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  • Writer's pictureWalsall for All

Connecting young people and the Walsall community together

Blog written by Shanai Campbell

Photograph taken by Michael Collyer
Shanai Campbell with Michael Collyer, Rizwan Ahmed & Benjamin Williams

This week is Youth Work Week, which is the annual celebration of youth at work managed by the National Youth Agency. It offers many support groups and projects to enhance young people's social and educational development.

Walsall for All have teamed up with Rizwan Ahmed, Director of Youth Connect, and Benjamin Williams, Project Manager of Kic FM to find out what youth in action means to them.

During the interview, Rizwan stated that within his organisation, they offer a variety of different activities to young people, in the south of Walsall. They also have an inclusive environment for young people to come in and prosper. Their aim is to reduce the risk of exclusion.

Photograph taken by Michael Collyer
Shanai Campbell speaking with Rizwan Ahmed

Young people are proactive within the activities that they offer, as they take part and even help to shape the projects. They benefit from the projects as they can feel included in the community and showcase their opinions. Young people have a place to go to and have their voices heard.

"I would say to young people that there are many providers for positive activities and other avenues as well, including sessions that we offer to reconnect. You should go to those places, take part in the activities and allow themselves to express their opinions as well."

- Rizwan Ahmed

Whereas Benjamin stated that at the organisation he works for is Kic FM and he runs the project called 'Kicsters', which allows them to go into the community where young people are and set up a pop youth club for them. The organisation focuses on digital skills and social action projects, to help allow young people to have a better chance to find work.

They allow young people to speak their mind, and comment on any issues that may be bothering them. such as knife crime, speeding, bullying. Their services are for 10 to 18-year-olds. The organisation aims to give young people somewhere safe to go and make new friends. They bring inter-generational groups together to share skills and knowledge with the young people in the community.

Photograph taken by Michael Collyer
Shanai Campbell speaking with Benjamin Williams
"We get young people involved in activities of different themes, so we have done a discussion session about education and the environment, and we take them into the community so they can engage, and give their opinion on various different things, we even do litter picks with young people."
"Youth work in action for me is providing a safe space for young people to explore their thoughts and feelings, so that they can make a positive change in the future."

- Benjamin Williams

If would like to find out more about Youth Work Week or projects, please visit the sites below:


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