Awards Night ….

The Onside awards on Sunday 17th November 2019 was amazing and crazy. The Onside awards was at The Royal Albert Hall in London.

The Onside Awards was about all the Youth zones around the UK celebrating different awards.

On the Sunday morning, I got the bus from Oswaldtwistle to Blackburn then went to Blackburn Youth Zone to meet the staff and young people that were going to the Onside awards.

We got to The Royal Albert Hall by a coach (I had my packed lunch that I made at home then I fell asleep on the way there then I got woke up by Rihannon who’s 1 of the strong sisters) and there was alot of coaches from Blackburn Youth Zone.

On the journey to The Royal Albert Hall, we went to some services for food and drinks then got the coach to Royal Albert Hall. When we got to Royal Albert Hall, we stayed with each Youth Zone and got our seats which were on the front row, yay, and there was different performers which were: The Script, John Newman, Ms Banks and a London rapper. The Strong Sisters got nominated for the Health & Well-being award then we got shortlisted. At The Royal Albert Hall there was 4,000 people and I had never been to Royal Albert Hall before so I felt nervous but excited. At The Royal Albert Hall, we watched the different performers and when The Script and John Newman were on stage, I was waving and screaming (I nearly lost my voice!) because they are 1 of my favourite bands.

Then Prince Harry went on stage to represent the Health & Well-being award, he went through the nominations then he said the winner which was… Strong Sisters!!! (When we went on stage to get the award off Prince Harry, I was excited and nearly about to cry!

After the awards, we got the coach back home and I had some more food, went on my tablet for a bit and listened to music then went sleep but got woke up again by Rihannon. Then we arrived at Blackburn Youth Zone and I got taxi back home and arrived back home at midnight ish, I was very tired so I went sleep.


Like the London Residential, we were forced to wake up early.

We all met at Youth Zone with the group and the other nominees.

We travelled to Royal Albert Hall by coach, it was a long six hour drive but with my phone I survived.

On the way there, we saw Grenfell Tower and many graffiti arts on walls.

We arrived at our destination at 2pm and were told to stay in the VIP Area whilst waiting to go to take our seats. We were all very nervous but enjoyed ourselves there as we heard Stewart Lawrence talk.After that, we went to take our seats and the show began.

There was a lot of dancing and singing and talking by the performers and hosts.

My favourite part was when the health and wellbeing award winner was being called out.

Surprisingly, we won!

Prince Harry presented us with the award, we went backstage to take pictures and have a little chat.

The rest of the show was amazing but I was really hungry by the end of it. On the coach back we ate our sandwiches and slept on the coach. We arrived back in Blackburn at midnight, as soon as I got home I went to sleep.

We were very proud of ourselves that day and our youth workers were proud of us too.

Overall, the day was amazing even though it was an effort travelling.


We won!

It was a long and tiring journey to London but it was all worth it when Prince Harry called out Strong Sisters as winners of the ‘Health and Wellbeing’ Award.

It felt amazing. 

I don’t remember much of what happened after that point, except the fact that we met Prince Harry backstage and for the first time ever we were being interviewed about our Strong Sisters journey.

It felt surreal.

Everyone, including our families and BYZ, were really happy for Strong Sisters and the other nominees from Blackburn youth zone. 

The award, however, represents only a small aspect of the achievements of Strong Sisters.

As a group, we have finally been able to integrate well with each other and there is no longer the same awkwardness we felt at the beginning of our journey. 

Overall, the event was great and it was really inspiring to hear the stories of all the OnSide winners and nominees.


London Trip

Throughout our trip to London we went to many different places. Some of which included going to the House of Parliament, where we was supposed to meet with Kate Dove, the secretary of Kate Hollern. Kate Hollern is a member of parliament. However, after being let down by Kate Dove, we decided to explore Westminster. whilst exploring Westminster we took part in a protest about stopping china’s concentration camps.

one of the guards at Buckingham Palace.

We overcame some of our fears. For example, i used to be absolutely frightened of bridges. However, i managed to overcome this fear when i started to walk onto Westminster bridge. frightened and in tears i carried on about a quarter of the way until we went back.

On the last night of our residential we all took part a group discussion about the rights of women and how it has impacted us till this day. We all learnt new things about each other.

~ Jess–join-together-in-unity-by-Jess-Hargraves