremony in Walthamstow. The Young Gifted and Black awards were established in 2003 by Yvonne Bailey of Kreative Culture Klub, an organisation that helps young black people to achieve their goals. This annual event was held on Friday night at a packed Walthamstow Assembly Hall, in Forest Road, Walthamstow. The event was hosted by radio presenter and comedian Geoff Schumann. A special award went to Daniel Awosanya, a former student of Lammas School in Seymour Road, Leyton, for his outstanding sporting achievements. Mr Awosanya is now a basketball player in America. His mother, Olu Osiyemi, collected the award on his behalf from Jon Clark, the former England Basketball Coach. Event founder, Yvonne Bailey, said: “It was fantastic. It’s so uplifting. It’s about promoting young black people doing well and achieving and using them as role models to other young black students.” “If they are making progress then the whole black community is making progress.”


Boys and Ballet

A Leytonstone school boy inspired by Billy Elliot earns place at Royal
London Ballet School


LEYTONSTONE’S very own Billy Elliot is living the dream after being chosen to attend one of the world’s greatest ballet schools. Ten-year-old Wesley Branch, of Peach Grove, has been selected as a junior associate at The Royal Ballet School - after studying ballet for just five months. The St Joseph's Catholic Junior School pupil had been learning street dance for two years when he joined a ballet class at the Leyton-based youth organisation, Kreative Culture Klub (KCK). Wesley said: “I wanted to help with my street dance and started ballet here - I loved it straight away.” His proud mum Wendy, a teacher at Buxton School in Cann Hall Road, Leytonstone, suspects her son got the idea for applying for the Royal Ballet School after watching his favourite film, Billy Elliot, in which a Lancashire boys succeeds in ballet against the odds. Wesley attends classes every two weeks at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, and even got to shake hands with his idol, world renowned Cuban ballet dancer and permanent member of the Royal London Ballet, Carlos Acostas. He is now in rehearsals for a small part in Cinderella at the Royal Opera House in April, but has already experienced treading the boards in a 17th century repertoire at the school. Mrs Branch said: “What's really good for me as a parent is that he really went for it. It is one of the best ballet schools in the world and he got it. I want to teach him to aim high, even if he doesn't go into ballet, I want him to have aspirations.” Wesley said he will be applying to go to full-time ballet school next year and hopes to turn professional, or to become a contemporary dancer if he does not succeed in ballet.


Kreative Culture Klub (KCK) has expanded and is still growing stronger


Published Friday 12 March 2010 in Where I Live by Mhairi Macfarlane

A GROUP set up the harness the creativity of young people on a Leyton estate hopes to secure its future with more funding. The Kreative Culture Klub was started by Yvonne Bailey to create activities for young people on the Oliver Road estate in Leyton and now has almost 150 members attending a variety of weekly classes. As well as a weekly youth club, it now runs classes in cheerleading, singing, music, street-dancing, and ballet. Ms Bailey said: “When we started in 1998, there was a need for what we were doing in Oliver Road. It started as a six-month pilot. I had no idea what I was doing at the time, but it has grown and exceeded all my expectations.” Although it was at first predominantly attended by young people from the black community, Ms Bailey said that it has always been inclusive and she is happy to see children joining from all backgrounds. One of the ballet classes has children from many backgrounds including English, Polish and Romanian children, taught by a Russian-method ballet teacher, Era Shala from Albania. Ms Shala trained rising star ten-year-old Welsley Branch from Leytonstone before he got into The Royal Ballet School.