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This page is about Evolution Youth's activities in Bordesley Green. Keep checking back for more information
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Trip to France/ Belgium War Memorials 1st/2nd September 2012
Young people from Birmingham paid tribute to the sacrifices made by Commonwealth soldiers in World War 1 and 2, the group visited graves and war memorials in France and Belgium.
There they laid wreaths on behalf of the people of the city. The group included pupils from Bordesley Green Girls School, Al Hijrah school, members of the Bordesley Green Detached project, Our Community CIC and residents from the Bordesley Green Forum.
The purpose of the trip, which took place early September 2012, was to give young people the chance to learn more about the sacrifices made by soldiers from Indian sub continent in the First and Second World Wars.
It was amazing to see the Indian War memorial in France and a wreath was also laid in a moving ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres, in Belgium. This ceremony is attended by hundreds of people who gather every evening to remember those who lost their lives.
The trip was organised by Captain Muhammad of the British Army and Abdul Ghafar of Birmingham Youth Service.
For photos please see our facebook page
Special thanks to Dan @ http://dangriffinhayes.blogspot.co.uk and Pete @ www.1updesign.co.uk
Footy tournament, Age group 13 – 16, Wed 29th Aug, 12 – 5, Saltley Leisure Centre, £5 to enter, LIMITED places, contact us for details…..
Mini launch of ‘The POD’, a small community hub and Skate Park serving the needs of young people and local residents in East Birmingham.
The day will be starting at 11.00am, where you can join in a litter pick up if you wish for about an hour and help us tidy up the skate park and surrounding areas.
Or if you don’t fancy that, join us after 1pm for some fun activities, food and refreshments. Music will be performed by local young people, there will also be a skating exhibition from local talent and much more.
You can also find out more about our plans for the future and see pictures of the site (before and after), so you can see the physical changes for yourself.
Great news, the container is fully refurbished and has been used quite well by local young people and residents, so far so good. We have now begun the process of developing the site and have been meeting with active residents and young people and have some great plans going forward. The plans involve a clean up of the site, painting of the skate park itself and a small launch of the site, provisionally a date has been set for 23rd June 2012. Going forward, a schedule will be planned, where local organisations and forums will run activities during the day and youth activities at evening times.. Watch this space, more details to follow soon!
Met with contractors to day, finally water connected! minor refurbs require completion….will be moving in furniture and schedule of activities next!
Contractors have completed there job, also have refitted kitchen. Severn Trent have been out and have carried out inspection. They are happy with pipework and now have given a connection date of 8th May 2012, by this date the site should be connected with water supply. (Fingers crossed!).
Contractors have been busy digging and dismantling the kitchen inside that container, as the main connecting pipe lies under there. A few more days of preparation and then Severn Trent Water will come out to inspect, we will find out more by early next week.
The contractors have been busy digging up so that they can access the pipes. This has been complete and Severn Trent have come out to have a look. We are awating feedback on what will be happening next, we will keep you posted.
It seemed that we were not getting very far, very fast! however our perseverance has it seems paid off as finally we have a break through. After a lot of chasing up, asking questions and numerous dicussions with local elected members and council representatives, the water connection will be going ahead and the broken items will be replaced. Therefore from Monday 26th – Tueday 27th March 2012, contactors will be digging the pipes with the inspection and survey (Severn Trent) taking place on Wednesday 28th March. If all is well, then we are looking at another two weeks for the connection to be complete. If all is not well then it could take up 6 weeks! fingers crossed it is not the latter. Therefore, we can call it a ‘step in the right direction!’
As always, we shall keep you posted!
Well, a lot of money has been spent on this container, so far we have only opened it for a couple of hours every day so locals can see the building from the inside. However, already we have had issues with main locks breaking, doors jamming, locks acually locking themselves and the latest heaters falling off walls. The way in which the electric heaters have been put on the wall is pathetic, so fragile that a simple knock and off they come! really , we cannot seem to figure out where all this money was spent! the builders are booked for tommorow (Thursday 22nd March) to come out at a convenient time for them of 10.00am and fix it until it falls off again! (oh’, they do not come out after 4.30pm)
We have been chasing up re the water connection issue, still not getting anywhere it seems. Have emailed local elected members including Chair and Vice Chair of Constituency. Thus far, only the Vice Chair has chased up on our behalf! we have also learnt that an additional £2k will need to be found to pay the surveyor. Unbeleivable but not a surprise, same tactic of delay and more money required……well our point would be ask the Lead contractor to pay from his budget allocation/ dept as it was because of him not checking the connection in the first place, we have this delay!
We supported the Bordesely Green Detached Project to take a group of YP on a residential to the National Trust. It was a fantastic few days, Keep a look for pics.
Busy times, met with ASDA who may be in a position to support us with a community action day! along with support for the project. Ground Works WM also keen on helping us look afte the site! good news all round
So far re the issue with the water connection, we can report the below feedback;
Yes, that is right, we have not heard a thing!
Met with the crew today, were looking to put in a bid to change makers for a project to do up the skate park. However, bad news, the guy from change makers did not do his home work properly and the crew were not allowed to put in an application as they did not meet certain requirements. Please do your home work before you come out and raise our hopes and then let us down and waste our time! #changemakers
We have had issue with the locks put on by the council builders, they kept on breaking. Third time luck today, if they break again we would like our money back please!
We have been continuing with our engagement and consultation, thus far requests for activites range from computer clubs, cards, PS3, Pool to table tennis, comic and manga clubs! activities away range from narrow boat, trips, residentials to mountain climbing!
It may be a case of frustration or general anti social behaviour. The gates to the entrance were vandalised today, youth workers are educating locals again about it being their centre and responsibility. However, the issue is that it is still not open, as we are still awaiting the water connection! we are still chasing up but still no joy with this! on the other hand, the Police have been informed about the vandalism and will be keeping an eye on things.
We have had over 60 new faces this week 70+ in total, young people mainly and residents who have dropped in to have a look around. Again it seems they are all looking forward to seeing the site opened, however we cannot as the water has still not been connected. A frustrating position for us, we want to do more, we cannot as our hands are tied!
It has been a week, we have been chasing up daily but yet do not seem to be getting anywhere with sorting out the water connection issue. In the past severn trent has been paid out to do it, but it did not happen. Where are all the people in charge then? then need to be sacked! hangon, they already have
On a serious note, the enagement we have had, the response from young people, local resients and our youth workers has been positive. All are keen on making this happen, but we are being delayed by a water connection!
Today, we have been sent an email, allowing for the provisional transfer to take place and for us to open the site a couple of hours a day. This would help in the short term, glad that they had the sense to take our advice on board. However, the longer issue of the water connection needs to be sorted asap, so that we can open the site as planned.
We have been working with officials from various departments of Birmingham City Council and elected members to ensure the smooth transfer of the site. However, every time we have gone for update meetings, a new issue has come up which has either a) increased the cost of a project already over budget b) would take longer, a project going way over schedule. Thus far, we have managed to squeeze the monies from somewhere and buy more time. However, today ( 22/03/2012 it should have been handover keys day) we were given the good news that the container has been fully refurbed and it is ready to be handed over. However, the bad news is that they have just realised that the water has not been connected to it. The lead assumed that is would have been connected previously, then blamed the contractor. The contractor incidentally turned up and blamed the lead, eitherway it did not help our situation. After a lengthy discussion, it was clear that we all could not afford to continue with the on-site security until the issue is resolved. However, all the council workers were keen to see a lock put on it for the ‘time being’. However, we interveed and fought for the authorisation of opening the container a few hours a day until the water issue is resolved. We made it clear that it would be vandalised if not opened as people would think that again it has been fixed and opened for them to use. Hence we would be back to square one again minus all the monies spent and our time wasted on the project. The guys have noted what we had to say and will take it back to their managers and let us know of next steps.
Since our youth workers have been intervening and working with the local community the ASB issues against the security guard have been resolved. Recently the guard reported no issues and none came up when we met with officials regarding the work in progress. Good work all round.
The site currently has on-site security, however recently the guard reported that he was pelted with stones by young people, for no reason what so ever. This issue seems to be ongoing, when youth workers are present, not much happens. When local young people are asked about who is causing the ASB, then youth workers are informed that it may be people from outside of the area. Well, eitherway this issue needs to be dealt with. Our team will be spending some more time in the locality and will be working more closely with the Police. If you are doing this, or know someone who is, then this needs to stop. For those caught, there will be a punishment and not just a telling off. We are working to develop youth activities and bring opprtunities for local young people. This is for the benefit of young people and all the community. We hope you can see this and will work with us to help us improve the area.
As we previously informed you, the cost all of a sudden increased leaving us to find a significant deficit of £11k to complete the refurbishment. It seemed that due to lack of funds, the project may have to be stalled and shelved again. However, local elected members from the 3 wards will be intervening to ensure this does not happen. We will contributing a further 3k of SOCA monies to complete the refurb. We have now been informed of a new target completion date of 3rd March 2012. All being well, we shall have a fully refurbed container by then.
After meeting with the planning and buildings team from Birmingham City Council and other city council officers last week, we found that the cost of the refurb has increased. This was due to some additional damage caused after the original scoping of the project took place, from what we saw it was some smoke damage to the boards on the roof and some wiring, cost maybe £250.00?. However, the costing for this is an additional £7000.00, which will have to be found before the refurbishment is complete. As an organisation, what we have realsied during this process is the red tape around the refurbishment of city owned resources. We had no say in the budget, we had no say in whom the contractor should be, we had no say when and how the refurb should take place, in fact we were not even invited at these meetings. It seems, there is an attitude of ‘this is how it is’ and whatever ‘this’ is, ‘that’ is final. The costings for the refurb it seems have increased to the level that one could refurb a 3 bedroom house, quite easily, however who are we to comment?
We are not show how, internally and externally a full shake up of this system is required, who, when and how this will happen? cannot possibly comment.
Social Breakfast Campaign
Basharat Dad talking about the need for youth provision in Bordesley Green and the campaign to get ‘The POD’ up and running for local young people
The refurb has started, however we are still having a lot of issues with anti social behaviour. Our team had a meeting on Thursday 19th January 2012, with the planning team and with builders approved by Birmingham City Council who are refurbushing the container. They informed us that late December 2011, the container was damaged again, causing more cost to the original budget and this may result in a delay in completion of the works. ALL the refurbishment will be carried out by the planning and building team from Birmingham City Council. The container will then be handed over to us after completion of works. Our youth workers have been working with a lot of local young people, however it seems the damage is being caused by offenders from out the local area. This is no doubt a challenge for all of us, we shall continue to presevere and try and make as many improvements as possible. We shall keep you posted and up to date.
We continued to engage with the local young people in the winter months, with the use of the ‘Midnight Bus’ we were able to hire from Birmingham City Council. This enabled us invite young people to ‘hop on’ and talk to youth workers and also to find out the latest RE ‘The POD’. It was a lot warmer than hanging outside in the cold and dark for young people, therefore we got a good turnout at sessions. For more pictures, visit www.ourcommunity.org.uk and our facebook and Flickr Pages.
Since May 2011, our team of youth workers have been working on the ground developing relationships with young people, consulting with the community and getting to the root of why ‘The POD’ was never opened. The conclusion unfolds a blame game with many statutory and VCS organisations and personnel involved. We are not in a position to comment on this, however what we do know is that this whole process has damaged the community considerably, it is long term and the results are there for all to see. The area is a crime hotspot, drugs is a big issue and crime is on the rise. As a community organisation, we can only but try and develop some grass roots intervention and further prevention to stop these issues escalating. We cannot do this on our own, we need everyone to get together and support us with this project.
It has taken over 16 months, since our initial involvement, numerous meetings with personnel from all sectors, it seems we are finally in a position to refurbish ‘The POD’ and open it for local young people and the community.
Needless to say, the hard work starts now……..
We took over 50 young people to Edgbaston to watch a match between Warwickshire and Hampshire. It was a great day out, with Warwickshire just edging out a win! for more pictures please visit ww.ourcommunity.org.uk and our facebook page.
Here are some pics taken in Oct 2011 of the container, it has been vandalised and really is an eyesore. For more pictures, visit www.ourcommunity.org.uk and our facebook page.
We arranged a trip to Drayton Manor for local young people. Over 50 young people had a fun day out and not only had a subsidised entrance fee but enjoyed the fantastic weather too!
At the end of Whitacre Road (Bordesley Green ward) and linked via a bridge to Alexandra Way (Washwood Heath ward) lies a small area known too many people as ‘The Pod’. Essentially it is a container which originally was transformed in to a small building with the idea of it becoming a Youth Club. This site has been a subject of many discussions, with many statutory organisations/ services and some Voluntary blamed for not doing what was required in time to complete this project. However with 5 years or more passing by, whoever to blame, the youth club was never opened. Due to this, a rebellion took place from the local youth who were not happy with broken promises. This resulted in continuous attacks to the container causing total damage, externally and internally. Over the last two years it has been vandalised, graffitied, the inside has been completely destroyed and it has been burnt internally and externally. In its current state it is an eye sore, health and safety problem and completely useless.