Belonging in Barnsley has had a fabulous year! The project has enabled some inspirational young people from diverse backgrounds to develop the confidence to lead an exciting new project.
Supported by The Youth Association, eleven young people have developed the knowledge and understanding to organise their own event. The event will bring together young people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds and has been a catalyst in boosting leadership skills, teamwork abilities and self-esteem.
An open-mic night will be held on 3rd August at Roxy’s on Wellington Street and has been branded “Summer Vibes: Hip Hop Generation”. Young people from Barnsley will be coming together to show off their talents and educate their peers and their community about different cultural backgrounds, expressing this through music and dance.
The scheme comes as part of an ongoing drive to empower young people to make decisions, have influence in local society and access a forum for self-expression.
Young people have worked on their own lyrics and dance moves, writing raps and choreographing routines to perform on the night. The group chose to have a positive focus on the night, citing ‘Respect for others and celebrating difference’, as the message to spread.
Summer Vibes: Hip Hop Generation has given young people the opportunity to work together and demonstrate the positive impact that learning skills and gaining experience can have. As part of the project, the group has taken the lead and learned the inner-workings of event planning: They have contacted organisations for room hire, booked security, conducted risk assessments and taken on different roles as part of the planning team. These transferable skills will boost prospects with regards to employment and careers. Young people feel the project has improved their chances of achieving their aspirations, with better-looking CVs and future ambitions.
Summer Vibes: Hip Hop Generation will create an opportunity for young people from different backgrounds to get together and potentially work on future projects and collaborations. This has been an ongoing aim of project, as Lead Youth Worker Jody Poole points out: “Building stronger relationships with those of different cultural backgrounds is one of the most important things that newly-arrived young people can do and we can see already that the young people of Barnsley are demonstrating this”.
David Dombrovskis (17), from Honeywell, believes that this event will “inspire local people and other organisations to work on projects like this in the future, bringing a new colour and vibe to Barnsley in case anyone feels Barnsley isn’t already a fun place.
The Belonging in Barnsley project is supported by BBC Children in Need and aims to improve young people’s voice/influence, helping them achieve aspirations. The project has consistently been led by young people, supported by youth workers as background facilitators. Different groups have engaged in activities and have been given space to develop their voice and put their ideas into action, while gaining skills and positively influencing communities and peers.