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Opportunities for young people at the Birmingham Back to Backs

Four young people sitting in the parlour of one of the back-to-back houses pretending to eat the very realistic fake food
Summer Challenge participants getting stuck into back-to-back life | © NT Images / Isobel Grove

Are you 16-21 years old, interested in history and driving change in heritage? Join our Summer Challenge programme in 2024 for your chance to gain valuable work experience and make a real difference at this city centre National Trust property.

What is the Summer Challenge?

The Summer Challenge is an opportunity for young people aged 16-21 to gain practical skills and work experience in heritage at the Back to Backs. Based in Birmingham city centre right next to the Hippodrome, Summer Challenge participants will take part in a wide range of activities. You'll learn about the history of the Back to Backs, the National Trust and Heritage. You'll build skills and confidence by working to create a brand new tour of the Back to Backs and presenting it to family and friends at the end of the week. There will be opportunities to meet professionals working across many different areas of the National Trust who will share their knowledge of conservation, programming, heritage management and more.

Who is it for?

The Summer Challenge is aimed at young people aged 16-21 from Birmingham and the West Midlands. Even if you've never heard of the National Trust before, this is an opportunity for young people to gain skills and work experience at a unique heritage site.

Why take part?

  • Make new friends
  • Develop skills and experience
  • Learn about a unique working class heritage site
  • Challenge yourself and build confidence while having fun
  • Train to become a tour guide and put your skills to the test

When does the Summer Challenge happen?

The Summer Challenge will run for a week from Monday 12 August to Friday 16 August. The schedule will be from 09.30 - 16.00 Monday to Thursday and 09.30 - 19.00 on Friday.

What does it cost?

The Summer Challenge is completely free. Lunch will be provided during the week and a travel bursary is also available.

How do I get involved?

Download and fill in this form and email it to by Monday 24 June, be sure to get your parent or legal guardian's consent if you're under 18. Make sure you're available from Monday 12 August to Friday 16 August 2024.

What happens next?

We'll get in touch to invite you in for an informal chat about the Summer Challenge in July.

Youth Advisory Board

As part of this year's Summer Challenge, there will also be an opportunity to join our new Youth Advisory Board at the Back to Backs. This group will meet roughly once a month and give participants the opportunity to change how we do things. We want your input to make the Back to Backs experience as engaging as possible for young people.

The interior of one of the Birmingham Back to Backs, showing books, photo and a candlestick on a shelf with coats hanging below and a historic print hanging alongside, on a wall covered with a floral print wallpaper.

The history of Birmingham Back to Backs 

Find out what life was like in back-to-back housing for the working classes of the 19th and 20th centuries and discover the people who brought the Back to Backs to life.