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Findhorn Bay Arts project shortlisted for National Youth Work Award

By Garry McCartney

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Young people enjoying learning with Findhorn Bay Arts.
Young people enjoying learning with Findhorn Bay Arts.

A LOCALLY-based programme of creative activities for young people has been shortlisted for nationwide recognition.

The In The Mix Project, aimed at helping for youngsters in Moray at risk of isolation, offending, deprivation or care experience, will be recognised at the prestigious National Youth Work Awards 2020, hosted by ‘Isa’ from BBC’s Still Game.

In The Mix developer Findhorn Bay Arts create courses which try to break down barriers to accessing the arts. Visual arts, filming and photography, graffiti art, digital music making, drumming, dancing and even circus skills are integrated into informal learning programmes to help young people explore their creativity, sometimes turning hobbies into careers. Over the last three years, 35 people aged 10-25 have participated, with 12 of them progressing to undertake arts awards at Trinity College London.

Many young artists have also had the opportunity for their art to be publicly displayed as part of Culture Day Forres and through the Journeys in the North exhibition in Inverness and Elgin, with plans for it to visit Edinburgh and Glasgow too.

In The Mix works with partner organisations including Ray's Opportunities, Moray Council, Quarriers, Who Cares? Scotland and Aberlour Youth Point.

Assistant service manager at Aberlour Youth Point, Anne Grant, said: "The activities encourage young people to explore their creative minds and develop a hobby or interest in something they felt wasn’t available to them. This in turn helps nurture their wellbeing as they are engaging in something they enjoy, bringing more positive thoughts, making them smile, offering a time where they can forget their worries and immerse themselves in fun activities with their peers."

The National Youth Work Arts and Creativity Award is one of the accolades that will be announced at an awards dinner on Thursday, March 12 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow.

Speaking ahead of the awards, John Swinney MSP said: "It is fantastic that so many individuals and groups are being recognised for their excellent work to invest in both current and future generations of young people. These awards show how by reaching out and, in many cases, providing a lifeline to so many young people can enhance their opportunities and help them become confident individuals and effective contributors."

Tim Frew, CEO of YouthLink Scotland added: "In The Mix is a great example of how youth work invests in this and future generations of young people. These awards showcase our impact because without youth work, the landscape of our society would be much changed and not for the better."

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