The founder of a Bradford children’s charity has received a prestigious award recognising outstanding achievement in young people.
Rich Jones, chief executive of the Joshua Project, in Great Horton, has won one of the UK’s Ten Outstanding Young Persons awards, organised by Junior Chamber International.
As a UK winner in the Humanitarian Leadership category, Mr Jones will travel to the JCI congress in Leipzig, Germany, in November, to be in with a chance of winning a TOYP world accolade.
The Joshua Project, set up in 2007 and based in the My Impact Centre on Cross Lane, works with children and young people to overcome barriers, such as poverty, educational disaffection and social exclusion, that may block them from realising their potential.
“I always say that those of us involved in the work of the Joshua Project do it not for awards or plaudits, but because we’re motivated by love and a commitment to seeing lives and communities transformed for the better,” said Mr Jones.
“It is in an honour to work alongside some incredible, unsung heroes who make our work with children, young people and families possible.
“I’m humbled by this award and thankful to JCI UK in bestowing it, for recognising the importance of grassroots, one-life-at-a-time, transformational work.
“This award is received on behalf of the children, young people and families we work alongside, who are my inspiration.”
The awards recognise young people who excel in their chosen fields to create positive change, and Phil Cockayne, deputy president of JCI Bradford, said Mr Jones was a more than worthy winner.
“I first met Rich at a junior chamber meeting when he delivered a presentation about the work the Joshua Project do in the local community, and whether we could do anything to support his work,” he said.
“At the end of it, most of the JCI members were on the brink of tears. The stories Rich shared about some of the children and young people he has helped were incredibly moving.
“I’m in full support that Rich is an excellent choice to receive the award, as he his someone who never seeks recognition, but who fully deserves it.”