Why Children’s Quarter is Needed

Birmingham is one of the youngest cities in the United Kingdom

The ‘median’ (average) age of citizens in UK cities can be compared below:

Birmingham             32 years

Bristol             33 years

Liverpool             33 years

London            34 years

Leeds             35 years

Bournemouth             38 years


Our city is much younger than most European cities

Think of a European city most people would agree is a great place for young people – the chances are that a higher proportion of the people in Birmingham are children and young people.  Here are some ‘median’ (average) ages for comparison:

Birmingham           32 years

Dublin           37 years

Amsterdam           38 years

Barcelona           40 years

Berlin           42 years

Turin           44 years


Young people in Birmingham, however, don’t all have access to services they need; in fact:

One quarter of Birmingham’s million citizens are children and young people; and one quarter of them has a disability or additional needs.

The groups and organisations that are coming together to form Children’s Quarter provide community-based services for and with children, young people and families with additional needs.  That can be due to disability or ill-health; social and emotional, as well as severe economic, deprivation.  Whatever people’s problems we aim to be: inclusive, local, people-centred, high quality and cooperative. We believe every child is our gift, our judge and our future.  Those most at risk require our best investment.

Through Children’s Quarter, we are coming together to make more of the investment; to learn from each other; and to press for improvements in services for children and young people in our city.


We want to see…
  • inclusion understood and accepted as the starting point for public services, not an ‘add-on’
  • children, young people and families to be able to get the support they need locally
  • children, young people and families with the greatest need put at the centre of services – not sidelined
  • a guarantee not to exclude children and young people  on the grounds of their additional needs
  • services shaped by the needs and abilities of families, children and young people
  • approaches that value children, young people and families, not ‘numbers game’ services.

Children and young people in Birmingham are the citizens who will be working and innovating the industries of the future; providing care themselves.  We need Children’s Quarter to make sure the best investment gets made in them now.

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