A major event for 100 Birmingham students took place on 24th November 2010 at Millennium Point. It offered young people the chance to understand common global development issues such as those faced by city dwellers around the world. It was an exciting day involving eight schools and sixteen workshops facilitated by key organisations.

During the day, we were entertained by King Gurcharan Mall and the Dhol Blasters, challenged by Adrian Johnson, Birmingham’s Poet Laureate 2009-10, and listened to by Councillors Salma Yaqoob and Paulette Hamilton and UK Young People’s Parliament representative Prabjot Ragbotra.

Schools involved

Thank you to the schools involved in the event:

  • Bordesley Green Girls’ School: Business,
  • Enterprise and Applied Learning
  • Hamstead Hall Community Learning Centre
  • Moseley School: A Language College
  • Park Hall Academy
  • Park View Business and Enterprise School
  • Queensbridge Visual and Performing Arts School
  • Turves Green Girls’ School & Technology College
  • Waverley School: A Specialist Humanities College

On the day, young people said:
"We were heard – about what needs to change in this city"
"I feel strongly that I can fight for what I believe in and not give up"
"It allowed me to understand other people’s views on the environment"

This event forms a key element of Tide’s ‘Cities Project ~ creative KS3 curriculum development’ which continues to work towards increasing understanding of global development issues.

For more information about the Cities Project, and how to get involved click here

Planning group:

  • Envision – Cameron Nimmo and Stephanie Slater
  • Young People’s Parliament – Prabjot Ragbotra, Shauna Kelly-Alder, Manraj Mander
  • Hamstead Hall Community Learning Centre – Dennis Edwards

Partner Organisations

A range of workshops were provided by partner organisation focussing on city issues such as crime, homelessness, refugees, investment, communication, making a difference, recycling and health.

Thank you very much to all the workshop providers who offered such thought-provoking sessions:

St Basils - Steve Rainbow

Safer Birmingham Partnership – Chris Dyer

Birmingham City Council – Jeremy Shields and Phil Palmer

Clerici Design – Anthony Clerici

Midlands Co-op – John Boyle

SMILE/ Refugee Council – Sarah Hislam

Park View Business and Enterprise School – Steve Packer and Year 9 students

Envision – Cameron Nimmo

Podnosh – Nick Booth

Creative~ States – Mark Riley

Young People’s Parliament/ UKYP – Dennis Edwards, Prabjot Ragbotra and Shauna Kelly-Alder

Birmingham Youth Service – Soryah Brown

Birmingham City Council Planning and Regeneration – Richard Cowell

Keynote speech

Adrian Johnson – writer, poet, storyteller and Birmingham’s Poet Laureate 2009–10

Adrian talked about his own experience as a migrant worker coming to Birmingham; a place of opportunity. He suggested that cities are a ‘work in progress’; never finished, always developing. He set us thinking about bright ideas that are germinated in cities, how cities are interdependent with other places, and finally suggested that ‘we are [you and I] the city’. He shared his own poetry and the work of others that illustrate some of these ideas.

Question Time Panel Session

  • Adrian Johnson – Birmingham Poet Laureate 2009/10
  • Prabjot Ragbotra –  UK Youth Parliament/ Birmingham Young People’s Parliament Representative
  • Councillor Salma Yaqoob – Leader of the Respect Party and Councillor, Sparkbrook Ward, Birmingham
  • Councillor Paulette Hamilton – Labour Councillor, Handsworth Wood Ward, Birmingham
  • Chair – Cathryn Gathercole – Director, Tide~ global learning

Key questions and discussions were around themes of:

Youth involvement – how young people can make a difference, crime and gangs, health

  • The environment – recycling, impact of climate change on poorest in the world
  • The economic crisis – the impact on services and international development
  • Important issues for cities – investment, refugees, conflict, health andaccess to services such as libraries and sport facilities

These discussions and ideas from the workshops will contribute to the next phase of the Cities Project.

On the day, young people said:

  • "It allowed me to understand other people’s views on the environment"
  • "I learnt about the progress fair trading has made in countries such as Bangladesh"
  • "It helped me understand the ways Climate Change affects people and how to take action on problems"
  • "I have learnt that we are the city"

Downloadable materials

Click to download in your preferred format.