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Do Kids in Moss Side Get Enough Life Chances?

“We need more different ethnicities to be in power.”

According to a recent government audit, different social groups in the UK have vastly different experiences when it comes to education, employment and social mobility. The report concluded that some social factors – such as what area someone grew up in or the colour of their skin – can indicate their future success rather than factors such as hard work and talent.

Responding to the report, Prime Minister Theresa May, said that she believes that more needs to be done to tackle inequality and make society a fairer place for everyone. She said that services must “explain or change” if they treat different social groups differently.

BBC Newsround spoke to 15-year-old Shaneil from Moss Side last week and asked her if she believes that inequality exists in her community. “I don’t think that people in Moss Side get enough chances,” she said. “I feel that the media doesn’t recognise Moss Side for the good things it does.”

She added: “They always stick to the bad stigma; that it’s a bad place. That isn’t fair because we are actually doing something and making a change. It shouldn’t matter where you come from or your race. You should be able to do anything that you want to do.”

Shaneil believes that one issue is that certain societal subsets are underrepresented in government. “We need a more variety of ethnicities to be in power; not just the same people over and over again,” she says. “It’s a bit annoying because other people do have the potential.”

Despite this, Shaneil explained that the findings of the report have made her determined to make a positive impact when she leaves school and embarks on her working life. “It just makes me more inspired, more powerful” she said. “It makes me think: ‘I need to change this; I want to change this’.”

Here at Hideaway we believe that everyone should have the same life chances regardless of their race, ethnicity, socio-economic status or geographical background. Through a range of educational, recreational and vocational activities, we encourage our service users to build their self-esteem, feel happy and (above all) constantly push their potential. These are all things that are widely acknowledged to improve upward social mobility.

We also try to push back against the Moss Side media narrative (which, at times, seems to be preoccupied with gangs and violence) by promoting and championing successful people from the area. Click here to read our blog about some of the stars that Moss Side has spawned.

Featured image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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