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New support project for Norwich youngsters

PUBLISHED: 09:05 23 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:57 02 July 2010

Launch of the Future Priject's BE project at The Garage in Norwich.

Launch of the Future Priject's BE project at The Garage in Norwich.

Sam Emanuel

Vulnerable youngsters in Norwich will soon be benefitting from a five-year support project launched yesterday which aims to boost their confidence, develop their skills and give them support with life issues.

Vulnerable youngsters in Norwich will soon be benefitting from a five-year support project launched yesterday which aims to boost their confidence, develop their skills and give them support with life issues.

The BE project, run by Future Projects, has been paid for with a £450,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund, and will involve

13 to 19-year-olds putting together two large-scale music and media projects each year.

Yesterday's launch at The Garage in Norwich, which saw several performances from young bands and singers, was the first of the two projects, and had been worked on by the youngsters for six weeks, as they had to organise the performers, caterers and invitations.

Will Wilson, programme coordinator, said: “We will be putting 20 hard-to-reach young people through the programme this year, and that number will increase in the coming years - we always want more people to get involved.

“We've had great feedback so far. I'm hoping it will give them skills in music and media which they can take forward in life. “Everyone has a creative side and this is helping them to explore it. The project will also connect them with local support groups like the Mancroft Advice Project (MAP).”

As part of the project, the young people will become part of the new youth magazine radio show, Your Voice, on Future Radio, where they will be playing their own music and having their say on topics of their choice.

Each week, the show will feature a different support service, highlighting its aims, specialties and contact details. These features will vary from interviews and event reviews to live chat and discussion.

Hannah Butcher, 17, from Costessey, who is one of the students at the Future Project, said she had found the project “really fun and exciting”, and added: “It's given me a lot more confidence, and working on Future Radio has helped me a lot too, because I want to be a radio DJ in the future, so I've gained a lot of useful skills. I definitely want to be part of the project for the whole five years if I can.”

Alongside the music and media work, all the young participants are being given access to the new Baseline service at Future Projects. The centre has fully trained and experienced staff who can advise and direct young people with issues including benefits, sexual health, employment opportunities and legal advice.

Do you know of a new project starting to help young people in the area? Call Sam Emanuel on 01603 772438 or email sam.emanuel@archant.co.uk.

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