Children & Young People

In this section:
Stay and Play | 1 Mile Away

Children Page Wonderland Trip August 2015Stay and Play

Fridays 9.30am – 11am

Birmingham Settlement offers activities for children and families that support their wellbeing and development. We aim to enhance opportunities for children, enabling them to achieve their potential as well as assist and guide parents to ensure they can make informed choices.

Our well established Stay and Play sessions take place every Friday morning and are facilitated by Bloomsbury Children’s Centre. Sessions are open to children aged 4 and under and their parents. Stay and Play is free and offers young children the opportunity to benefit from early years learning, helping prepare them for school, gain valuable life skills and build friendships from an early age.

Stay and Play offers structured and informal activities including reading, writing, creative play, singing and outdoor play, designed to support children’s early years learning, improve English skills, encourage them to be creative and learn how to express themselves and to develop social skills. This early year’s learning helps children grow in confidence and prepares them for the next step in their lives.

Stay and Play also offers a valuable source of support for parents, giving them the chance to meet other parents and develop friendships and support networks, strengthen family ties and increase parents’ confidence, helping parents to identify ways they can support their child’s learning at home.

If you have a child or children aged 4 and under and would like to come along to Stay and Play, please feel free to join us at one of the sessions or give us a call on 0121 250 0777 to find out more.

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1mileaway logo1 Mile Away

1 Mile Away (1MA) supports disadvantaged, marginalised young people to change negative mind sets and build positive character traits.

History: 1 Mile Away was initially set up following the production of the Channel 4 documentary ‘One Mile Away’ which was shot before, during and after the UK Summer 2011 riots. The documentary was made by the award winning Penny Woolcock (1 Day, Death of Klinghoffer, Tina Goes Shopping) and produced by James Purnell and Peter Dale for Rareday and premiered at the Sheffield DocFest and Edinburgh film Fest in June 2012.

The ‘One Mile Away’ documentary shows how inner city areas are mini war zones where bloody battles are fought every day and conflict can begin if gang members simply stray into the wrong postcode. The rest of us cross these front lines as we go about our lives, unaware that young men (in this case, from Birmingham) are in mortal danger whether they are armed or affiliated or not. Most of it doesn’t even make the local news. ‘One Mile Away’ tells the human side of gang violence – of people who are both perpetrators and victims. This is up close to the young men who are right at the heart of British gang violence and who wish to change things from the inside out. One Mile Away is a brave and groundbreaking film and is a picture of our times.

Following the success of this documentary, the stars themselves set up 1 Mile Away as an organisation in 2012 to work with young people in the local community. In 2016 1MA became a part of Birmingham Settlement, providing the infrastructure and support needed to enable the 1MA team to build on their work and reach more young people. 1MA’s work is still designed and delivered by those who have turned their backs on their past involvement in gangs and criminal activity and now use personal experience to support marginalised young people from disadvantaged communities to change negative mindsets and build positive character traits. 1MA help young people to feel confident about themselves; build their aspirations and create alternative futures where they feel able to make a positive contribution to their community and steer clear of the negative influences around them.

1MA offers mentoring and delivers workshops within schools, Pupil Referral Centres and other community settings to help young people understand the harsh realities of the often glorified life of gangs and crime and to identify alternative, more positive paths for their future whilst giving them the skills, confidence and motivation to reach for their goals.

1 Mile Away Activities:

Education Programme
Our education programme which we call our ‘Survival Kit’, uses the One Mile Away film and music to get young people (aged 11-16) thinking about the realities of getting involved in gangs, criminality and antisocial behaviour through a series of 50 minute workshops are delivered flexibly in schools, youth centres and Pupil Referral Centres. These sessions cover a range of topics aimed to help young people see past the glorified images of these negative lifestyles and give them the skills and confidence they need to take an alternative path. Sessions are tailored to the needs of the individual participants and schools as needed. Alongside these, our School Reintegration Programme focuses on supporting children who have been excluded from normal lessons or expelled to reintegrate back in to mainstream schooling. Working with pupils in  Pupil Referral Centre’s or school behavioural support classes we deliver a programme of workshops alongside intense mentoring covering issues to change negative mind sets and support with personal issues which may be causing the pupil to act out with negative behavioural patterns.

This programme focuses on supporting young people into work, training, further and higher education and self-employment. This programme also creates a knock on effect for the younger people as they see more and more of our young men and women making positive changes.

Financial Capability
From February 2017 to March 2018, funded through the Money Advice Service, we are delivering financial capability workshops in Pupil Referral Units, schools and community settings for young people aged 11 to 25. Through a series of workshops, we aim to improve young people’s understanding of money from basic budgeting to understanding credit and saving. Workshops will take place in a range of settings and will give young people the knowledge and confidence to manage their money better, understanding their financial priorities and how they can use this knowledge to achieve their goals. For more information or to book your free workshops, please contact Maxine Reid on 0121 250 0781 or

Campaign Work
Our campaign work consists of attending events for public speaking and live performances pushing a message of positive social change. Through creating YouTube music videos, debates or talks on social issues we aim to change and through taking part in radio interviews we aim to raise awareness of those same issues and possible solutions.

Settlement Sports
Having received a grant through Sportivate which aims to encourage young people to participate in sports, in  2017 we are trialling an 8 week programme of sports delivery. Following the trial, we hope to roll this project out, delivering it weekly. The project will engage disadvantaged and disengaged young people through sports, helping to improve their overall wellbeing and increase the opportunities available to them. This element of our work has two main aims; firstly, to overcome barriers to participation in sport and change not only young peoples’ attitudes towards sports, but also their wider outlook on life; secondly, using sports as the initial engagement tool we will speak to young people about gangs and criminal lifestyles, helping them to understand the harsh realities of this life. The sessions will also provide alternative activities for young people to focus their energies on and may also open up potential new careers paths for them.

Bridging the Divide Performing Arts Project
In 2017, with funding from the Big Lottery, we are running a performing arts project aimed at bringing young people we are working with in the community and through Pupil Referral Centres and other members of our community together. Through workshops and performances using spoken word, drama and comedy we hope to bring people together, enabling them to understand one another and break down any fears or misconceptions people may have of the younger generation, provide younger people the opportunity to engage with and learn from others, identify barriers to participation in the community and create a platform through which people  can share their views and ideas in a creative way.

Violence Interrupting
On the road and in the community, we deal with conflicts as they arise. This involves key members being available day and night. Without our intervention, violence escalates and a cycle of retribution begins. We aim to intervene at the point of conflict and work with different groups to find solutions to their disputes.

“Thank you…we have found their work really valuable to us and the kids, and staff love the sessions”
Mill Pool Pupil Referral Centre students are participants in the 1 Mile Away young people’s workshops.

If you are interested in finding out more about 1MA’s work, taking part in one of our activities or booking the 1MA team to deliver a workshop in your school or community setting, please get in touch via email at or or via phone on 0121 250 0777 or 07956 598 871.

You can follow 1 Mile Away on Birmingham Settlement’s social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.

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