Skip to main content

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster says he’s ‘deeply concerned’ some young people are not able to fulfil their potential as they are branded lazy, anti-social and even violent.

Simon Foster’s comments come after a series of consultations and workshops revealed 11 to 25-year-olds in the West Midlands regularly face stigmas because of where they live.

Find out more about My Tomorrow here

The youth-led research, which has been funded by the PCC’s Violence Reduction Partnership, has helped shape a new campaign called My Tomorrow. It will give young people their own platform to challenge harmful stereotypes around age, race, class and postcodes.

Professional boxers and brothers Kal, Gamal and Galal Yafai, who grew up in inner-city Birmingham, have been named as the campaign’s first ambassadors. The multiple European and World title holders will be speaking at the launch event at Millenium Point, in Birmingham, today in front of an audience of young people, decision-makers and community leaders.

Kal Yafai said: “I am 100% worried about the futures of young people, especially those from deprived areas who automatically get the blame when there’s trouble. They need much more support and it’s one thing that’s getting overlooked, which is why my brothers and I are supporting the My Tomorrow campaign.”

Simon Foster, who will open the launch event on Thursday evening, said: “The results of the region-wide consultation were eye-opening. Many young people feel they aren’t getting a fair start in life because of where they come from.

“This campaign is about empowering young people to influence policies affecting their lives, ensuring their voices are heard and respected. It will run for an entire year so we can make a real difference to young people’s lives and respond to their concerns around employment, violent crime and cuts to youth services.

“Fortunately, there are many people across the West Midlands who are passionate about supporting our young people, but they have also told us that staff morale is low and burnout is common, so we also want to support them by working more closely together.”

The campaign is being funded by the Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) and delivered by Coventry charity The Positive Youth Foundation. It will inspire a year-long programme of events for young people across the region, backed up by free resources and extra manpower for youth organisations and charities.

18-year-old Muj Rahman, from Coventry, said: “As a young person, I’m constantly navigating the challenges of self-discovery and life’s hurdles.

“For me, My Tomorrow represents a fair chance for everyone, no matter their background. It’s about opening doors for young people and ensuring that adults take responsibility for guiding and supporting us in achieving our dreams.”

A short film, At What Cost?, which recounts the experiences of the young people who took part in the workshops will premiere at the launch event alongside a collage art series, which will tour venues across the West Midlands after the launch.

Rashid Bhayat, CEO of the Positive Youth Foundation who has led the project said: “The campaign is the beginning of the conversation that young people want to have with their communities. They have been incredibly brave in their honesty about what is affecting them the most, and importantly want to remind us all that they are the solution and not the problem. The My Tomorrow campaign is a critical time for us all to ensure that we not only listen to, but respond to what the young people are telling us”.

Assistant Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Claire Bell, added: “The My Tomorrow campaign is key to helping agencies work together to engage young people and help them to gain skills that can really take them forward in life.

“It’s a really excellent opportunity to be involved in and I’m sure will be a really positive way to give young people the chance to realise their dreams.”

Back to News Archive

Latest Posts

Keep up to date with news stories about the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Go to the Press Office.

All News

Get the Latest news