In April 2016, Marcus, a youth worker at Avenues Youth Project in West London was nominated for a Jack Petchey Leader Award by its members. Marcus was nominated because of his “incredible ability to engage even the most hard to reach of young people in positive and productive projects… Any worker would want him in his team and all the young people are inspired by him.” Thanks to his Leader Award, Avenues was given the opportunity to apply for a £750 Small Grant.
The grant was used to fund a professional radio skills project called “Flip the Script” in which the senior youth group took part in 18 radio tuition workshops. These sessions taught the participants interview techniques, programming and production skills, as well broadcasting law and how to operate various pieces of audio equipment. These skills will be transferable both within further education and for future employment.
The sessions also encouraged them to engage with and discuss various topics such as life style, role models, goals and social integration, through conducting interviews and selecting music.
The young people decided to take the project one step further by creating their own YouTube programme called “Live Cotch”, where they transferred their radio interview and production skills onto a multimedia platform. This enabled the group to widen their skillset through photography and video directing, and helped them to reach a larger audience. The Live Cotch videos gained an impressive number of hits, which encouraged other young people to engage with the project and take part in interviews.
As the project challenged the group with new skills and new ideas, their confidence began to grow enormously, and participants that at first felt too shy to speak soon overcame their inhibitions. By discussing various issues that affect young people, the group are better at forming their own ideas as well as opening their minds to new ones.
Joana, the Lead Youth Worker at Avenues, said “All the young people who were involved in this project are now approaching life with a lot more clarity and self-assurance.” The Flip the Script project is a perfect example of how young people will go above and beyond when given the skills and freedom to be creative.
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