Young People

Social Development Through Sport

The BMCS social development through sport was developed in 2010 as an inner city project that provides young people, from a range of diverse backgrounds, an environment to develop their character skills using sport as a tool. The project is run every Saturday situated at Metropolitan Academy from 11.00am to 2.00pm and caters for a variety of age groups through individual and age targeted sessions. Current membership stands at 41 young people, with average attendances of 25 participants per session.

The sessions are built around four key attributes – Teamwork, Communication, Leadership and Responsibility. The sessions serve not only to improve health and well being of individuals but also to develop current and future life skills, which can be beneficial in employment, education and social interaction, through improving participant’s confidence.

Both staff and participants have built an excellent rapport and we often find that the young attendees are willing to actively engage with BMCS in other areas away from sport, for personal development. BMCS has also been able to help over 30 young people in 2010/11, through their confidence in our staff, to discuss challenges that they face in life such as drugs, crime, religion and personal family matters.

BMCS has further improved the professionalism of the sessions through providing training to its staff by offering an opportunity to undertake and gain FA coaching qualifications, which were successfully passed in 2011. This has insured a firm foundation for the future growth of this exciting project as well as looking to develop our staff in 2012 and beyond, through further coaching qualifications.

What Our Participant Have to Say

"I really enjoy your sessions and feel they are delivered professionally"
Bristol Active Youth Service
"I gain more from your football and coaching sessions than from anyone else's football sessions"
Islamic Relief Volunteer

BMCS After School Club

The BMCS After School Club (ASC), based at Bannerman Road School, has now been running for 7 years and runs every Monday to Friday from 3pm to 5pm for children aged 5 to 11 years old. The children at the club are from all backgrounds, cultures and faith/no faith communities. The school is unique in delivering quality play activities and at the same time ensuring cultural requirements are met with Arabic classes using the Qur’an as the primary source, as well as delivering the Islam and Citizenship Education programme.

We provide a wide range of play activities, which include arts & crafts, indoor games, outdoor activities, reading, baking, gardening, dressing up, creative play and many more. Much time is spent on planning the activities, ensuring we have the right resources as well as ensuring all staff are aware of their roles whilst delivering these activities. Through play we aim to promote self-esteem, confidence, respect for others, develop the ability to think and work on initiative as well as in a team. Most importantly, we aim to promote an environment where children want to learn and enjoy learning. Children can relax or let off steam after a busy day at school, take part in one of our organised activities or feel free to participate in an activity of their own choice.

A unique quality of the After School Club is that we also provide a high standard of Arabic classes for all – including Quranic tuition. Parents have expressed pleasure at the standards enjoyed by their children and the levels of their progress. The fact that children who are no longer at After School Club still return to attend these classes speaks volumes.

The After School Club continue to deliver our innovative “Islam and Citizenship Education” (ICE) lessons as well as a broader and more useful understanding of Islamic values. The programme includes discussions on respect for oneself and others, conflict and resolution, enquiry and research, law and order, tolerance, respect and love for humanity, living in a multi-faith society, volunteering and giving charity, British or Muslim, or British Muslim, community cohesion, the environment, diversity, racism, rights and responsibilities, informed decisions and responsible actions, and much more. This course encourages reflection, further investigation through questioning and will ultimately empower the children by providing them with the tools necessary to develop further understanding after their time at the After School Club.

In the past, we have offered SATs support for Literacy, Numeracy and Science to, predominantly, year 6 children and when possible, to year 5 children by providing additional after school classes and even half-term sessions supervised by experienced year 6 teachers. This provision has helped to ensure that the SATs results achieved by the children were exceeded by their predicted grades. This type of support will allow them to enter secondary education on par with their peers from traditionally better achieving schools, thereby supporting their future academic success, careers prospects and their overall quality of life.

The After School Club has a practice of supporting workers and volunteers with their development needs and so, ensuring all our supporters are valued and encouraged. We have employed an experienced and well-established team who work well with the children, parents and school staff. Our work at the After School Club in supporting our staff and children has been recognised as many of our teachers and children received awards at the Pauline Weise Awards ceremony.

What Our Kids Have to Say

"I like After School Club because it is fun and the teachers are amazing and I like skipping as well. They have brilliant games and I have lots of friends and I like to draw. I like the food there, it's so much fun."
6 years old
"I like After School Club because its fun and we get to play outside. The best thing I like is reading Quran because we learn a lot of Surahs and we get to do quizzes."
8 years old
I like After School Club because we have amazing teachers and loads of games to play. Our class teachers tell us amazing stories and how when we become big we can change the world if we learn what other people have done.I also like to eat food we get every day and especially during our parties.
6 years old
"I like having parties and playing football. I like hula hooping, skipping, cake decorating, wall planners as well as making bird gliders, rounder's and team games."
8 years old

Muslim Youth Forum

Muslim Youth Forum was a project that was successfully commissioned by the Youth Offending Team (YOT) to create and deliver Youth Forums, across the city within schools in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. The need for the project was a result of the feedback received from young people who requested an open forum to discuss and share opinions on issues they face in every day life.

The Muslim Youth Forums allowed for the experienced BMCS staff and facilitators to be available to mentor and help young people identify appropriate sources of further help and support. This, in turn, helped in developing their knowledge of their faith with particular emphasis on challenging misconceptions within the Muslim communities as well as the wider society, understanding Islamic history and use of language, raising awareness of the Muslim contribution to modern civilisation, as well as looking at key areas to enhance self-awareness, confidence and personal development.

Through our extensive experience of developing and working with a diverse range of youth groups and organisations including our extensive work with secondary schools delivering our “Demystifying Islam” programmes, we were able to further develop a working relationship with and utilise the support of these partners to develop the Muslim Youth Forum within their premises.

Through these programmes of activities, BMCS was able to reach an unrivalled number of young Muslims. We received incredible, virtually unanimous support and encouragement from the young people in all the schools that were contacted.

The Muslim Youth Forum not only sought to build the resilience of young Muslims to extremist ideology but also offered an opportunity for young Muslims to legitimately express any potential concerns on world events (e.g. foreign policy) or the challenges of being a young Muslim in 21st century UK.

What Our Participant Have to Say

"It makes me feel not alone, there are many other Muslims with similar questions to me and I will definitely act upon it"
MYF Participa
"I could listen and understand issues and talk to people who understand. I have learnt things I didn't know."
MYF Participant

I Say, You Say, We Say

In line with our aims of promoting social and community cohesion, BMCS carried out the I Say You Say We Say project in partnership with the Diocese of Bristol. The project allowed the opportunity for young people from different communities, from Bristol in particular, from Muslim and Christian backgrounds to use the medium of art to learn more about their own and each others cultural heritage and religion.

All finished artwork formed part of an exhibition that were displayed at a public launch at the Bristol Central Library and was officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Bristol. The artwork was well received at the launch and the project was so successful that the exhibition continued to be displayed for many months in various other venues across Bristol. The projects success has led to the development of a teaching tool for schools, which is an educational DVD pack.

What Our Participant Have to Say

" learnt about the dove and that it means ‘Peace’ from the Christian girls. Ihave learnt that both religions believe in one god and a holy book. I havegained kind non Muslim friends."
"I painted my picture it looks very peaceful. I chose the sunset because a very strong thing. I chose those colours because it was very powerful and calm. These are the feelings I feel about Islam."
"The similar things are there’s only one god both Muslims and Christians arekind and loving people."
"My painting represents that Islam grows and the colours represent peace. I have used blue to represent the sky and clouds, and the flowers to represent nature in Islam"

Ask The Imam

An issue that many Muslim youth face is access to answers to questions from an Islamic perspective surrounding issues facing young people today. Many young people are too scared to approach Imams to ask questions because of the nature of the questions they have and worry about the reaction they may get by asking.

To address this, BMCS organised a pioneering event as part of the Muslim Youth Forum where an open “Ask the Imam” session was organised. The session was also an open discussion on any issues of concern the participants may have had.

The panel consisted of a local English speaking young Imam as well as other knowledgeable male and female members of the community.

The event was such an overwhelming success that the young people involved wanted to hold similar sessions regularly and a teacher also requested us to do a similar session with non-Muslim pupils.

Some of the topics covered were forced and arranged marriages, male/female relationships outside of marriage, women’s issues, aspects of science and Islam.

What Our Participant Have to Say

"This event has helped me understand more about my religion, would like more sessions like this as there was a lot I would have liked to discuss but didn’t have time"
Anonymous Participan
"Its good having an area where I can openly discuss and ask what I want and not be judged"
Anonymous Participant
"I learnt that we don't need to be forced into marriage"
Anonymous Participant
"It was a great idea to do this"
Anonymous Participant

Mentoring and Work Experience

BMCS has continued its proud history of being an organisation with an open door policy for any individual who would like to gain invaluable work experience working for a credible charity. Our focus is on developing participants by offering hands-on work experience in the office and real engagement within our projects. A core project that attracts over 40 volunteers every year is our Annual Cultural Fayre. Volunteers who partake in this project learn new skills in how to organise events whilst developing their social , teamwork and communication skills, as well as building confidence by interacting with members of the public and other volunteers.

BMCS is also active in building positive relationships with schools and as a result has been a key choice by a number of students in expressing a desire to undertake work experience within our organisation. We aim to treat all individuals with the same respect we treat our paid employees and look to integrate students so they feel welcome and part of a team regardless of the number of days or weeks they decide to stay with us.

Our staff have also proactively worked with our local job centre, through Future Jobs Fund, a £1billion scheme to help young people back in to work in unemployment hot spots. As a result, we have employed one participant to help with both the after school club and social development through sport projects.

BMCS also offers career and CV writing advice using our network of professional members and in house expertise, which also includes group and one-to-one mentoring. As a result of our career and one-to-one mentoring, a young person achieved a top 30 place out of 200 candidates in a recent recruitment process for a multi billion pound global communication company.

What Our Participant Have to Say

"I enjoyed my work experience week at BMCS as staff were helpful and friendly"
Andalusia Academy student
" will recommend BMCS to my school as I learnt a lot during my stay"
"BMCS staff really went the extra mile in helping me achieve my potential and I am grateful for the knowledge they have shared with me so I am better prepared in reaching my goals."
M Ahmed
Future Job Fund Employee

ITV Studio - Insight into Media

Building upon BMCS’s continuing relationship with ITV Westcountry, BMCS arranged for pupils from Andalusia Academy to experience a morning behind the scenes in the newsroom. They were able to first hand witness how the lunch time news was put together from start to finish as well see the final product delivered live in the studios in the main control room. It gave the pupils an insight into the workings for the newsroom and they also enjoyed a Question and Answer session with some of the newsreaders and reporters. This offered valuable advice and insight for anyone interested in pursuing a career in the media.

The pupils also had an opportunity to present the weather using the full range of special effects and the autocue and were also got to take away a DVD of their experience as well.

Students Cross Cultural Exchange Programme

BMCS worked in conjunction with Bridges For Communities and the Young Bridge Builders progam and organised a cross-cultural exchange meeting between young Muslims living in Bristol and visiting Muslim students from Jordan. They both received a presentation on the history of Islam in the UK. This allowed all members of the audience to learn that the history of Islam in the United Kingdom went back further than they thought and that Islam and Islamic culture was not alien to the British Isles.

This was then followed by an open dialogue in which, they exchanged experiences and stories about life as young people in their respective countries. They learnt that despite living in different parts of the world they shared the same thoughts, hopes, dreams and aspirations for life in general.