Since the riots last year, I have not stopped answering the same boring questions - "Why were young people rioting?" "Will the riots happen again?" "Did you take part in the riots?" - and still nothing has really changed.
The riots last year was a representation of how our young people feel towards society. Some clearly lack hope, some are clearly frustrated and some obviously need more to do, but instead of trying to restore hope or reduce frustration we are going round in circles asking the same questions getting the same answers.
To be fair, journalists, politicians and other influential adults have gained an awareness to some of the social issues young people face. Some people who I'd never get to speak to have asked for my opinion as a result of the riots, so in this case yes, the riots have made a difference, they've made people open their eyes a little bit more. However, this is not real progression if we look at the bigger picture. The problems young people face are still there, in fact are worsening due to people ignoring them and thinking things like "the riots are purely an act of criminality" when in reality there were many complex issues contributing to them.
I feel it's time to start making real changes in our country. Reducing youth unemployment being one of many along with changing the way our young people are educated and questioned to develop higher levels of thinking. RECLAIM Our Name are trying to change the perception of young people through innovative schemes such as YP+ (coming soon) and by voicing positive young people in the media.
We need to move away from the riots now and start treating young people like they are the future simply because they are. Young people are so distant to everybody else in society and this needs to change along with a lot of other things.
Friday, 20 April 2012
‘RECLAIM Our Name’ is a NEW youth-led organisation based in Manchester. We are all young people aged 14 – 21 who have been connected with RECLAIM in the past and want to take matters into our own hands. We aim to promote the positive achievements of young people and also to challenge overly negative coverage in the media. ‘RECLAIM Our Name’ gives young people the opportunity to change their communities and improve peoples’ perception of the next generation.
We have many goals and ambitions that we hope to achieve and with the help of each other 'RECLAIM Our Name' will grow into a successful sustainable company led by young people ONLY.
Keep your eyes pealed as it's likely you'll see us around :)
Friday, 16 March 2012
On Thursday 8th March, 'RECLAIM Our Name' was awarded with the Philip Lawrence Award 2011. I think it’s fair to say it was a great evening with a positive, joyful atmosphere. From the entertainment to the speeches, the ceremony really captured what RECLAIM is about, and I truly hope everybody enjoyed it as much as I did. Below is the video that PLA made for 'RECLAIM Our Name', check it out and share to your friends and family! #RECLAIM
Friday, 24 February 2012
'RECLAIM Our Name' is an offshoot project of RECLAIM that shines a light on the positive role young people can play in urban communities. Through engaging with the media and politicians, the project challenges the negative stereotyping of young people which has intensified in the wake of the riots. The work 'RECLAIM Our Name' does has been recognised and rewarded through winning the Philip Lawrence Award 2011! The award presentation will be held at Manchester's town hall on the 8th March, where the young people involved will collect their award and speak about their experience on the project. If you would like to know more below is a link to the PLA website, but I just thought it's good news that should be heard :)
Friday, 10 February 2012
I'm Dominic, and as RECLAIM's resident intern I've been tasked with updating you on the recent goings-on here in the office, as well as what I've been doing in the four-or-so weeks I've been here.
You might have noticed I didn't say I'm the latest member of the RECLAIM staff; since I've been here we've already taken on a development manager (the wonderful Ruth Paterson). We've also taken giant strides in finishing Re:ad, our brilliant new library space - yesterday's hectic dash to Ikea was followed by much grumbling and moaning at the cryptographic instructions for our new shelves.
I've had a bit of good news myself; I've had my first funding bid accepted! While it's 'only' for around £1,800, it will cover the costs of a community consultation for a potential RECLAIM Project in Longsight. We're looking to launch the scheme at around the time of the Longsight Festival in June, so if you're free around that time, we'll doubtless need some volunteers handing out questionnaires, as well as teenagers willing to sit on the panel to decide who we're helping, where, and why.
I've also had a hand in two other funding applications that have been sent off in the last fortnight, each for well over £100,000. Given my 100% record so far though, I'm quietly optimistic.
It's not all number-crunching and deadlines, though; RECLAIM has also started to provide a refuge for all our friends, new and old, on a Friday lunchtime, which we're ingeniously calling Re:fuel. So, if you're feeling peckish or just want to share your lunch with the lovely people at RECLAIM, make sure you pay us a visit.
I've also been lucky enough to have been sent, alongside a few of my colleagues, to a night at the theatre. We saw J. B. Priestly's An Inspector Calls, variously described by the press as "thrilling", "magisterial", "wildly imaginative" and "spine-tinglingly good", and it didn't disappoint. At times explosive, at others eerily, painfully quiet, it was certainly worth a watch - the stage direction alone was probably worth the asking price (I'd never seen a fireworks show combined with a house demolition before...).
I was also asked to star in a trailer advertising RECLAIM to new audiences! The role was a challenging one to interpret - "Pedestrian Number 4". How could I possibly portray the subtleties and intricacies of this man? How could I ensure that it was a performance for the ages? Who would be handing me my award at the BAFTAs this year?
All these questions and more were answered in a phone call from the editor, telling me I had been cut from the film altogether. Such is life.
Since I've been here, I've met dozens and dozens of lovely new people, from the helpful and dedicated staff, to the legions of eager volunteers all hoping to provide something brilliant for the young people of Manchester in any way they can; ranging from super-high-tech library categorisation software from University of Manchester IT wizard Sinead Renold, to a wondrous cheesecake kindly baked for Re:fuel by mega-talented artist Ebony Montague.
Friday, 27 January 2012
From Jordan on behalf of the RECLAIM TEAM.
Tuesday, 10 January 2012
Working at RECLAIM has been an experience I honestly will never forget. I’ve learnt so many things, met loads of new people and had so much fun whilst doing so. Although there has been times I’ve wanted to give up on some tasks, with a little encouragement from colleagues I have completed what I thought I would have never (6 page funding applications).
I’ve had a lot of good moments but my favourite (so far) has been interviewing candidates for the job role of business development manager. I felt extremely mature whilst interviewing people and was intent to do my job properly. This involved listening closely, asking appropiate questions and discussing what I thought of the interviewees with my colleagues. I knew I had a huge responsibility as my say was as important as everyone else’s which made me feel proud.
As my mentor from the first project is in the office on one of the days I work, it has restored my relationship with him to how it was, in fact has made it stronger. My colleagues (friends) have been amazing people to work with and I now have an insight to how much effort and time goes into running something as amazing as RECLAIM. I feel like I’ve almost completed the whole RECLAIM cycle, from being on RECLAIM to one day hopefully running RECLAIM, this depending on when Ruth hands over her crown LOL.
I am actually surprised how long my relationship with RECLAIM has lasted and truly believe it will last forever. RECLAIM has seen me grow from a overly confident young boy to a more composed intellectual young man. I just want to take this blog post to thank Ruth, Emma, Melissa, Abi, Tosin, Tasha, Kemi, Joe, Joan and everyone else I’ve worked with (the list would be too long if I named everyone) for making my time at RECLAIM so amazing.
I feel like I’m writing a goodbye when I’ll be seeing everyone tomorrow LOL, I must get back to work now, I’ve got stamps to buy!!!
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
This year has been an amazing year for RECLAIM. So much has happened in a single year. We have just celebrated our first year of independence of being a private charity. This year we have completed 2 more RECLAIM projects and ran a summer RECLAIM programme called Truth About Youth which was so successful that we ended up having a day trip to London. This year we have celebrated the wedding of our project co-ordinator Melissa Rainey or should I say Melissa Grant J Her husband Orlando is also a mentor on RECLAIM so it was doubly special for RECLAIM. It was such a touching ceremony and we all wish them a life time of happiness together. We have had another RECLAIM baby being born and we have another on the way; or a few judging by the sounds of things. But I want to wish you all a very merry Christmas and an awesome new year! 2012 is RECLAIMS year. Watch out for us world!!!!
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
We're looking to create a library of inspirational books for our teenagers, to encourage them to read and show them just how powerful and moving reading can be! Young people's lives are ruled too much by modern technology and we want to inspire them to take some time to just sit down and read instead of checking their BBM or Facebook... To encourage them to actually pick up a book from our library, we're asking local people to donate ONE that has inspired them, with their name and a personal message on the inside cover.
If you want to get involved, please get in contact! We need lots of pledges to create a fantastic library for all our young people. This campaign is all about empowering teenagers with education and the tools for a better and brighter future, especially whilst we're in this economic climate.
Please come back here to follow stories about the campaign and book choices, alongside updates about our charity and amazing teenagers. Stay tuned!
Posted by Abi Reclaim at 08:00