Neale-Wade students take part in exciting project by 20Twenty Productions to have their voices heard in March
"This is about inspiring young people and saying to them 'you can do it'."
Those were the words of creative director Katherine Nightingale who is at the helm of the 20Twenty Productions' latest initiative to help transform the lives of young people in Fenland.
More than 50 students from Neale-Wade Academy teamed up with the arts organisation to take part in the ‘Make a Difference Conference’ held at the Oliver Cromwell Hotel today (October 5).
The event featured inspiring talks from Youth Voice members Marya Ali and Charlotte Cowell-Walker alongside a performance from beatboxers N8tive and Conrad Murray.
Students were able to get creative and write what ‘makes them mad’ onto sticky notes, before the London-based duo transformed the ideas into a spoken word performance.
The crowd were able to clap along and shout “We can do it”.
“We’ve been able to create some sick tunes from what matters to these children,” Conrad said.
“We need more of this in society.”
The community ambassador programme was launched with a £10,000 funding boost from Clarion Futures – and has already seen Year 8 and 9 pupils from Neale-Wade take on a number of tasks including helping a dementia project and the council’s environment team.
Sara-Jane Tilley, 13, who is currently in Year 9 at Neale-Wade, became a community ambassador after joining the project last year.
She said: “This has given me a real confidence boost and I’ve been able to do things I would never have thought I would do.
“We work together as a big group and we are a team – it’s great.”
Another 13-year-old ambassador, Hannah Moy, said: “This was the first time for me of doing anything like this.
“I would say to anyone thinking about getting involved to just go for it, because it is worth it and could change your life.”
Youngsters will also have the opportunity to plan events and activities as a part of the project, combating certain issues within their community.
Katherine added: “If we could get the right funding then it would be great to expand this project across the region.
“We like to treat the students like young adults – it’s there chance to have a say in what they think about the community and have their say and make a difference.
“I have seen really shy pupils gain confidence, make friends and do things that they would never have dreamed of before.”