Carl Sheward and Joshua Barwell are two Junior Volunteer playworkers at Pype Hayes Community Focus. Both 16-years-old, when they are not studying for AS-levels they are spending their free time getting those younger than them involved, doing fun days and activities.
For their effort and heart for the community at such a young age, the Junior Playworker Co-ordinator has nominated them both for the Young Persons Birmingham Local Hearts award. They both agree the work is rewarding, and possibly see themselves forging a career in community work. Here’s their story.
This is the story of Dolores Pinkney who runs the Dojo project in Handworth. She has been working tirelessly for her community since she moved to Birmingham with her family in the 1960s, and now she has been nominated by Kevin Duffy for Birmingham City Council’s Local Hearts Awards in the active citizen category.
She says her parents were her inspiration – they opened up their home to everyone in the area and it became a focal point of the community. Now with her brother Hector, who works at Handsworth Library, Dolores has continued her parents’ legacy with the Dojo project. It ranges from jogging sessions on Tuesdays & Sundays to securing the lease to build a community play centre on the derelict site of the Hockley flyover.
Dolores says her motivation is “encouraging everyone that we meet, enabling and empowering,” and if someone is there who needs help, she cannot turn them away. Here’s her story.
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.
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.