Helping Birmingham's young people into work

Our Engage project has now started in Chelmsley Wood, where we are working in partnership with Standguide and Gro-Organic and hope to make positive changes in the local community.

Thirteen people aged 18–25 spent the day with us learning how to plan a social action project to help their local community. The participants got tips on how to plan their projects including managing budgets, working to time lines, managing stakeholder expectations and marketing.

Each brought different strengths to the day and we got a huge amount done. They have already begun to look at improving the health of the local community by building a sensory garden, herb garden and vegetable plot. Some of the young men designed a project which would allow the local football pitch to be used at night and they went a step further to see if this could be built with as little environmental impact as possible.

Some of the group looked into designing and hosting a website while others spent the afternoon developing marketing items like T-shirts and caps. Each member of the group contributed to the development of around five basic projects and we hope to build on these as the weeks progress. The rest of this week is already planned and I am excited about what else we are going to achieve. We’ll be looking at in-depth budgeting for their projects, developing resources, managing volunteers and managing risk, as well as spending time with Gro-Organic at one of their sites where we’ll put some of the ideas into action.

Engage is our exciting new project that matches volunteer mentors with young people living in Birmingham who are seeking employment under the 'Destination Work' programme. If you’d like to know more, or could volunteer a few hours to help these young people develop business skills, take a look at www.timebank.org.uk/engage