Music volunteer nominated for Coronation Champion Award for work supporting refugees
A volunteer from Swansea has been nominated for a Coronation Champions Awards for inspiring young people from diverse-ethnic backgrounds through music and culture.
29-year-old Ify Iwobi volunteers part time with Race Council Cymru and the African Community Centre and is now in the running to become one of 500 volunteers, who will be selected as the nation’s Coronation Champions.
The awards are to be held as part of the King’s Coronation and will recognise the exceptional work of volunteers from across the UK.
Talented musician Ify first established a project called Crossing Borders Music and Heritage whilst volunteering at Swansea YMCA.
The initiative aimed to help young people from diverse ethnic backgrounds explore how their cultural roots impact on their creativity and increase their sense of self-worth.
More than 30 young people aged 14–29, many of whom have fled from war and persecution, benefited from the project, seeing improvements in their mental health and wellbeing.
A volunteer for 15 years, Ify also donates time each week to teach piano to young asylum seekers and refugees who don’t have the financial means to pay for lessons.
During the pandemic, Ify also led a collaboration to compose a track to raise money for NHS Wales.
‘We Won’t Forget’ raised over £2000 and won the Wales Culture Matters Bread and Roses Award in 2021.
All 500 Champions will be invited to a Coronation event and will receive an official Coronation Champions pin along with a certificate signed by The King and Queen Consort.
Ify Iwobi said: “Becoming a Coronation Champion would completely change my life and, I hope, inspire other young people to volunteer alongside study or work. We can all give back a little to make the world a better place and power up those around us.”
“For me, music has been a life line and I believe many young people who have fled from war, trauma and distress could find it therapeutic to use creative art as a form of expression of their pain, stress and anxiety.
“Through volunteering and managing this project, I have used my creative talent and ability to empower, uplift and transform young people’s lives, enabling them to be the best they can be”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.