Community spirit award 2020 winner
Wasem Said is a young man from Butetown. Over the last 5 years he has developed not only himself, but his community.
He works tirelessly with young people in the area, steering them away from drugs and other anti-social activities that could jeopardise their futures. As part of this work, he has taken over Tiger Bay ABC, an amateur boxing club originally set up by the former light-middleweight boxing champion Pat Thomas, which now boasts a membership of more than 300 young men and women. The membership has grown dramatically in the last year, and children and young people will often be found doing their drills – skipping, punch bag work, and sparring – at regular classes.
Wasem has been supported in this venture by the South Wales Police Youth Trust, and has also been working with the local MP and councillor.
Anecdotally in the community and wider Cardiff, it has been reported that young people value Wasem’s gym for building their self-esteem, and helping them overcome mental ill health through the discipline of training there.
Working with other community leaders in the area, Wasem has campaigned to get an open space in Butetown used by the whole community, including small children, cleared of dangerous drug paraphernalia. Drugs and knife crime have long been a problem in the area, and community activities for young people are vital to ensure they don’t get involved with drugs or gang violence – something Wasem fell into as a teenager, but managed to extricate himself from when his father died, and he had to look after his family.