Most young people in Bristol feel increasingly fearful about their future despite having high aspirations and the motivation to succeed, new research reveals.


The Bridge To Equality report, published by the youth empowerment social enterprise Babbasa highlights how the COVID-19 outbreak has exacerbated existing inequalities, increased feelings of isolation and had a detrimental impact on mental health.

The new report, released as Babbasa formally receives the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for transforming the lives of young people from ethnic minority and low-income backgrounds. The report focuses on understanding the needs of ethnically diverse young people in Bristol and includes recommendations to help bridge the employment and opportunity equality gap, with key actions for employers, education providers, communities and policy makers.

Based in St Paul’s, Bristol, Babbasa works to support young people from less-advantaged and ethnically diverse communities of the inner-city and east Bristol to achieve their professional ambitions. 

The research was commissioned to better understand the employment, enterprise and career support needs of young people, as well as the challenges for communities and employers in meeting these needs. 

Researchers undertook three separate surveys; one of people between the ages of 13 and 25, another of the wider community of residents, guardians and leaders over the age of 25, and a third survey of employers in the city.

The COVID-19 outbreak struck the UK just as the report was due to be published, so two additional research pieces examining the impact of the pandemic on young people and their employment prospects have been added.

Babbasa’s Founder and CEO, Poku Osei said: “We plan to consult our community partners and other city stakeholders on the recommendations on the 28th Oct and 4th November respectively. From there, we hope to develop a long-term plan which would not only aim to provide young people with opportunities but also, empower them to support their families, serve as role models in their community and contribute to the growth of the Bristol economy.” 

“The inevitable challenging economic impact of COVID-19 and existing economic disparities threaten to profoundly and disproportionately impact young people from ethnic minority backgrounds. We recognise the huge pressures on businesses – it is vital that progress on inclusivity doesn’t fall by the wayside and businesses continue to play a central role in tackling disparities in the workplace.”


  • Community/Education Partners Weds 28th Oct, 10-12pm or 6-8pm. RSVP here.
  • Public Sector/Corporate Partners – Weds 4th Nov, 9:30-11:30am or 1-3pm. RSVP here.