Positive news from the front line #BBCWeAreBradford
At a recent team meeting S4TP discussed how we could get the positive news stories from our young people out to a wider audience, and recognised that we as an organisation should play a stronger role in promoting and championing the voices of the young people we work with. So, we have started collating quotes from our students about how they are creating positive change, to share and ensure young people’s voices are heard.
At the same time, BBC News pioneered a new approach to newsgathering with a week of stories about Bradford (the city where S4TP first started working with schools) across its national and regional outlets, podcasts, and on social media. The BBC asked people in the city which stories matter to them. These stories featured on TV, radio and online between the 11th and 15th of March as part of the We Are Bradford event. The stories reflected all aspects of the city’s life and many also featured on a dedicated BBC webpage (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-47486169), which will continue to be updated with Bradford stories throughout the year.
David Sillito, the BBC’s media and arts correspondent, who devised the project, said: “We Are Bradford is an experiment, an attempt to try to work in a different way to give a fuller and, perhaps fairer, picture of a city.
The heart of this is conversation. We want to hear from people to help us tell different stories in different ways. News should be more than just a catalogue of our troubles, it should reflect the whole of life.”
So far there have been great news articles around young people’s perceptions of Bradford and their hopes for the future. Other interesting features have included a spotlight on the Bangla Bantams – a football fan group set up to bring “inclusivity and diversity” to the stands, which has been hailed a success in the city; a young ‘hijabi girl’ who is breaking stereotypes by becoming a boxer; and a Friendship Choir set up to help the city’s asylum seekers and refugees.
One feature that particularly resonated with us at S4TP was about Bradford schoolchildren acting as mental health mentors for their peers. Faye Keenan, a mental health champion, was quoted as saying: “They are coming up with ideas that none of us adults would probably dream of in a million years.” Our team, our mentors, and the teachers we work with say the same thing about the students that take part in our Big Ideas programme. Let’s keep on giving our young people the chance to share their stories and have their voices heard.
Written by: Claire Fitton, S4TP Programme Coordinator, North England
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solutions for the Planet Ltd