Birmingham Connect


Birmingham Connect was designed to promote social integration of young people aged 12-14 years old in Birmingham in advance of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. It paired schools across the city to encourage meaningful social mixing to improve attitudes and perceptions held of people from different backgrounds; driven by young people as the catalyst for change.

What we did

The Youth Sport Trust, in partnership with Team England and local delivery partners, set out to engage schools and young people to encourage a local identity and sense of belonging across Birmingham. This focused on what people have in common, building understanding and mutual trust, changing perceptions, attitudes and behaviours, integration, inclusion and interaction, and ensuring participating children and young people, teachers, and families had fun trying different sporting and cultural activity.

We aimed to drive significant positive change on the longer-term integration of schools and communities across the city, in turn resulting in a legacy of learning, participation, connection, and pride.

As part of this programme we facilitated:

  • The recruitment of 20 schools in Birmingham
  • The twinning of 10 pairs of schools selected by differences in ethnic diversity, disability, and disadvantage
  • The recruitment and training of 100 young people as 'Connectors' (social integration ambassadors)
  • The training of 40 teachers to support 'Connectors'
  • 20 school-led Connect-WITH events engaging 1600 young people in meaningful social mixing – through sport, art and cultural events
  • One Connect-All event to reach 500+ friends and family of 100 'Connectors' in meaningful social mixing – through sport, art, and cultural events.

Our Impact

You can read the final programme evaluation report here.