Jenni Rowley, isn’t your average 20-something woman. She spends her evenings out on the streets in Northfield, trying to prevent Anti Social Behaviour and crime in the area and getting young people involved in a number of projects. One of these projects is the Beyond Midnight Bus, which parks up in Northfield, kitted out with DVD players, stereo, internet and recording studio and has become a place for young people to hang out and talk about what they want to see in their area.
As a support worker for INVOLVE (while she is not in her day job in property management), a community group in the Northfield area which aims to help get funding for local projects young people want to do. Jenni says working on the streets with young people and local authorities has opened her eyes and given her confidence. She tells us how excited she is to be nominated for the Young Person’s Birmingham’s Local Hearts Award, in the young people category.
Involve is Northfield’s Young Peoples Forum – it was set up in 2005 for 12-19-year-olds to meet monthly.
Involve are given money by local government, which they can then distribute to young people to help them run various activities or projects which they would not otherwise have been able to do. Through this they help young people develop a number of skills such as organisation, teamwork and communication skills. INVOLVE believe they are giving a voice to young people – to get their opinions across to people with power in Northfield and to further that they recently launched their own website: www.involvenorthfield.com (dead link).
In the last three years the group have distributed £75,000 of community chest money and £20,000 of youth opportunity fund to individual young people and groups and projects. They recently started their own radio show and videocasting channel – getting young people to comment and debate on prominent issues such as abuse in a relationship. This podcast was recorded in October 2009, just after they had been shortlisted for Local Hearts Award. It has Nick Booth talking to Karen Cheney, Luke Bowles, Sophie Lynch, Jo – spoz – Esposito and Lauren Synott.
Jenni Rowley and Selina Okunnu of the Northfield Young People’s Forum talk to us about how power is shifting towards the young in Birmingham. From April 2007 the forum, run by 11 to 19 year olds, will have up to £80,000 to offer as grants to the young people of this south Birmingham constituency. There is also an update on a story from July 2006 about Get Hooked on Fishing, based in Bournville.
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