Community awards

Community awards

The Gary Francis Achievement Awards

The Gary Francis Achievement Awards are held each year to recognise local young people who achieve against the odds.

Gary Francis was Hackney CVS’s Youth Programmes Manager. Over 6 years he secured nearly £2m for projects working with disadvantaged young people. Gary was a key figure in the local community and his knowledge and expertise helped to shape the Borough’s approach to tackling youth crime by ensuring a focus on giving young people opportunities to achieve their best.

Sadly, Gary passed away from cancer in 2012. We hold the annual awards to remember his achievements and to celebrate the achievements of some amazing local young people.

Who is the Gary Francis Achievement Award for?

The award is open to all young people who meet the following criteria:

  • Young people aged 16 – 25
  • Young people who live or were born in Hackney
  • Young people who have overcome a particular difficulty or barrier and then gone on to achieve by making a difference to their life or the lives of others
  • Young people who have been enterprising in some way.

Here is one example of what we are looking for:

Shenqiue joined the youth construction charity Build Up in 219 as a very shy young person, unconfident in her abilities and nervous about the construction world. Throughout the project, she faced her fears regarding confidence and then went on to support 60 young people with challenging backgrounds to face their fears in confidence too, supporting them to design and build a new inclusive public space in Hackney for everyone.

She then made a powerful film about it and addressed a crowd of 150 people about why it is important to involve young people in decision-making and to give them genuine power in their area.

The awards are currently closed.



Gary was an inspiration to young people in Hackney and greatly respected by all the partners. Gary was a great guy who will be sadly missed.

Steve Bending, Hackney’s former Borough Commander

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