Health and wellbeing

Funding level: Up to £1,000

Description

Delivery of a workshop to local children aged 8-16 by The Young Americans (www.youngamericans.org) in February 2019.

The Young Americans are a not for profit performing arts college who spend part of the year touring the world and sharing their wonderful skills in a uniquely enthusiastic way. Whilst children who like singing and dancing get such a fillip from the experience, the children who benefit the most are those who really need a confidence boost - those children who can never see themselves performing in public. Without doubt, every participant leaves with a sense of belief that they can achieve what was unbelievable to them. One shy Year 6 child sang the only solo in an end of year production at her school some months after the last workshop. She told me that she would never had done that if it wasn't for the Young Americans!

The inclusive ethos of the Young American programme means that the diverse ethnicity, religion etc of the cast represent something which each and every child can identify with and, in some cases, this is unusual in their environment. This workshop is an experience where children find themselves and find what they can be. At the end of the workshop, parents are invited to an inspirational show, the first hour performed by the cast, followed by an hour by the children - all learnt in 2 days. This project not only provides benefits to physical health but also the mental health and well being of the participants, their families and the volunteers who give their time chaperoning the children. The back stories of the 18-25 year old Young Americans touches the lives of those involved, they all have a story to share and the way they really get to know the children is truly inspirational. The level of interest which they show in them, affirms how special each and every participant is and many remain friends with the Young Americans, long after their visit. We hope that the attached photographs from the last workshop illustrate better some of what we have tried to put into words!

Funding is required to fund venue caretaker costs and subsidy for pupils in need. The cost to pupils is £56 each for the 3 day workshop. We hosted this workshop in Feb 18 and 40% of the 85 pupils were from other schools in the local community. As our own school hosted the full workshop last year, we had no extra costs. We had to limit numbers as our own hall is very small so children were turned away unfortunately. We have booked to host again in Feb 19 and a local secondary school (8 miles away) has offered its facilities at the cost of caretaker opening and closing, along with cleaning costs. If we passed these onto the participants, it will make the workshop unaffordable for many, especially where there are siblings participating. The fact that the school is in Redcar means that we can offer the opportunity to more children, with the confidence that there will be sufficient room to give the children (and audience) the very best experience.

This area of the North East, like many others, has been hit hard by redundancy in recent years. The closure of the steelworks as well as decline in mining and other industries in the supply chain mean that many families have little money for workshops such as this. It really isn't about learning a song or a dance, its about the sense of wellbeing that these participants, and the audience, get from the project. This wellbeing is a true legacy of the Young Americans' visit to the area.

Project Video

St Paulinus Primary Parents, Teachers and Friends Association

Moment of Pride

We're proud that we were the first primary school in the area to host the Young Americans and are even prouder that we can now share this outside of the town with even more children. We feel that, if the workshop changes the life of just one child who didn't think they 'could' then we're very proud.

Location: Guisborough, Redcar, Redcar and Cleveland, UK