Award-winning lecturer Craig named Most Inspirational Person of the Year
A University College Birmingham lecturer has been honoured with a special award recognising the work of unsung community heroes in the Midlands.
School of Education, Health and Community lecturer Craig Pinkney saw off strong competition to be named the Most Inspirational Person of the Year at the 2019 Midlands Business and Community Charity (MBCC) Awards following a public vote.
The annual awards were launched four years ago to showcase and celebrate outstanding individuals who make a real difference in business and the local community in the Midlands, with stars such as Beverly Knight and Jamelia also among those recognised at this year's event held at Aston Villa FC.
"It’s an absolute honour," he said. "I wasn't expecting it."
"I always say I don't do this work for accolades, I do it solely for young people in the community that are affected by violence. But to be acknowledged by the community and the public who see me on the frontline, I'm totally honoured and humbled by it."
In accepting the prize, Craig dedicated his award to a former colleague, Pride of Birmingham award winner and community champion Joan Campbell, who sadly died a few days before November’s MBCC Awards ceremony.
"She was a close friend, mentor and colleague, so the award came at a very poignant time for me," he said. "We worked on a number of projects and programmes within the community, many of which our students attended."
In addition to his work at UCB, Craig is director of Real Action UK, a Birmingham-based outreach organisation specialising in working with disaffected youth.
A leading expert in the fields of urban disaffection, gangs and youth violence, Craig also appeared on Jamelia's web series The Table in November to discuss the UK education system.
And he has received further recognition in recent months, having scooped an accolade for his academic research into gangs and crime.
His paper on 'Gangs, Drill Music and the Mediatisation of Crime: Expressions, Violations and Validations' won Outstanding Paper in the Safer Communities category in the 2019 Emerald Literati Awards. The paper is currently available to view here.
Craig is not the only one from UCB celebrating awards success in the past few months, with a number of ex-students also collecting special accolades recently.
Rosie Ginday, a former Level 3 Professional Cookery student and founder of Miss Macaroon, won the Diversity and Inclusion Leader award at the West Midlands Leadership Awards in November.
Meanwhile former BA Hospitality Business Management student Ryan Doyle – now of Park Regis Birmingham – was named Male Networker of the Year 2019 at the City of Birmingham Business Awards (COBBA) held in October.
Are you interested in a career working with children, young people, families and communities? Find out about our range of courses at UCB's School of Education, Health and Community here, and follow the latest updates from the school on Twitter.
Photo credit: Lensi / Manos