An initiative for young people in Southwark helped them run a community festival and gain training at a professional level, writes Jane Packham.
“I learnt more than I can say on paper...” was the answer 19-year-old Adam Ouissalett gave when asked what he had learnt from Southwark Young Producers (SYP) festival training. Adam is now managing his own samba band, South London Samba, performing across London and tutoring in schools. Adam is one of eight young residents from Southwark in south London who took part in SYP. His list of skills learnt includes time management, creating site plans and risk assessments, marketing and even weather plans.
SYP was created in response to rising youth unemployment in the borough, reinforced by the knowledge that there are limited routes into the creative and cultural sectors. Commissioned by Southwark Council and produced by Emergency Exit Arts, it aimed to provide 16 to 25-year-oldswith festival production training at a professional level, equipping them with tangible skills to support their future training and employment. And at the same time deliver a free community event as part of the annual Elephant and Nun Festival.
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