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Young people are often overlooked and may be excluded from civic life. Projects within this category work with young people to encourage leadership and participation in their local community and connect them with opportunities beyond their neighbourhoods.

The Children in Care Council

Walsall Children in Care Council represents the views of all Walsall’s children and young people who have experience of the care system. Walsall CICC provides a voice for children and young people in care and with care experience. Walsall CICC hold regular CICC meetings with an appointed Chair and agenda, attend the Corporate Parenting Board to influence change, plan and organise events, come up with creative ideas to fundraise, attend forums and conferences locally and nationally and work with other organisations 
to ensure young people’s voices are heard to improve service delivery. 

Youth Connect

Youth Connect is an outreach and centre-based youth work organisation meeting the needs of children and young people through youth programmes and leadership initiatives. Youth Connect empowers young people and offers advice, coaching and support across a wide range of activities at locations in Walsall. The organisation provides a space for young people to talk about their issues and engages young people through gaming, music, board games, table games and other fun activities in a youth centre environment. 

Ben Williams - Kicsters

Ben Williams started Kicsters, a digital pop-up youth club for young people aged 10-18 years old. Their mission is to deliver local community programmes that meet the needs of young people from predominantly disadvantaged and low aspiration backgrounds and empower them to learn new skills, gain knowledge, lead positive social action projects, achieve and improve emotional and social capabilities via digital mediums such as radio, TV and gaming.

Dillon Hollingworth – Scorpion Gym Darlaston 

Dillion has been supporting and teaching young people at Scorpion Gym, Darlaston for a number of years. When his father established a family run gym in Darlaston, Dillon saw that a number of young people could not afford to attend classes nor purchase equipment. In addition he had seen a number of young people ‘hanging out’ around Darlaston Town Centre, which may have contributed to anti-social behaviour.


Dillion met with the young people, listened and acted to help young people in Darlaston. He regularly provides free sessions to young people, opened a separate fitness suite, where young people can be healthy and work on their fitness. He raises aspirations amongst the young people and a number of them have begun to engage positively with school and various statutory services.


Dillion is a role model in the local area and continues to be an inspiration to young people in Darlaston.

St Aidan’s

St Aidan’s are strong advocates in taking the walls away and learning beyond the classroom to ensure that young people experience different places, activities, conversations, that will challenge but also inspire their aspirations to a can-do attitude. There is a selfless two-way ethos of support, mentoring, advocating and counselling between St Aidan’s and all those in the local community which makes this a very special centre.

Vickie Heydon-Matterface

Vickie works tirelessly to engage local schools and communities in the Leamore area with the use of the Story Telling garden based in Leamore Park. Vickie has worked on her own with minimal support from the local authority to maintain and develop the Story Telling Garden. She has created a safe space in the community which is very much valued. Vickie has hosted a number of events in the space that have been well received by local schools and the community. 

Dan Garbett, Bloxwich Community Partnership

Bloxwich Community Partnership creates safe spaces where they can support young people, challenge and provide opportunities like volunteering, giving them self-worth, support young people to make better decisions in the future and give them reasons for trying hard to achieve. We put trust in them which in turn allows them to trust themselves. Having an open ear, accepting mistakes, persevering through the good times and the bad, having a real interest in what they are doing and being the living example of what is possible to achieve, coming from North Walsall, are all part of our core service delivery.

Caroline Crolley at Green Rivers

Caroline has been doing voluntary youth work in Walsall for 45 years. Caroline started by standing in for someone at the Beacon New Invention Youth Club on a Friday night disco and after several years she was asked to take on Coalpool Youth Club; holding sit-in’s at the headmasters office so that the young people could have the old workshops area and renovating and furnishing the centre. Despite challenges from the young people, Caroline built relations teaching them to respect the centre and to give back what they want to receive. The club’s decisions were made by the young people themselves and they challenged businesses wanting to get rid of the centre with parents and young people becoming more responsible for the local area. Caroline was then asked to re-open Green Rivers Centre where she still is involved today. Caroline enjoys hearing from previous users of the centres and their experiences; the holidays, visiting parliament, helping with homework, pool league visits 
to other centres and much more. 

Daniel Felton – Stop Knife Crime Campaign

International Athlete, Black Belt Daniel Felton, has been a Karate instructor since the age of 18, having started martial arts himself at 8 years old after being bullied at school. At 18 years old he decided that he had gained a lot of knowledge and confidence in self-defence and wanted  to share that knowledge amongst Walsall communities.


With his team of Instructors, he has been delivering weekly sessions to  young people, to enable them to be safe and have confidence to tackle difficult situations. He & his Instructors are teaching, not just physical skills, but  skills that enable young people to recognise difficult situations and avoid confrontation, whilst gaining confidence.


This helps young people to feel safe, be safe and develop a range of transferable skills. Darlaston Karate Club continues  to raise the awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife and how to enable young people to defend themselves in unsafe situations.

Liam Perrens, Frank F CA and New Invention

Liam works at Frank F Harrison Community Association, an established Walsall based community organisation. Liam has delivered youth work and community based activities across Walsall for a number of years. In 2018 he helped to establish ‘The Loft Youth Club’, in New Invention. With his drive and determination he has been able to deliver a safe, thriving and fun youth centre, supported by youth volunteers and the local community. Liam and Frank F Harrison CA have also opened up the centre to become a community resource called ‘The Hive’. Liam is a talented youth leader who is committed to raising young people’s aspirations alongside young people being  at the heart of decision-making.

Youth of Walsall

Youth of Walsall (YOW) is Walsall’s youth cabinet group for young people aged between 11 to 18 years. The organisation empowers young people to have their voices heard through local projects, meeting with key decision makers and representation on local boards and in groups. They have their say on a variety of issues and topics, take part in local projects, meet key decision makers and represent young people locally, regionally and nationally. The group works with a range of local services. The group’s flagship knife awareness campaign, Real Knives Real Lives has been recognised by professionals, local groups, elected members and many others. The campaign has also gained media coverage locally.

Aldridge Youth Theatre

Europe’s first purpose built youth theatre. Located in Aldridge, this fantastic facility is at the heart our community. Aldridge Youth Theatre inspires budding young actors and actresses supported by committed volunteers who work in the background but act as an inspiration to Aldridge and the wider community of Walsall.

Walsall Elite Martial Arts

Martial Arts Club has been running for 18 years. As a brother and sister team they work tirelessly to promote a family culture for students as young as 3 years old. We currently have 24 different nationalities attend our club to train and learn Tae Kwon Do together. Through this they learn from each other and have a better understanding of different faiths and cultures within the club. Jason and Emily are both full time educators in the daytime. Working around this and their young families they help others within our community to come together and learn new skills.

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