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Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games launches Gen22 legacy programme for young people
Via Ruth for Birmingham 2022
October 2021: Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has launched its new legacy programme for young people, Gen22.
Gen22‘s programme provides employability boosting opportunities for young people from the West Midlands who might otherwise struggle to access the many opportunities arising from the Games.
Participants are supported to undertake thirty hours of volunteering, connected to the physical activity and wellbeing, creative, and digital sectors. They will receive support before, during, and after the programme to ensure they can maximise the benefits from the opportunity.
The initiative has been co-designed by young people to ensure it best meets the needs of the participants and is something they will enjoy and benefit from. The Gen22 Consultation Group is currently made up of 12 young people from across the West Midlands who face a range of barriers.
Participants can be nominated to take part and Birmingham 2022 is looking to work with local organisations who can signpost their young people to the programme as well as providing volunteering opportunities.
As part of the launch, the Gen22 team at Birmingham 2022, alongside some members of the consultation panel and people from the local community, transformed a basketball court in Victoria Park, Smethwick.
Nicola Turner MBE, Director of Legacy at Birmingham 2022, said:
Young people told us that some of the opportunities available at the Games, like jobs and volunteering, could be hard to access if you were under 18, had caring responsibilities, or had a criminal conviction. Others said that they had lost confidence during the pandemic and would discount themselves from making an application.
Gen22 was built in partnership with young people, for young people, to offer 16 to 24-year-olds a flexible, accessible way to join in with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Starting now, we aim for 1,000 young people to each take on 30 hours of social action. Assignments might include taking photographs for a local business or volunteering at a sports club.
We know the Games can bring people together and our goal is that the young people taking part in this programme will gain confidence and feel included. I think 2022 will prove to be a turning point for Birmingham and the region and that people here are ready for it.
It is inspiring to imagine the thousand individual legacies and journeys that we can spark with this scheme, and the benefit our communities will feel from the 30,000 hours of social action.”
Councillor Millard, cabinet member for culture and tourism, said:
We were excited to be part of the Gen22 launch at Victoria Park in Smethwick earlier this month. The Gen22 project is part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and will provide an opportunity for thousands of young people in Sandwell and the wider region to gain employability.
I look forward to working with partners on this initiative which will leave a lasting legacy for young people in Sandwell beyond the Games.”
Tom McNeil, Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, said:
We believe in the potential of all young people across the West Midlands and are excited to be supporting the Gen22 project in helping to create a meaningful legacy from the Games.
Our partnership with the Organising Committee will focus on providing opportunities across the creative, digital and sports sectors to young people who most need them.”
Sian Allan, a member of the Gen22 Consultation Group, is taking part in the programme herself. She said:
As someone who sometimes struggles with confidence, it’s been amazing to be part of the Gen22 project from the start. I’ve already started my volunteering hours and can already see the difference it will make for me and my future.”
For more information please visit birmingham2022.com/gen22.