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Together with artist Naz Hoque, I ran a 10-week project with a group of young people working with the Youth Offending Service in Barking and Dagenham via New Town Culture. On the surface, this was a skills-based project: participants planned, scripted, recorded and edited their own podcasts, complete with artwork and music alongside. We used free software and gave young people microphones to take home, with access as a core value. But for me, building relationships with young people who are in challenging circumstances was the real success of the work. Young people made podcasts exploring their relationships with peers, social workers and family through lyrics, dialogue and sound design. 

This has not been a project; it’s been an awakening! Over these past 10 weeks, I have born witness to a spark ignited in our young people. A passion and excitement in creating. Earning cultural capital, valuable technical skills and a platform to have their voices sing. They have been autonomous, dedicated, hardworking, wonderfully creative in their choices and there has been a real sense of comradery amongst the group and sincere respect for the artists. I am so proud of the boys’ accomplishments and grateful to have been a passenger on this short journey with them
– Jonathan Carragher, Education Lead, Youth Offending Services

To all the young people who took part and to all the staff from New Town Culture and LBBD Youth Justice Service, who made the last two months such an amazing project to be part of, a massive well done and thank you all. Collaborative projects like this, really make a difference to the young people who have attended. It has visibly increased communication skills, IT skills, confidence, teamwork and has evidenced a real identity change for those involved, re-enforcing for all, their undoubted ability and potential to achieve positive outcomes
– Jason Rice, Youth Offending Service Team Manager 

This project was part of New Town Culture. Images copyright 2022 LBBD.

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