A Nottingham chef who was stabbed last year has spoken about being ‘overwhelmed’ after winning an award named after his murdered friend.
Akil Johnson-Richards, 22, won the Lyrico Steede award named after the Bulwell teenager who was murdered in 2018.
The award is for those who may have been involved in gangs, knife crime or any other criminal activity but have made significant progress and are inspiring others to make positive decisions and better life choices.
“I felt overwhelmed to have won the award as I knew Lyrico personally and I’m sure he’s proud of my achievements and aspirations,” he told Nottinghamshire Police.
“I was inspired (to become a chef) after seeing people who do not have adequate access to food.
“I wanted to cook meals for people to show them they don’t have to limit themselves on their quality of dietary choices.
“I’m very creative and like to explore with food and flavours.
“It helps to know I’m supporting others in their time of need.”
Mr Johnson-Richards received the award at the Live Our Best Life Awards programme which aims to recognise the talents and achievements of young people across Nottinghamshire.
Lyrico’s mother Keishaye Steede selected Akil as the winner.
She said: “I decided to choose Akil because I see beautiful potential. I love how he decided to take his experience and pour into himself and bring out the best of his ability in providing a solid healthy foundation for himself.
“He could’ve decided to go down a dark path, but instead he chose light. That is how I always saw my son Lyrico Steede.
“So in his honour I am blessed to have the opportunity to stand by and witness Akil exemplify such great, heroic character.
“God bless young man, keep up the good work.”