Please spend a couple of minutes reading about this year’s Next Generation Awards (NGA) and the inspiring young people who took part.

Run over the last 17 years by Birmingham Civic Society within schools across the Birmingham area, the NGA has encouraged over 33,000 11-14 year-olds (approx. 2,000 a year) to become active citizens and demonstrate their enthusiasm for making the city a better place for all. The winning team receives an award of £1,500 (donated by Newman University) and expert mentoring support to help their project become a reality.

It was an absolute delight to chair the panel of judges and watch the finalists deliver their excellent presentations so passionately (I thanked them all for making our evening so incredibly difficult!).

This year we chose the Re-Uniform project because of the valuable support it will offer fellow pupils and their families: collecting unwanted school uniform and re-distributing it those in the local community most in need of support, at a time when the cost of living crisis is hitting so many so hard, underpinned by excellent planning and a clear focus on sustainability.  

If anyone is looking for a source of hope for a more caring, community-minded future, you only need to look at these young people.