Voice Of Aston was established in November 2003, and is managed by local people; it was formed as a direct response to the lack of youth participation in local issues affecting their lives and community.
The youth are involved in resource design and facilitating discussion, and have hands on role throughout our projects. We encourage and support youth to work with diverse groups of peers, in age, faith and background; to make new friends. We unite youth through a thirst for leadership and knowledge; to utilise the tools they have to change their world and create a positive future. Our aims are:
- To lead, influence, facilitate and enable youth focused initiatives in education, enterprise, employment and community development
- To enable disadvantaged young people to fulfill their potential and contribute to the economic, social and public life of the UK; by providing services and working in partnership with others in the public, private, voluntary and faith sectors
- To help young people achieve a shared citizenship, confidence and skill, which help to create circumstances that lead to a society based on the principles of equality, diversity and social justice
Our activities fall into the following sections:
- Health and Leisure - we have a football team, cricket team, kabaddi team and arrange activities such as camping, swimming, walking. We also encourage healthy living looking at drug and alcohol awareness, having created leaflets in Punjabi about cancer and in Urdu about depression
- Education and Learning - this is both formal and informal ranging from supplementary school to running NEET and PAYP programs. This also includes the teaching of life skills to older people aged 18-25
- Arts and Craft - we run programs in music and dance where participants learn instruments and perform concerts
- Inspirer (women only project) - at certain times of the week the building is given over to local women to do their activities
- Preventative and Intervention - Peer Mediation Service resolving and stopping the escalation of community conflict and using it as an opportunity for creative change. Other topics covered are Asian drug awareness, alcohol awareness for Muslims, men against violence and knife crime awareness, including our work with the Home Office, Defence Academy and Ministry Of Defence.
- Enterprise and Employment - working with external agencies such as UnLtd, Bigboost, Sport Relief Awards, Probation Service to help young people gain experience and opportunities to create their own businesses or gain employment.