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The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has awarded funding for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games legacy programme Gen 22.

The £100k funding will to help more local organisations across the West Midlands work with young people already engaged in, or at risk of falling into the criminal justice system. This important funding will support local projects so approximately a further 150 young people across the West Midlands Communities.

Gen22 is designed with and for young people who might otherwise struggle to access Games related opportunities often facing barriers including lack of confidence; being a young carer or young parent; or having a criminal record.

Following the launch of the Gen22 programme in October 2021, 216 young people have already successfully completed their 30-hour volunteering assignments with their designated assignment providers, through the pilot programme delivered alongside the National Citizenship Service.

One of the projects that will be supported is Sport 4 Life UK’s project – Future Wise – which will enable youth-led social action events in local community areas along with employability workshops and sports activities to improve mental and physical wellbeing.

An additional four projects will be funded;

Blue Jay Exchange CIC will be doing a film-making project called Based in Brum: Sparkbrook and Small Heath Heritage Stories. The participants will co-create a short historical film based upon their local area that will capture local residents’ stories of coming to the UK.

The Inspire Group will be doing a project based in Walsall, called Raise for the Games Walsall. This project will be taking place with three main pillars – Inspire Sport, Engaging People and Empowering Communities – in the hopes of giving young people essential life skills to become valuable members of their community.

Wednesbury Social Action Programme is a project based in Sandwell, by the organisation Centre Spot CIC. The funding for this project will allow young people to shape their own social action plans in ways that they believe will be useful for their community, enabling them to think more in depth about what could benefit the areas they live in.

Sports Key will create a project called Sports Key Future Leaders which will allow young people to lead comunity sport sessions, providing them with planning and leadership skills.

Nicola Turner MBE, Director of Legacy at Birmingham 2022 said: “It is incredible to see that this programme is already providing benefits and making a difference to young peoples lives in the region. I would encourage businesses, charities and organisations across various sectors to sign up to support this initiative and help deliver these essential life skills and experiences to 16-24 year-olds, offering them a range of potential career related benefits.”

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 this funding will allow us to work together to create a meaningful legacy from the Games. We want to work in partnership to help young people build confidence and feel included.”

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