Story by Safiya Saeed | Photos by Rafiqe Sabran
Burngreave has always stood out because of the strong family links, the cultural atmosphere and the familiarity with local businesses. It’s full of fantastic grass-root organisations and it can survive anything.
Our team noticed that even though there are lots of youth activities taking place, youth are still under represented. There are no invitations to local meetings; there is no recognition for their voice to be included in the decision-making for improving the area.
So Big Brother Burngreave (BBB) decided to take that creativity with the 14/15 year old young men to serve cakes and hot chocolates to the local residents, business owners, homeless, drug users and the other youths just hanging around the area.
Rafique, BBB’s new leader, said:
“It’s important to stay visible and bring back a lot of faith to the community”
Abdul Saboor, 14 and BB champion, added
“We must take care of our environment and the people in it.”
Usama, 17, said:
“People were interested coming up to the stand and asking us why were are doing this!? As I explained we are here for you, come have a cake!”
Local police came and had hot drinks and loved the idea, telling us it is just what is needed.
We explained it’s not about the drinks, it’s about the conversations these young men can offer. Some homeless people and drug users were coming over and we made them smile. We didn’t judge them or made them feel uncomfortable, we asked them what is their name? How long you lived here? Well I am Safiya, next time say hello!
Burngreave is a golden area we must unite and let the youth take their positions in public meetings, on the frontline in campaigns, take the lead in community festivals and making sure we don’t speak for them.