|Creating new projects is always challenging, and trying to encourage young people to mix with people they’ve not met before has its hurdles, yet we’ve been blown away by the resilience and determination of the young people we’ve met. |
But there is no question that many of them are juggling multiple pressures. They’ve spoken of stress, anxiety, depression, and racism, alongside not feeling listened to because of their youth. And when a visibly worried 11 year old asks you if they’ll be ‘sent away’ after Brexit you know we’re living in uncomfortable times.
|Many Voices focusses on working with women and girls in Calderdale, and is being delivered in partnership by Square Chapel and Verd De Gris Arts, placing us in a great position to work with people from different backgrounds and age ranges across the district. And the focus on women on girls doesn’t mean there’s an exclusion zone, we’ve had quite a lot of boys take part, too! It simply stems from a recognised need that sometimes women and girls need specific spaces, support, encouragement and opportunities.|
The project run until 2021, using creative interventions like poetry, spoken word, performance, drama, dance, music and visual arts, to support people to explore some of the issues and experiences they have in their lives. Already we’re finding that those taking part are demonstrating big jumps in confidence, alongside making new friendships and developing new skills.
Trying new activities and mixing with new people can be daunting, but so far we’ve also had lots of fun. One young participant said: “I feel beautiful and I feel happiness and fun, because when I’m home I feel bored.”