Tenth birthday for youth charity

Anniversary celebrates achievements and looks to the future.

The Pump (East Birmingham) Ltd. was designed by young people for young people and built ten years ago on the site of an old petrol station in Lea village. Its Tenth Birthday Party was a showcase event, funded by The Big Lottery, to celebrate the achievements and talent of young people, the ten year history of this unique charity and an opportunity to share The Pump’s plans for the future with everyone who came.

Party goers were treated to a Mad Hatter style tea party, courtesy of The Pump Café, a double decker play bus and entertained by bhangra dancers, street dancers, a ukulele band and local jazz, funk songstress Kezia Soul before the star of the show, Dapz on the Map, took to the stage. With his unique neo-soulful style and conscious lyrics, Birmingham-born Dapz OTM is a rising star of the UK Grime scene. Dapz entertained the young crowd, including the aspiring DJs and Grime MCs who are regulars at The Pump’s Youth Club, where they practice their skills and record their own music in The Pump’s professional recording studio.

Surrounded by jugglers, graffiti artists, smoothie bikes and 3D printers, The Party was also an opportunity for the local community to discuss The Pump’s ideas for the future, including plans to create The Pump Lab, a fabrication laboratory. This will give young people in Shard End the advanced materials and technology to make almost anything.

Local manufacturers were also at The Party to help celebrate The Global Internship Program for Unemployed Youth, sponsored by the Arconic Foundation and Alcoa Foundation. This has been a big success for The Pump, for young people and for local companies.

Arconic Inc. creates products that solve complex engineering challenges in aerospace, automotive and commercial transportation and works in partnership with The Pump. Last year The Pump was granted nearly £70,000 by the Arconic Foundation to continue its Global Internship Program for Unemployed Youth; one of five organisations around the world chosen for Phase II.

This successful Internship Program is implemented by the Institute of International Education and connects young people with local manufacturers through a paid internship to give them invaluable work experience.

During Phase I, The Pump helped 51 unemployed young people to complete the programme. 35 of those young people are now in full-time employment and four are in full-time training. That’s a 76% success rate and good news for Shard End. Unemployed young people get work experience, training and career opportunities, local manufacturers get motivated employees who learn on-the-job and The Pump continues to make a real difference in Shard End.

Charlotte Linforth, Project Director at The Pump, explains; “We were delighted that our success in the first Phase was recognised with a Global Impact Award. This paved the way for Phase II and the opportunity to help more young people find jobs and start careers in manufacturing. Thanks to the Arconic Foundation, The Pump is making a positive impact on the local community with this life-changing programme.”

Among the success stories from the programme is 19 year old Jack Smyth. Unemployed since leaving school in 2013, Jack was becoming increasingly frustrated after applying for hundreds of jobs without a single response; “The manufacturing companies I applied to asked for experience I simply didn’t have. That’s why I decided to apply for the Internship, it offered experience and training.” As Jack says; “The Internship programme helped me to achieve my dream of a career in manufacturing.”

Faced with historical barriers, as the third generation to experience severe deprivation in an area characterised by unemployment, recreational drug use and gang culture, young people need The Pump in east Birmingham to realise their potential, achieve their dreams and to put them on the map, like Dapz.

For enquiries about The Pump, contact Charlotte Linforth, Project Director on 0121 675 8381 or charlotte.linforth@thepump.org.uk