'WMStrong' campaign to offer a summer of opportunities to young people

A summer campaign offering opportunities and activities to school leavers and young people most at risk of falling into crime and anti-social behaviour has been launched.

Under the #wmstrong campaign, teenagers will be given advice and information on a wide range of activities from employment training to sports and arts clubs. There is even the chance to play football with coaches from Aston Villa and Birmingham City or gain batting and bowling tips from Warwickshire County Cricket Club’s experts.

The campaign has launched on social media using the hashtag #wmstrong, as school summer holidays begin across the region and staff were out in Birmingham city centre yesterday, an area where there have been incidents of anti-social behaviour and disorder involving large groups of young people.

The West Midlands Combined Authority is driving the campaign, working with partners including South and City College, youth engagement specialists from First Class Legacy and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Youth outreach workers from the First Class Legacy organisation were out offering information on a wide variety of activities including sports like cricket and boxing, training for a careers in web design or hospitality or even the chance to take part in one of many festivals and events this summer.

The aim is to engage more young people and help them move on to new education and employment opportunities. The WMCA has recently invested over £2m in new training provision to help young people gain skills in growth areas like digital, construction and professional services. West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, said:

“We are offering our young people a genuine opportunity to do something positive this summer – such as training for a job or playing football with coaches from Aston Villa and Birmingham City.

“We want to make sure they have the opportunities to succeed in life and avoid being drawn into violence and other criminal activities, and have put extra funding in to do just that.”

To find out more about the campaign, or to sign up for summer opportunities, visit: wmca.org.uk/wmstrong.


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