The Doncaster Culture Education Partnership (DCEP) aims to give young people a voice and the ability to influence arts & culture in Doncaster. The Voice Project was run by young people for young people – with support for the DCEP Doncaster Council and IVE – to develop the Voice of the Child Re: Arts & Culture in Doncaster.
An Arts & Culture Youth Forum was established to support the Voice project and feed into the DCEP and Cultural & Creative Strategic Partnership. Consultation was designed to investigate arts and cultural provision for young people in Doncaster. The Voice Project Report 2017 shares the findings and recommendations made by the young people.
Summary of the recommendations:
- Capturing Interest at Primary Age
Young people who had taken part in arts activities when they were younger were more likely to re-engage later on. Issues relating to engagement become more complex as young people reach secondary school. Laying good foundations at primary age could be key.
Recommendation 1 = Phase 2 research into engagement and provision for primary aged
- After School Club Provision – ‘Go to them’
Although the identified issues are multifarious, many of them can be solved at once by taking provision into schools by way of after school/holiday clubs.
Recommendation 2 = Accessible after school/holiday clubs run by external providers for everyone.
- Better Promotion & Advertising
Young people need to know about activities that are available to them. As communicated by young people most effective ways to do this are: Social media, through school (assemblies, dashboards and teacher recommendation), Youth Centres, Libraries, posters, handouts and leaflets. The benefits of taking part in arts activities aren’t always translated well in promotional materials.It is important to highlight the ancillary benefits i.e. improve social skills, health, general wellbeing, and employability skills.
Recommendation 3 = Think harder about how and where to promote your offer to young people.
Activities should be supported financially by the Local Authority, the Arts Council, partnerships such as the DCEP, Youth Alliance, Community Groups, and schools.
Recommendation 4 = Activities could be discounted via initiatives such as the ‘Champion Sports Card’
- Social Mobility
Money shouldn’t be a barrier to experiencing the arts. Scholarships and bursaries should be made readily available and advertised so that young people with the talent and enthusiasm are not prohibited because of cost. Every child should have the opportunity to experience live music or a theatre show, create visual art or take part in dance or drama activities at some point. Doncaster Music
Recommendation 5 = Arts & cultural activities should be part of the ‘Doncaster Dispensation’.
The DCEP needs to forge strong links with schools so that they can work together to support children and young people’s engagement with the Arts & Culture, but better support from staff (teaching and leadership staff) in schools is crucial for change. They need to work with each other to develop strong lines of communication and links for collaboration. The DCEP need to secure funding to do further research, pilot classes in schools, and build on good practice.
Recommendation 6 = better co-operation & communication between DCEP and Schools.