However, some very interesting meetings with week with individual Pastors in the City and some promising bridge building is on the way. thankfully even further appointments have been made in order to discuss the Churches roles in Engaging the Community , by way of Voter Registration and also Civic Duty.
On Newstyle Radio 96.7FM on Tuesday we talked about 'The Tale of Two Ladywood's' the difference between Broad Street, Brindley Place, and Daley Close and St. Marks Crescent to name just a few. The mass difference between wealth and extreme poverty. The environmental differences literally less than a mile apart speaks volumes. The turnout at the last local election in Ladywood was less than 20%, so people are totally disengaged. However, there must be a realisation that the power is in the hands of those who do not turn up to vote as the can use the vote a the powerful voice of change which is desperately needed.
The follow from the meeting with the West Midlands PCC has itself gathered momentum with more people showing interest in finding out about the role of Custody Visitors, Appropriate Adult and Appropriate Adults Mental Health.
Alarmingly, the Custody visiting scheme has been inexistence since 1983, as a result of the 1981 Brixton Riots. However, some 30 years later many people are saying that they did not know this existed, so why is this? Is it the case that Civic Engagement and Duty has been an exclusive club, well no more, it is my mission to let everyone from all the communities of Birmingham develop an awareness of what roles they can play and encourage participation. Anyone in the West Midlands wishing to inquire about Custody Duties can contact Paul Norton at the west Midlands PCC Office on 0121-626 5685 or if your outside of the West Midlands contact your Local Police & Crime Commissioners Office. The West Midlands have confirmed that recruiting will commence in the Autumn.
This was clearly indentified last night at my presentation to over 40 Students last night at Birmingham City University on a Prison Link Course.
This is a task that is still ongoing and we need to keep highlighting these roles as we need fresh faces that reflect our City.
A great gathering yesterday with Street Pastors from Kingston Jamaica and sharing our experiences in changing the mindset of our respective communities in order to develop main stream engagement, by educating people, especially young people about their real value and contribution that they can make to society in a positive manner.
I believe that we are all of equal value and we all have our part to play. It is important that we approach many issues we face today from grass roots and with unity. We know the issues we face and if we want change then we must listen,evaluate, plan and then act. We must remember however, that we need solid and positive action in order to invoke the change that is desperately needed to move forward no matter the pace.