Bristol’s youth empowerment social enterprise, Babbasa was presented with the UK’s highest business accolade for Promoting Opportunity through social mobility by HRH Countess of Wessex, as its Youth Ambassadors launch an urgent campaign, City Of Change, challenging businesses to offer work opportunities to underrepresented young people disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

The special event brought together city leaders including Lord Lieutenant Peaches Golding, Chief Constable Andy Marsh, Deputy Bristol Mayor Asher Craig and the CEO of Business West James Durie to virtually join the HRH Countess of Wessex, Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones, to present Babbasa with the award.

Babbasa’s Founder and CEO, Poku Osei said, “this award is a testament to the hard work of the Babbasa team, I’m proud that we have built a Babbasa that truly echoes our values of imagination, determination and kindness. And reminded hundreds of young people that their dreams are valid.”

At the event, Babbasa also gave a word of caution about the increasing unemployment and social immobility in Bristol. One of the Babbasa team members, Gail, shared highlights of their recent research report ‘Bridge To Equality’, which outlined the needs and aspirations of low income and ethnic minority young people in the city.

The report, which is due to be published on the 19th October 2020 on the Babbasa website, indicates that 79% of the main barriers to progression identified were linked to lack of information, experience of work, and skills.

The Babbasa Youth Ambassadors presented to the Countess of Wessex and city leaders about their immediate response to the findings of the report at the event.  Sarah, one of the Youth Ambassadors, said: “we are asking 30 businesses to create a career opportunity for one young person from a lower socio-economic or minority background in the next 12 months; offering a work-ready young person an opportunity at the workplace will not only help you to attract diverse talent but also make Bristol a better place to live. You can find how to take up our challenge on our website

The Lord-Lieutenant, Peaches Golding, who presented Babbasa with the award and citation manuscript from the Queen said:  “It was a wonderful event that puts Babbasa on a path to achieve even more.”