From the top of British Airways i360, visitors can enjoy far-reaching views across Brighton & Hove. But few people realise that parts of the city now fall within the bottom 20% of the ‘most deprived wards’ in England. More than a third of children in these areas are growing up in poverty and the number of young people who need our help continues to grow.
Despite the challenges, 2016 was a great year for TDC. As part of a city-wide partnership we helped 2,500 young people change their lives – providing support, counselling, training, work experience, mentoring and help with fundraising applications to equip them with the skills and opportunities to take control of their own lives.
Here are just some of TDC’s 2016 successes…
Boxing our way to glory
In Moulsecoomb we were able to get young people off the streets, pairing them with a local boxing club and helping to secure a £60,000 grant to extend facilities by 50%. 2016 saw us begin ground work, but also ‘box our way to glory’ – one of the original kids, Max, is now a national champion for his age group.
Bringing children together with healthy activity
In Queen’s Park and Craven Vale estates, TDC identified 30 children who were barely leaving their bedrooms, and some of them were being bullied. This isolation could easily lead to mental health problems, but they were brought together to enjoy dance sessions. ‘Eastern Brighton dance group’ performed at several public events this year, including our annual Wild Park Festival – an event that brought more than 500 people together to enjoy sports and healthy activity.
TDC responds to the needs of young people, and while sport is great at bringing people together, sometimes we need to tackle issues around how young people see themselves, or how others see them. We were thrilled when our young women’s group gained formal accreditation for their publicly-exhibited artwork challenging negative body stereotypes for women. It was also fantastic to get recognition across the sector for the work our team have done helping the Horsdean traveller community integrate into the community and preventing deviant behaviour.
2016 was the year TDC became the local charity partner for British Airways i360. To kick-start the partnership, the graffiti-covered hoardings from the construction site were auctioned, raising funds that that will go towards more youth street work. Members of the Bevendean youth activities group, a multi-award winning social enterprise set up and run by teenagers, enjoyed an inspirational flight above the city. The British Airways i360 team also raised £500 for TDC from the Starry Nights Christmas parties held at the venue.
We want 2017 to be a big year for TDC. We are currently facing funding cuts, as reported on the Sunday Politics Show South East, and need to raise awareness and funds if we are to continue to change children’s lives.
In the coming weeks we will be launching an events calendar to help people find out more about community activities across the city – including the Youth Festival in June, our Youth Summer Programme in August and a host of other events and festivals that showcase the incredible diversity of people living within the city and the range of different groups that we facilitate.
We also hope that 2017 is the year that people start to learn more about their city and are inspired to support TDC as they reach out to help young people in deprived areas. Our new website will have more information about how to fundraise for us, as well as details about corporate and individual fundraising events hosted by our partners – one of which will be at British Airways i360 later this year… watch this space for more information.
Ruth Chapman is Business Development Manager at TDC.