Published

25 June 2021

Nahim Ahmed, who gained his undergraduate degree at UEL with the School of Education and Communities in 2012, has been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list and awarded an MBE for his services to disadvantaged young people.

Nahim has been working in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets for over a decade to help young people and local residents.  He has focussed on directing programmes to help bring  about positive, sustainable change by collaborating with like-minded professionals who inspired him.  

Nahim said:

I am so honoured and humbled to receive such an award - an MBE! It is an incredible moment for me that signifies not only my commitment and work with young people but also how far I have come as an individual.

Back in 2009 when I started my undergraduate degree with UEL, this is when my journey began working with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Paul Adams and his team supported me throughout, which I am so grateful for. I was someone who was not academically gifted and also juggled 3 jobs whilst studying.  Their empathetic approach really helped me get through and I could see how they believed in me.

Nahim is currently working as the Youth and Community Engagement Manager for Spotlight, the youth service of Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association alongside studying for a Masters in Strategic Management of Projects at University College London (UCL), having gained a scholarship last year.

He adds, "One of the modules I really enjoyed was Paul Adams' module on Leadership and Management in Youth and Community work. Even after a decade, this module I studied all those years ago is still in line with my professional development. Today, as the Youth and Community Engagement Manager for an award-winning social housing provider, it just goes to show how planting the seeds during your studies goes a long way".

Understanding that there are still many societal issues affecting the young people in Tower Hamlets, such as poverty, gang culture, violent crime and mental health issues, Nahim uses the art of storytelling to engage and gain the trust of large audiences of young people.  He allows those most vulnerable to see his youth centre as a safe space. As Nahim transformed himself, he hopes to transform hundreds of young lives.

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