A trio of inspirational young people from Wolverhampton have been named as Batonbearers for this month’s Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay.
Keisha Riley, Megan Baynham and Noah Bailey-Moloney have all been nominated to carry the Queen’s Baton on July 24 to recognise their remarkable achievements.
Keisha is committed to making sure the voices of young people are heard and is determined to give back to her local community.
She volunteers at the city-based Strive, which provides young people with activities during school holidays, and attends a Saturday school to teach young people about Black history. The 15-year-old has also completed peer mentor training and volunteered at HeadStart Wolverhampton to provide young people with support.
Keisha is also passionate about the arts and its ability to engage young peoples’ creativity. She has also been involved in the Youth Engagement Board, is a representative on the city’s Youth Council and is Chair of the Bilston Youth Ambassadors.
Keisha said: “It’s a great opportunity, rare experience and a memorable moment. I can’t wait to be a part of this great festival, which brings so many together.”
Twenty-one-year-old Megan is extremely passionate about improving the lives of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families in Wolverhampton. She is an active member of HY5! Youth Forum and the Culture of Inclusion Project, representing the voices and opinions of other young people, shining a light on important things and working with others to drive change where it matters most.
Just some of the things Megan has done over the past 18 months include helping to develop a training package for professionals who work with children and young people with SEND, sharing experiences of Covid-19 to help develop recovery plans and meeting with police to discuss how to better engage with young people.
Megan said: “Being picked to be a Batonbearer is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I feel so privileged to do and will always be grateful for the nomination.”
Noah was only nine when he faced a gruelling battle to walk again after medics discovered a cancerous tumour fused to his spine. He spent his 10th birthday in hospital before travelling to America for proton treatment leaving him away from his family and five siblings for more than eight weeks.
Noah, a member of 1st Bilston Scouts, received the Pride of Bilston award for his bravery and inspiration to others and has received the Chief Scout Personal Award in recognition of his courage for his medical treatment and ongoing issues. He is currently fundraising for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to attend the 25th World Scout Jamboree to be held next year in South Korea.
As a community-minded young person, 15-year-old Noah is also a member of the Bilston Youth Ambassadors and is keen to improve Bilston for Young People in the city. Noah said: “I feel very proud to have been given the opportunity to represent those who can often be misrepresented or overlooked in everyday life.”
The group of inspirational young people have also all been involved with developing the city’s Young Engagement Strategy (#YES) which outlines how to give our young people the best possible start in life.
Councillor Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet member for city environment and climate change, said: “What an amazing group of young people and how right it is they should be recognised with this great honour for all their achievements.
“Keisha, Megan and Noah all strive to do the very best they can for other young people, often while dealing with huge challenges in their own lives, and I take my hat off to them for everything they have done, and I hope they enjoy the day.” The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay will be coming to Wolverhampton this summer during its final journey through England before the Commonwealth Games.