Aragon takes on baton from Akabusi
Published by Grand Union for Grand Union Housing Group in Housing and also in Communities
Aragon MD Aileen Evans receiving the baton from former world champion Kriss Akabusi and Sgt Ian Mackenzie.
Aragon Housing Association’s pioneering course for young people in partnership with world champion athlete Kriss Akabusi celebrated a surprise appearance and a gift from the man in whose honour it is named.
Former Army Sgt Ian Mackenzie, who mentored Akabusi to athletic greatness, travelled from his home in the north of Scotland to be the star guest at Project Mackenzie where he presented the Olympic silver medallist’s first relay baton as a gift to Aragon.
In his first reunion with Akabusi in 19 years, Ian Mackenzie, now in his late 60s, said: “I am delighted to hand over the baton which I have kept for all these years to Aragon who have set up this remarkable project to inspire and motivate young people to achieve their dreams.”
Aileen Evans, Managing Director of Aragon, added: “Project Mackenzie is designed to help young people realise their goals, and find them work. We are delighted at the success we have had and so pleased we have been able to share it with the original Sgt Mackenzie.”
So far the project has helped set up seven construction apprenticeships and seen a further nine young people through life skills and work placement training. Participants have started work in a children’s nursery, a catering company while others have their sights set on the armed forces and the music business.
Kriss Akabusi, whose dynamic style has helped shape the project, added: ”Together we have created something amazing. It is great to be involved in a project with a bunch of people who really make stuff happen. To use a relay analogy, we are out of the blocks, it’s a great first leg, we are going to finish in style.”
Aragon hopes to roll out a further cohort of Project Mackenzie in the autumn.