The Young Active Citizen Award

For some time, the Lord-Lieutenant has wanted to recognise young people who truly make a difference to their local communities.


Until 2020 there had not been a special award for young people going the “extra mile” to help others.  The Young Active Citizen Award was launched to acknowledge the outstanding contribution of young people, to reward their effort and hard work, and to celebrate people doing extraordinary things.


Each year the award will be themed reflecting what is happening in the West Midlands.

Young Active Citizen 2021

In 2021, to mark the Coventry City of Culture within our region, our awards celebrate young people who have shown extraordinary impact on the artistic and cultural life of the region.


We wanted to recognise young people who have used their skills and talents to build and strengthen local communities via artistic and/or cultural activity.


Our winners have helped other people overcome barriers and allowing them to participate in artistic opportunities. They have been innovative and creative, using their skills and talents to make an impact in their local communities.


Nominations came from across the region with young people showing great creativity and dedication to their art.


Congratulations to our winners.


Dakota Maxwell-Homes

Dakota is a pupil at St Laurence Church Infant School. She stands out from others in her love of using art to support learning and self-expression. She loves to draw and support her class mates if they are finding art challenging.


Her approach is refreshing and she was made an art ambassador for her school, which led to a project for “Creative Champion of the Week”. She also excelled during Creative Arts Week, playing an active role in the year one arts project.


Dakota has shown an extraordinary impact on the artistic life of her school.

Sydney Illsley

Sydney’s love for art, dance and performance has kept her positive over the last two years and she has used dance and art to provide a voice and perspective for a young person to help reach out to other young people.


A dancer since the age of 4, Sydney has recently overcome injuries that nearly put a stop to her dancing career. Realising how important dance can be to personal wellbeing, Sydney worked with the West Midlands Arts and Dance community organisations to support young people to connect and become involved in dance.


Thanks to her determination to dance, and passion to share with others, Sydney is now studying at Rambert School of Ballet.

Romanah Malcolm

Romanah established the Eloquent Praise & Dance Company (CIC) to use her gift and passion for dance to empower young inner-city children.


Not only does she use dance as a way to reach disadvantaged children, she is also an author. She covers difficult topics in an effort to steer children away from crime, gangs and violence.


Romanah has created a team of dance teachers, mentors and community workers and the activities that they generate give children hope and a greater chance of becoming Young Active Citizens themselves. She is a great role model and inspiration.