Brum Youth Trends, Beatfreeks

BRUM YOUTH TRENDS SUMMIT GIVES VOICE TO YOUNG BRUM

Taking the Town Hall by storm with over 400 guests, yesterday’s (10 October) Brum Youth Trends Summit brought together the region’s policy-makers and influential young people for a day of heated debate and ambitious pledges. The summit asked both speakers and audience alike to carry out a detailed inspection of what young Brum wants – and, more importantly, how they can get it.

Discussing the pressing question of Who Runs Brum?, Birmingham’s most famous faces took to the stage in front of the live audience to decide what they personally will commit to doing, in order to fix the problems of 14-25 year olds in the city. Highlights included West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, promising to do more to make transport affordable and accessible; Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, Brigid Jones, pledging to equip young people with the tools to not just acquire jobs, but to create their own jobs; and BBC Radio One presenter, Sideman Allday, passionately imploring Birmingham to value its young talent more.

Joining them on stage were the likes of Kari Lawler, the 15-year-old founder of Youth4AI; Brummie CBBC presenter, Talisha ‘Tee Cee’ Johnson; and the incredibly inspiring Waleed Khan, who has gone on to be a member of UK Youth Parliament, despite having been shot eight times at the age of 12 while at school in Pakistan. So impactful was Waleed’s speech, that it received a standing ovation from the 400 strong audience.

The summit celebrated the launch of this year’s Brum Youth Trends report, which is designed to start the conversation around how we can engage more young people in today’s leadership, not just tomorrow’s, the Brum Youth Trends report asked everything from the difficult to the straightforward, the everyday to the extraordinary. The report has now been compiled, looking at health, transport, relationships, culture, the future of the region and everything in between.

Brum Youth Trends, a project spearheaded and championed by the Beatfreeks Collective, is now in its second year, after a successful pilot in 2017. Speaking about this year’s BYT return, Anisa Haghdadi, founder of the Beatfreeks Collective, comments:

“We are so proud to finally hold the report in our hands, and to have been able to hear the voice of Young Brum. To have so many influential people in one room talking about the problems directly raised by the young people of Birmingham, and more importantly listening to the responses Young Brum has given, is truly ground-breaking.

“For us, this project hasn’t just been a fascinating insight into the way the young people we interact with think and feel; we need it to be the start of a call to action to start truly listening to them and taking their opinions seriously. Let this summit be the start of something big for all of us,” concluded Anisa.

The Brum Youth Trends report is now available to download: to do so, head to www.brumyouthtrends.com.

Tara Tomes