At Highbury Hall, on Thursday 11 October, Chloe, Megan and Maya, the Elderly Explore team from Turves Green Girls’ School, were announced as our 2018 Next Generation Award winners in front of the Lord Mayor of Birmingham and over 110 school children, parents and business professionals. Their project plans to run regular events at their school for local older residents, to help prevent loneliness and social isolation. The girls have been awarded the ‘Newman Prize’ of £1500 and mentoring support to help turn their idea into a reality.

The following week, the girls presented their Elderly Explore idea at a Civic Voice Conference workshop run by some of our Citizenship Committee members, which explored ways of engaging the younger generation in the Civic Movement.

The Elderly Explore project was chosen by a panel of judges; Amelia Ladbrook, Marketing Coordinator for Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group and Chair Elect of the Birmingham Civic Society, Alison John, Director of Communications and Marketing at Newman University Birmingham, Joel Blake, Managing Director of, Chris Whittington, partner at Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP, and Julia Davey, Education Advisor – SEND, Children and Young People Directorate at Birmingham City Council.

Other finalist projects included;

  • Edgbaston High School for Girls – Soil Savers – a project to encourage local schools to compost their waste
  • Moseley School & Sixth Form – The 5 A Day Project – a project to ensure that every student at their school has their daily allowance of 5 a day and included the use of a bottle greenhouse in school to grow produce to sell at their proposed centre
  • Bordesley Green Girls’ School & Sixth Form – Anti-social Behaviour Awareness – A project to raise awareness of anti-social behaviour and encourage people to report issues, to seek support and to tackle the causes of anti-social behaviour.
  • St Paul’s School – Dream Team – To create a sensory tree or area in Birmingham city centre to give young people with special education needs or disabilities a safe area to calm down or relax when they are upset or cannot cope in public.

The Judges were so moved by St Paul’s School’s Dream Team project that they decided to award a second prize of £500 to also make their project a reality.

Gavin Orton commented; ‘Our Next Generation Award finals are always a highlight of the year, but as it is the Centenary of the Society this year the evening felt particularly special – the room was filled with young, passionate, energetic citizens who were full of great ideas of how we can make Birmingham a better place for everyone. This year, each and every one of the projects was of a very high calibre and we’d like to congratulate all of the schools for getting this far. We can’t wait to hear from the winners next year to see how they’ve progressed Elderly Explore and also The Dream Team with their special award.’