Headlines: January 26th, 2010

Young people from deprived neighbourhoods are being involved in local community projects designed to help them raise their ambitions, broaden their horizons, and unlock their talents. The projects include youngsters helping local builders and a ballet company.

All the Inspiring Communities projects are being led by local communities including schools, colleges, businesses, and third sector. The activities aim to broaden young people’s horizons. In Barnsley there are plans to hold family careers events, university taster sessions and twinning with Newham in London for activities linked to the 2012 Olympics. The projects also aim to inspire and give advice to young people. In Bristol a youth council is being established to give young people a voice to increase their self esteem.

An important part of the initiative is to raise parents’ own aspirations and self confidence. In South Tyneside a ‘DIY SOS’ project is enabling young people and their parents to work with skilled professionals to renovate a run down residential property, gaining qualifications.

The projects will also help to develop strong social networks in and beyond communities, raising community pride in young people and drawing out talents of the community to support young people. The ‘Reclaim Gorton’ project in Manchester aims to reduce the fear of crime in the area, and a classical performance by the Manchester Camerata orchestra with young people taking part for a television documentary will draw out hidden talents.

The Inspiring Communities initiative is run jointly by Communities and Local Government, the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Cabinet Office. It has also secured support right across Whitehall, with a further 11 Government departments committed to encouraging ambitious and creative work locally.