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  The BBC News School Report team accepting the award.  

Awarding diversity

BBC News School Report has won a 2013 European Diversity Award in the 'Journalist of the Year' category. The judges said that School Report "has been able to bring together children from across the UK, from different racial and cultural backgrounds, to share a passion in stories that interest them".

School Report is an inclusive project which works with a wide range of schools and with thousands of students of all social backgrounds, to help young people report on the news stories which matter to them.

Helen Shreeve, the Editor of School Report, accepted the award on behalf of School Reporters, saying “This award is for the 33,000 students and over 2,000 teachers who took part in BBC News School Report last year. They produced excellent journalism which truly reflected the diverse voices of young people across the UK. The BBC is for everyone and being properly inclusive is absolutely critical to the project."

BBC Extend, a scheme that creates paid entry level jobs for people with disabilities, was also nominated in the Diversity Team of the Year category.

Visit the School Report website to read, listen and watch the reports created by students.


High performing community

Audiences were wowed in Whitehaven earlier this month when 80 members from the West Cumbria community stood up on stage to perform alongside the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. The project, which was a partnership between the Orchestra, BBC Outreach & Corporate Responsibility and BBC Radio Cumbria was devised to celebrate the station’s 40th birthday while bringing a unique experience to one of its hardest to reach communities.

The performance was broadcast live on BBC Radio Cumbria as part of a season of celebratory programming and a film about the event was shown on Inside Out across the region the following week.

No previous musical experience was required for the community members joining the Cumbrian Community Orchestra and Chorus, which worked throughout the summer in order to prepare for the performance.

Read about the experiences of one singer at this blog.

  View of the Cumbrian Community Orchestra and Choir performing alongside the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra  
  Cover of the BBC Corporate Responsibility Performance Review 2013  

BBC Corporate Responsibility Performance Review 2013 published

BBC Outreach & Corporate Responsibility has published the BBC Corporate Responsibility Performance Review 2013. It complements the BBCs Annual Report and is a summary of the BBC's corporate responsibility work from April 2012 to March 2013. It's produced for licence fee payers as part of the BBC's accountability process.

In the report you'll find highlights from our work to extend our reach to those audiences we've often found harder to engage with our traditional broadcasting, as well as information about the BBC's commitment to developing STEM (Science, Technology Engineering & Mathematics) skills in young people and its Women in Engineering initiative.

There's also information about the BBC's environmental work. We raise public awareness of the issues through our broadcasts and set ourselves targets to address our environmental impact. This year we exceeded our recycling target by 14%.

Read this, and other reports, on the BBC Outreach & Corporate Responsibility website.


A time for growth

People across the city of Leicester have been growing their own vegetables since the spring.

The “Grow your own” project, which was launched by presenter Ben Jackson in March, saw the regional team offering free seeds to listeners, as well as advice from the resident gardener to help people taking up the challenge of growing their own produce. A plant swap further encouraged audiences to take part, linking up individual gardeners with local schools and allotments.

The project culminated last month when BBC Radio Leicester invited its audience into its building in the centre of the city for a harvest festival. The green-fingered listeners were joined by Director-General Tony Hall.

  Produce displayed at the BBC Radio Leicester Harvest Festival  

Kicking off careers

Nineteen newly trained sports journalists graduated from the BBC Kick Off scheme in September. The scheme, which is funded by English Regions and BBC Outreach & Corporate Responsibility, is designed to give people with a passion for sport their first step in a BBC career. New for 2013 were placements in BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Wales, alongside those based in local radio stations across England and in Jersey.

Although most had no experience in journalism when they joined the scheme, the 19 trainees were able to interview Olympians, prepare packages for Reporting Scotland, interview live from sporting events, co-present radio shows and write online articles for the BBC Sport website.

Charles Runcie, Head of Sport for English Regions, says of the trainees "They might not have a fancy post-graduate diploma, but they've energy, ideas and a passion for storytelling."

Hear some of the reports here.

  A White City Estate resident performing in Tales of the White City  

A musical for White City

Tales of the White City is a moving and original film created for BBC Outreach & Corporate Responsibility by Benjamin Till with the people of the White City Estate and LandSky. It was created to to give members of the community an opportunity to show a positive side of an area often portrayed negatively.

More than 400 people from the Estate in west London were involved, with 11 individuals performing songs based on interviews to share very personal stories of issues affecting people living in the area. The film is an insightful and unique reflection of a positive and resilient community.

It was well received at the premiere screening, where local residents cheered on the star singers, and the White City Festival. Further local screenings will follow.

You can read blogs from Head of Outreach & Corporate Responsibility Diane Reid here, Chairman of the White City Residents Association Harry Audley here and Producer Penny Wrout here.


Technologists of tomorrow

As part of the Open Channels initiative announced in December 2012, BBC Technology and the BBC Academy, in partnership with major UK universities and Creative Skillset, have brought together some of the UK’s biggest broadcasters (BBC, Channel 4, and ITV) and media infrastructure companies (Red Bee Media and Arqiva) to shape a common skills agenda, collaborating for the first time ever to solve a critical industry skills gap. Graduates will have all the skills and knowledge to be highly employable across the broadcasting industry.

Last month, the first intake of trainees joined the BBC’s new Technology Apprenticeship scheme. The paid roles are open to school leavers who can demonstrate a keen interest in technology, and are intended to provide an alternative route into technical career paths. The three-year Level 6 Higher Apprenticeship programme leads to a BEng degree in Broadcast Engineering, with the BBC paying university fees. The placements are available in London, Salford and Birmingham.

Applications for the 2014 scheme are being accepted now until Sunday 10th November, and a recent series of open days from BBC Academy generated lots of interest.

Find out more on the BBC Careers website.


First rung on the ladder…..

As part of its work to bring the BBC closer to audiences living near to large staff sites, BBC Outreach & Corporate Responsibility invited Year 12 students to apply for one or two week work experience placements in departments across the organisation. Sixteen students from Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster – the two boroughs where we have our main London buildings –joined BBC departments in July and August.

With placements in Radio 1 &1Xtra, Television, User Generated Content, Worldwide, Future Media, Outreach and Technology, Distribution & Archives, students were matched according to skills and career aspiration.

The scheme was open to all students in the borough: the successful students completed a written application and attended a recruitment session designed to help them show us their best and learn more about how we work.

You can read about how one student, Aaraa, found her time with Radio 1Xtra on the BBC Outreach & Corporate Responsibility website.

  Six students on the BBC Outreach Summer Work Experience scheme posing in front of the TARDIS  
  A singer perforoming in the Licoln Lip Dub, followed by dancers and performers  

Singing in the streets

On a sunny Saturday morning in July, 500 performers took to the streets to perform the Lincoln Lip Dub with BBC Radio Lincolnshire.

The performers, aged between 5 and 80, were all from the area and they sang, danced and mimed to two Take That tracks in a 9 minute film with action across the city. The film was conceived as an attempt to recreate the atmosphere when the Olympic Torch came to the city in 2012 and features groups such as Lincoln Wheelers Cycle Club, dance groups, a cricket team, Morris men , Lincoln City Runners, amateur dramatic groups, classic car enthusiasts, Steam Punks, the Cathedral Choir and the Lincolnshire Longwool Sheep Association.

Read more about the project on the About the BBC blog.


Facing off in Bristol

This month, 15 young people involved in community media projects in Bristol joined the BBC for a three day “boot camp” which saw them creating a film to answer the question Is the BBC for me? It’s the start of the BBC Outreach & Corporate Responsibility Face2Face scheme which is now in its sixth year.

Following the intensive training, the young people will return to the BBC each week for 2 months to receive further training in production skills. Face2Face gives young people the opportunity to learn from professionals, have their own BBC mentor and kick start their career in the industry. Four successful applicants will be offered paid work placements at BBC Bristol in news, post-production and factual programming.

Find out more about BBC Outreach & Corporate Responsibility here.

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