PLEASE NOTE: Entries are now closed for the 2022 YAYAs

We’re out to find the finest young South Asian rising stars in the whole of Yorkshire!

Open to all 16 to 30-year-old young achievers: tell us about your successes and become the role models of the future….

Entries are now closed for the 2022 YAYAs – Yorkshire’s top awards scheme for young people of South Asian heritage! Now in its third year, the Yorkshire Asian Young Achievers awards (The YAYAs) is the first scheme of its kind set up to recognise the efforts of young people aged 16-30, of South Asian heritage born or living and working in Yorkshire.

Its special focus is on those socially-mobile young achievers who have overcome deprivation and disadvantage, or have broken through traditional barriers to progress.

The awards are being staged for the third consecutive year following their hugely successful launch before the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, which saw scores of entries from right across the county and some amazing winners chosen from a stunning list of shortlisted candidates.

The awards aim to:

  • Promote social mobility among young South Asians
  • Identify role models to help inspire others from the relevant communities
  • Encourage young South Asians to seek out and take up further and higher education opportunities

The awards will be presented during a fabulous gala dinner event on Friday, November 11, 2022. It will be hosted by the fabulous award-winning BBC Radio and TV presenter and stand-up comedian Noreen Khan (right).

The event will also be available to watch via a live webcast (details to be announced soon).

Working in association with our headline partners, York St John University, the YAYAs are organised by the QED Foundation, a registered charity which exists to improve the social and economic position of disadvantaged communities in partnership with public, private and civil society organisations. It has been creating opportunities for all since 1990.

“There is a huge amount of talent among young South Asians in Yorkshire and we want to ensure it is being recognised. The YAYAs are a really exciting way to make that happen”

Dr Mohammed Ali OBE, Founder and CEO, QED Foundation


So who’s behind the YAYAs?

The YAYAs are organised by the QED Foundation, a registered charity which exists to improve the social and economic position of disadvantaged communities in partnership with public, private and civil society organisations.

The awards were launched to mark the 30th anniversary of the QED Foundation and we hope they will become an annual event.

It is supported by its headline partners, York St John University, and a host of sponsors, supporters and donors who all share the common goal of helping Yorkshire’s successful young South Asian people to attain the recognition they deserve for their achievements and their contribution to their communities, their towns and cities, their county and beyond.

You can find out more about QED and York St John below and by clicking on the links to their respective websites.


The QED Foundation

The year 2020 marked a very special moment in the history of the QED Foundation as we celebrated our 30th anniversary.

The QED Foundation has been creating opportunities for all since 1990. We believe that people of every race and faith should be able to fulfil their potential. Our aim is to help to build a peaceful and cohesive society where everyone can contribute and be rewarded for his or her efforts.

We do this by supporting ethnic minorities to find jobs and progress in their careers. QED Foundation delivers education, training and employment services to disadvantaged communities at neighbourhood level. We enable them to achieve better health outcomes and play a more active role in wider society. 

But we also support government and public sector organisations, businesses and charities across the UK to tackle inequality. We use our first-hand experience of working at grass-roots level to advise key decision makers. And we promote a positive image of Britain’s BME communities and celebrate their successes.

Working together we can put ethnic minority issues at the heart of public policy and open up opportunities for everyone.

York St John University

At York St John University, we have been changing lives through education since 1841. The importance of access to education for all individuals is something that we strive towards.

We offer a variety of inspiring undergraduate and postgraduate courses, many of which include placement and study abroad opportunities. Our focus is to provide you with a personalised learning experience so that you can reach your potential. You can develop in a welcoming and supportive environment and become part of a close-knit community. Our students love the sense of community they feel on campus.

We are proud of our heritage and proud to contribute to the history of York. Our 11-acre campus is located close to the city centre and overlooks the York City Walls. Our students can easily go and explore everything York has to offer. Across the city, there are buildings that originate at various points across the past 2,000 years. We are no different. Our university campus is a place where modern buildings meet Victorian architecture.

We are proud to be inclusive and take pride in our social and culturally diverse community. We work to enrich our wider community by tackling inequality, promoting fairness, and challenging prejudice.

To support this ethos, we offer a Contextual offer scheme. The scheme considers both your academic potential, life experience and factors that might not usually contribute to university admission. Everybody has lived a different life and we celebrate that. This is why we have introduced the scheme. We also offer financial scholarships to further support our students.

We think it is important for people to understand how we make our offers at York St John, because our approach is a little different. The offer scheme we use was designed after listening to feedback and completing a variety of research with our current students and those who might want to join us in future. The scheme has had a positive impact on lives as 68% of our students come from underrepresented backgrounds in UK Higher Education*.

We also demonstrate our commitment to equality through being the headline partner and proud sponsorship of the Yorkshire Asian Young Achievers awards (YAYA). The YAYA Awards offer an opportunity to celebrate the excellent accomplishments of all nominees. We want to recognise the achievements of our young Asian population and to inspire them to keep pushing boundaries.

*Based on internal data, 2022.