Building young minds

Social entrepreneurs Althea, Bee, Linda and Sharon-Kay explain the idea behind their mentoring programme for young people in Edmonton

Malaki making his prototype
Malaki making his prototype

How many mentors does it take to inspire future generations? In our case, it was four!

We are four professional black women with expertise in art, 3D design, tech, mental health and entrepreneurship, who have formed a social enterprise partnership called 4Site Power4Change.

Over the October half term we delivered the first of our ‘Building Minds, Creating Futures’ workshops at Green Towers Community Centre in Edmonton Green. It is a funded programme where youngsters aged from ten to 17 years are challenged to design and create interactive products and spaces that benefit their community.

The level of talent displayed by the young people who attend our workshops never ceases to amaze us – and this was no exception. Their ideas and prototypes were inspiring; from interactive football goals for community playgrounds, to social event buildings and safe spaces where people of all ages could meet. Over the four days, we saw these young people blossom as they gained essential life skills and increased their confidence and belief in themselves and their ideas.

One of our attendees was ten-year-old Malaki, who created a prototype for his playground football game. His mum told us: “The ladies were amazing, they used Malaki’s passion for sport to engage him in things that he’s never done before – he designed some really great stuff.

“The workshop was good for him. He was able to build his confidence in other areas. I’m so proud of him.”

And Malaki himself said afterwards: “I was surprised I liked it, as it’s not what I was used to. I did some designing and even made a prototype of my own designs. I was really happy with my design, it was really good to see the others playing with something that I had made.”

So how did 4Site start? After meeting at an event two years ago, it transpired that the four of us had the same motivation; a vision and passion for supporting young people. We pooled our expertise and experience together to respond to some of the challenges Covid-19 presented to young people within disadvantaged ethnic minority communities.

Through mentorship programmes and interactive workshops we want to help equip more young people with the life skills needed to build a future full of confidence and resilience, so they can succeed in today’s often stressful and more tech-savvy world.

This is only the beginning – there is so much more we at 4Site want to do.

4Site is planning more workshops for young people early next year. They are available for children aged from ten to 17 years living in the ‘Bountagu’ area of Edmonton. To register:
[email protected]