After 2 years of waiting, the Black Country Talent Match Awards returned! The 2021 edition of this funded project is approaching the end of a 3-year extension to the original 5-year programme of support, and we wanted to help them achieve an amazing event. Black Country Talent Match are still committed to celebrating the achievements of their young people and recognise the vital roles of all their stakeholders. Employers, partners and mentors have worked closely to increase the confidence, optimism, and resilience of the programme’s mentees, with the aim of reducing levels of, and ultimately avoiding, re-offending and guiding young people's progress nearer and into sustainable employment.
The event, starting in the early afternoon and culminating with a celebratory toast and takeaway hot drink at 5pm, always inspires the OD&V team. Five main awards were presented on the day recognising the mentees of each Hub within the programme, and the ‘Brightest Star of the Year’ was voted live, using the Sli.do interactive online platform.
OD&V provided full event management support for this project, including: pre and at event registration; venue, AV and supplier liaison; brand development; host and speaker finding and communications; full production script and master slides development; sponsor outsourcing and coordination; and post event reporting.
Along with hearing stories from the inspirational young people who have benefited from TMBC mentoring, our host, Richard McCann, motivational speaker from iCan Academy, told his life story and how to embrace change and overcome challenges – he was instrumental in creating a wonderfully positive atmosphere. Representatives of partner organisations shared their experiences of working alongside Talent Match: Helen Scurr of Ark Consultancy, Peter Thorpe of Youth Employment UK and Rose Rees of Midland Metro Alliance.
The audience enjoyed an impromptu a cappella vocal performance by young person Jodie Allen, one of the programme’s mentees, and a heartfelt speech by Ian Darch of WVSC brought the event to a close:
- Don’t be limited by the expectations of others
- Don’t ever think you are not good enough or cannot do whatever you decide
- Respect people for what they do, not what they are
- Have the confidence and resilience to be the person you want to be.
The event was a huge success, made easier by the wonderful event teams at the Molineux Stadium, our AV supplier Mercian Events, and photographer Bill Bishop of Arcanum Design Solutions, who captured the highlights of the event beautifully.