£ 27,000 in funding for the Nottingham version of Abbey Road Studios



A Nottingham-based youth project shared their latest plans and renovations to keep kids creative.

Young people working with the Circle of Light program received £ 27,780 from the People’s Health Trust with money raised by Health Lottery East Midlands to support their self-managed creative production studio which plans to release a special album and podcast in time for Mental Health Day. October 10.

The podcast, Between you and me , spans many different topics and ideas. Contributors will publish a special series of podcasts covering different aspects of physical and mental well-being throughout Mental Health Day.

They will also be sharing their latest album, raising awareness not only of their own charity, but also of people living with mental health issues in Nottinghamshire.

The 18-month-old project, featured in the BBC’s Inside Out series, allows young people aged 16 to 25 in Nottingham who have had mental health issues to attend workshops to create content for a monthly podcast designed to connect community members of different ages, backgrounds and ethnicities.

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The idea came from young people who wanted to create their own podcasts after attending a radio and podcast masterclass during lockdown and they are leading all aspects of the project.

The newly renovated creative studio which includes recording, production and broadcast equipment is entirely run by the young people who use it.

In-house training and mentoring means strategy and production are led by a hierarchy of volunteers and part-time staff, most of whom have been members of the Circle of Light group for years.

During the pandemic, these young leaders used video conferencing to keep the band’s music and creativity alive.

Tricia Gardiner, project coordinator, said: “Most of the young people here have experienced challenges and obstacles in their own way. They all come from different backgrounds and have different things to give.

“It was young people who designed this project, not adults who think they know what young people want.

“Everything is free, so it’s up to them to maintain it. They take on roles based on their own abilities and have achieved phenomenal results.

Another album is already in preparation. Plans are underway for these creative activities to be assessed by qualifying bodies in a community rather than by an educational setting. This means that the work done by volunteers can count towards a Level 4 diploma (the equivalent of the first year of a diploma) creating lifelong opportunities.

General Manager of the Health Lottery, Martin Ellice, said: “We have loved seeing the incredible work of Offshoots in Nottingham and hope they continue to grow stronger.”


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