Engage Birmingham has launched this week and I am really excited about this new volunteering project from TimeBank. I feel we are going to be making a real difference to Birmingham and offer a unique opportunity that is different to any other local initiative.
Engage Birmingham is working with Destination Work providers to support people aged 18-25 into employment, but we are going a step further by recruiting volunteer mentors to help the participants to find work or set up their own businesses.
The project won’t patronise the participants or offer day long PowerPoint presentations, team building exercises and “motivational speakers”. We want to find out what is important to the young people and give them the skills and confidence to carry out their own social action project. We are offering them the chance to create something meaningful in their communities while enhancing their employability.
TimeBank has already run successful Engage projects in London, Sunderland and Merthyr Tydfil where young people delivered exciting projects, from children’s sports activities to a clothes-swap, that inspired them to return to education or start their own small businesses.
To achieve success in Birmingham we are creating partnerships with relevant charities in the local areas, for example: Gro-Organic in Chelmsley Wood. Gro-Organic is committed to improving the places where people live and work. They empower communities to be strong, resilient and proud of where they live. I hope that our partnership with Gro-Organic will allow us to make a difference to Birmingham and give the young people the chance to try something different.
I am really thrilled to be working with Gro-Organic and look forward to empowering the local communities, supporting local 18-25 years olds and developing some unique social action projects.