Features / Better Bristol

Ambitious networking evening ‘for young people, by young people’

By tom taylor, Tuesday Apr 9, 2019

Having left school without any qualifications, Myles was struggling to find work and unclear about his future career. On a whim, he bought a camera and began to create short films.

Babbasa, a Bristol-based social enterprise, provided Myles with a mentor, work experience at Plimsoll Productions and a paid commission to produce film for Bristol Community Health. He now wants to create films full time and build his own team of creatives.

The organisation aims to bridge the gap between Bristol employers and young people from diverse communities. In collaboration with Bristol24/7, Babbasa’s flagship ‘Ask About Me‘ inter-generational networking event is returning on Wednesday, April 24.

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Register to attend Ask About Me

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Organised by 14 young leaders, the event will bring together 100 young people with 100 established employers from a range of different industries. “We’re young, and we know what the system needs to help us to succeed”, Max Hoelzle Ferreira argues.

He is one of the Youth Ambassadors who is helping to organise the event and has first-hand experience of the challenges that young people face in and outside of the workplace.

Research carried out by Babbasa into the needs of local communities in Bristol suggests that one of the main challenges facing youths is a lack of connections. The Ask About Me networking event is in direct response to this and the Youth Ambassadors hope to provide a platform young people to make connections and find exciting opportunities.

Youth Ambassadors leading a workshop

The Youth Ambassadors are a group of young people who have benefited from Babbasa’s training and mentoring schemes earlier in their careers.

There is a sense of community within these aspiring young leaders as they all share the same drive and determination to make a difference to the prospects and aspirations of young people.

“We recognised ourselves in each other,” says Beatriz Tanaka, who helped organise the event. Coming from a wide variety of backgrounds and each with their own personal story, the ambassadors all found support and guidance in the events and opportunities that Babbasa offers.

Through their own experience, the Youth Ambassadors recognise that young people are often thrown into the world of work with little guidance on how to apply their skills and talents.

Faduma came to the UK from Somalia when she was six years old and learnt English from watching TV. Set on going to university, Faduma attended Babbasa’s Ask About Me event where she had the chance to talk to Law professionals. The organisation then set Faduma up with a law lecturer who acted as her mentor.

Babbasa hold a variety of events throughout the year

This year’s Ask About Me event is one of the most ambitious yet in terms of the quantity and quality of professionals available to talk to. Babbasa has worked with Bristol24/7 to create an event, as Youth Ambassador, Kamari Williams says, “by young people, for young people”.

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Register to attend Ask About Me

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As part of Bristol24/7’s Better Bristol initiative, the networking evening will include a panel discussion featuring Channel 4’s Yasir Mirza; Dr Stephen Fear; CTO for Microsoft UK Richard Potter; UWE faculty director Zainab Khan and the winner of the SXSW Apprentice Award Marissa Lewis-Peart with more panelists to be announced soon.

‘Ask About Me’ 2019 will be held at The Station on Silver Street at 5.30pm on Wednesday, April 24. It will be an worthwhile opportunity for young people in Bristol to develop professional skills and make contacts for the future.

The event is free. Find out more and secure your place here.

The Better Bristol initiative is a collaborative approach to creating positive impact in the city. Through projects like this one we can help create opportunities and improve people’s lives. Find out more about Better Bristol at www.bristol247.com/betterbristol and support projects like this one by becoming a supporter member of Bristol24/7.

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