Our Roots in the Community Project

04 February 2021

‘Our Roots in the Community’ is a two-year project providing social, recreational, educational, cultural and volunteering opportunities for children and young people from migrant communities living in the City of Wakefield.

The group runs weekly activity sessions which are based around football and, once a month, the young people take part in a series of training workshops designed to build skills and self-confidence, and support the growth and development of them as individuals, as a group, and as leaders of the organisation.

As part of the project, the members plan and host events which gives them opportunities to celebrate and share their cultural heritage with the wider community and to build connections locally. 

In addition, the young people are supported to become involved in consultation activities with the local authority and the wider voluntary sector.

The project is supported by Our Roots Inner City Lives, who are also using investment from People’s Health Trust to provide the guidance and training necessary for young people to develop as role models and peer mentors which, in turn, will help to contribute to the development of the organisation.

Project participatns from Our Roots Inner City Lives

Kebba Ansumana Manneh – Director, explained:

“The idea for this project came from the young people themselves, who told us that it was important for them to have the opportunity to work together with other young people from migrant backgrounds – ‘people like them’. Having the support of their peers allows them to develop skills and gain the confidence to navigate their way to other groups and to access other opportunities in the area.

“Almost two thirds (66.3%) of Wakefield residents voted to leave the EU and over the last couple of years, there has been a significant increase in racially motivated hate crime. This project aims to help break down a ‘them and us’ mentality and create spaces for more positive dialogues.

“The young people are at the heart of this project and this is incredibly important as they are the future of the organisation. They are enthusiastic and keen to try new things and develop new skills. A core group of young people are already actively involved in designing and co-producing the project and have volunteered to become peer mentors and are helping to develop the training programme. In time, three will become young directors of the organisation.

“Young people from migrant backgrounds often do not have the social capital to access opportunities that would allow them to build the kind of CVs that lead to better career opportunities. This project supports children and young people from those communities to build that social capital.”

Over the last year, much of the planned activities had to be suspended in line with government guidelines, so the organisation moved some of the activities online and have been using digital channels to keep in touch with members and sustain momentum.  The project will resume fully when it is safe to do so.

Our Roots Inner City Lives is funded through the Trust’s Active Communities programme with money raised by Health Lottery Yorkshire and the Humber.

You have already completed an application for funding, are you sure you would like to submit another application? You should only submit another application if it is for a different project. If you want to amend an application that has already been submitted, please call us on 020 7749 9100.

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