Tag: gcpodcast

Not just a pub landlord: A new podcast from the Grassroots Channel

Chris Birdsell and Bob Flack
Chris Birdsell and Bob Flack

Chris Birdsell isn’t your average pub landlord. Along with running the Varsity pub in Harborne, Chris is chairman of the local “pub watch” which alerts police to incidents on the High Street, he’s on the committee for the Harborne Traders Association, Harborne Village Centre Partnership and on the committee for Harborne Carnival. He’ll know who to put you in touch with, and regularly opens up the pub for community events.

Harborne Village Centre Manager, Bob Flack, nominated Chris in the active citizen category for the Birmingham Local Hearts award, because he recognised the innovation he has for local projects and the ability to drive projects to their end. Chris recently started a local artists evening – allowing those in the community to showcase their work. He said he always has people coming into the pub asking for help, and often he will find ways to help the people help themselves – opening the pub in the evening for them to hold fundraising events and meetings, and putting them in touch with the right people.

Chris has been described as the eyes and ears of the community, and said his motivation has to be the people. Here’s his story.

Making Britain a better place: a new podcast from the Grassroots Channel

Noorin Akhtar
Noorin Ahktar

Noorin Ahktar wants to change Britain. She goes out interviewing the people at the top – leaders of the council, councillors, public service providers and holds them to account in a way accessible to her community. Her aim is to make sure some communities know about the changes being made in public services – she promotes and raises awareness in ethnic communities – she now has a rogramme called ‘Community Time’. She has set up a blog, and uses radio and tv channels to make the short programmes in English, Urdu, Punjabi, and a number of different languages.

Noorin thinks some communities are wrongly perceived as ‘hard to reach’ – she challenges this point of view with her truly innovative and brilliant work. Her inspiration is the fact if people of aware of what is going on around them, they will have the knowledge to be able to do things.

Manjit Singh nominated Noorin for the active citizen award, one of the shortlist categories for Birmingham’s Local Hearts Awards.

A whole lot of courage: A new podcast for the Grassroots Channel

Suzanne Coward and Linda Kelly
Suzanne Coward and Linda Kelly

When Suzanne Coward’s daughter Sarah, who has learning difficulties, turned 23, she realised she could use direct payment money to set up a cafe, Stepping Stones. Situated in Sutton Coldfield at the United Reform church, the cafe offers a day experience for people with learning difficulties to hang out, socialise and feel enabled to do things which they wouldn’t often get the opportunity to do.

Suzanne saw a gap in the north of the city, where there were no social enterprise services for people with learning difficulties.  She wants to encourage healthy living, exercise and creating things which are meaningful for people with learning difficulties. Linda Kelly, Senior Youth and Community Development Worker in Sutton Coldfield, has nominated Suzanne for the active citizen Local Hearts award for the work she has done for children with learning difficulties.

The reluctant activist: a new podcast from the Grassroots Channel

Michael Tye and Eunice McGhie-Bellgrave
Michael Tye and Eunice McGhie-Belgrave

This is the story of Michael Tye, the man who helped set up Aston Vision Ministries Association in 1984. The organisation aims to reach people in the community, particularly asylum seekers, by helping them with language and social integration. For his relentless work engaging the community through Aston Vision, Michael was nominated by Eunice McGhie-Belgrave for the Birmingham Local Hearts Award, in the active citizen category.

Michael said people who want to give some back to their community do so because they recognise how helping the community will in turn help themselves. He questions those who do community work for self-aggrandisement. He wants to work towards the common good – and is not so keen on being the one in the spotlight. Here he tells us his story.