On thursday night we were very honored to be invited to be part of the judging panel of the Birmingham Civic Society’s Next Generation Awards Programme. The project has involved over a thousand young people in several schools across Birmingham. Teams are made up between 6-9 pupils and are asked to consider life in Birmingham 20 years from now, the social issues Birmingham may face and what they might to do to solve the associated problems.
The final was made up of the top four winning teams from King Edward School, Baverstock School, Priory School and Small Heath School who each made a presentation to the panel. Issues covered litter, graffiti, and the environment however it was Small Heath’s presentation on the elderly that came across as the best thought through, most personal as well as most entertaining - suggestions included more bungalows, Nintendo Wiis and better anti-wrinkle cream!
We were joined on the panel by Rob Langley of Clarke Associates and (the recently graduated graduate-apprentice) Jason Norris now of Deloitte. It was a very different way to spend an evening anyway, brilliant fun, and reassuring to know Birmingham will be in safe hands in years to come - and a free Nintendo Wii on retiring is a great prospect.