Beyond Midnight University was a project that grew out of the success of the Olive Branch Project. We worked in partnership with other organisations to make the project bigger. South Birmingham College provided tutors and accreditation of academic courses.

Birmingham Youth Service provided the project with the use of Oakland Young Peoples Centre in Handsworth and engaged the youth workers into the project. IDEAL provided training in Basketball and sports training. The young people we engaged were severely at risk and come from severely deprived areas and were among the most disaffected youth within the city mostly from Handsworth, Winson Green and surrounding areas.


We engaged the young people in the project by referrals from schools and Pupil Referral Units. The schools referred young people who were regularly in their internal exclusion units or were often excluded from school. We went to many of the places where we know young people "hang out" including gyms, boxing clubs, and numerous street corners and shops where young people gather.


The activities the young people participated in were music production, rapping, music technology, dance, basketball, sports trainers’ award, media production and editing. All the activities were accredited. We held a seminar where young people interested in getting involved in the music industry were given the chance to talk to and meeting key influential figures from radio, TV, artists and recording companies.


  • A total of 425 young people from the North Birmingham area were engaged.
  • 125 young people took accredited courses.
  • 95 young people achieved a Level 1 or Level 2 qualification and received their certificates at Birmingham Council House in front of an invited audience of the political and business leaders within the city, the principle of South Birmingham College, the leadership of Birmingham Youth Service, parents and peers. For many of these young people it was the first time they ever received any qualification of any kind.
  • Beyond Midnight University became a template for delivering youth programs in the city. Building partnerships for delivery of programs and integrated sports, creative arts and accreditation into youth engagement and youth development.
  • We were told by the local community policing team that while the project was running there was a "significant" drop in the numbers of young people in the Handsworth area "hanging out" and being involved in anti social behaviour.


Birmingham Youth Service

Birmingham City Council

South Birmingham College


IDEAL Academy

Holyhead School

St John Wall School

Aston Manor School

St Edmund Campion School

Year: 2006

Length of project: 12 months

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