During half term, we ran our My Space, My City, My World, My Future programme in Nottingham. Working with Think Forward, an organisation which coaches disengaged young people, we identified 10 young people from across different secondary schools in Nottingham city to take part in four-days of creative workshops.
We first ran this programme at the Stephen Lawrence Centre between 2007 and 2010 and were really excited to bring it back and bring it to a new audience. With a grant from Children in Need, we teamed up with various creative practitioners, including some of our Creative Sparks, as well as the brilliant Hasmita Chavda, to deliver a varied and exciting programme.
The first day was on the theme of 'My Space', and we invited Nick Makoha to help the young people explore their sense of identity, self and personal style of expression. Nick's own creative style challenged the young people in different ways and really made them think about who they are and who they strive to be. They then worked in groups with animator Trevor Woolery to create animations about 'My Space'.
Day two was 'My City' and we took the young people out on a walk to explore their city. While discovering areas they'd never before realised existed, including the 'Tunnel' and the Park, the young people were equipped with cameras to capture their interests and curiosities. 'My City' then fed into day three, when the young people explored ideas about what makes a good city, and what they'd like to see in future cities. We looked at old maps of Bulwell, Bilborough and Wollaton and identified what had changed and what had stayed the same. We then created our own stop-frame animation of the development of a new and improved Bulwell.
On the final day, we had a visit from Brian Fury, one of our Creative Sparks, who gave us the story of his life and explained his ethos of taking control of what life throws at you. Then we made links between the things we love doing, the things we would like to do and things we care about by writing these on solar lightbulbs. Finally, each young person made their own individual animation about their future life path, the obstacles they aim to overcome and the personal landmarks they'll pass.
All of us at Ignite! really enjoyed working with this group of young people, who showed themselves to have real creativity, intelligence and great ideas! We'll be working with this group again in the summer on a social action project through The Mighty Creatives' Act4Change project.