Akeim grew up in Whalley Range, a notorious area of Manchester and saw many of his friends become involved in crime. Akeim, however, says he was inspired by his parents to find positive things to do that make a difference and transforms where he lives into a better place to live.
Feeling a strong urge to get out there and do something; Akeim worked with young people and his community to make their neighbourhood a safer place where those younger than him have the same opportunities he enjoyed – or better.
On Fridays and Saturdays Akeim helps run a youth club that’s open to local young people of all ages and provides a safe, fun environment away from the street corners. He says that it’s important to him to be someone participants can talk to and works to ensure that he’s supporting the young people to have a vision of where they want to be in life.
Akeim has been appointed as an ambassador for Manchester City Council – a role that involves him acting as a spokesperson for the local community, where he helps people to find and apply for jobs through a jobs group he set up on Facebook, which now has 17,000 members, helped 200 people to gain a full-time job and is supported by over 100 businesses.
Akeim applied for various sources of funding and was often unsuccessful. He didn’t let that deter him and was eventually able to secure the funding he needed to purchase a number of materials and promote his youth club.
For services to his community, Akeim has been awarded the British Empire Medal.