My friend Maxwell Ayamba has won the Sheffield Star‘s Pride in Sheffield Award for his work in enabling black and ethnic minorities to enjoy nature. There was an article about him in the newspaper last February.
Max, from Ghana, was a member of the Ramblers’ board of trustees from 2006-2009. I first met him when he was a community champion for the Campaign for National Parks’ excellent Mosaic project. Max pioneered the 100 Black Men Walk for Health group, which emerged from a health-walks group, and this developed into the Sheffield Environment Movement (SEM) which I helped to launch on 14 July 2016.
He is a worthy winner of the Pride in Sheffield Award. Through SEM, Max has enabled black, Asian, minority ethnic and refugee communities in Sheffield to discover their natural environment in delightful company. People have developed confidence to explore the outdoors; he has even taken a group up Ben Nevis.
As we approach the seventieth anniversary of our national parks, which were designated to provide access to all, Max’s work has never been more relevant.
His activities have become a movement which not only enables many more people to gain access to the outdoors but is also campaigning for the wild places we all need for our refreshment and relaxation. This well-deserved award helps to spread the word that SEM is there to help everyone discover the joys of walking.