Back in 2016, the Storyhouse team met a group of young people from Chester to find out about what the charity could do for them – and a clear message came back, the chance of good work experience to help them secure jobs.
This inspired the creation of Storyhouse Young Leaders, which since the opening of Storyhouse, has supported local 14-25’s to develop work skills and connect with others. The programme provides young people with the opportunity to discover a sense of belonging and the skills and confidence for them to express themselves.
The programme is aimed at, but not exclusively for, those least likely to access mainstream creative activities and most Young Leaders are referred by schools, social services, work coaches, or charities such as The Bren Project, Cheshire Autism Practical Support and Cheshire Young Carers.
“it’s a safe space to be who I am”
Through the course of the programme, Young Leaders are given agency to be decision makers and learn alongside Storyhouse staff and volunteers. At weekly sessions, they are immersed in Storyhouse departments including marketing, customer service, programming, operations, budgeting and engagement. They build their social skills, make new friends and lifelong connections. They choose a leadership role and create an event that they have full ownership of from idea to event. Their work is documented in a portfolio that not only gains them a Trinity College London Arts Award, but also a record of their journey to present to potential employers or training providers
“It doesn’t feel like ‘oh here are the children’. It feels like, here are the young adults and they’ve got a job to do, they’re here to work and learn. It’s definitely nice to be treated like a grown-up.”
As a direct result of their engagement, we have supported
27 further training / placements
6 Young Trustee roles on our Board
27 paid roles at Storyhouse
10 external paid roles
2 young people joining our volunteer pool
Find out more at storyhouse.com/youngstoryhouse
Young Leaders is also funded by Oglesby Charitable Trust and Westminster Foundation.
How you can help
This summer, we asked you to add a donation when you buy a ticket for our outdoor events. All money raised will go towards Young Storyhouse and once again, we have been overwhelmed by the response from our loyal community.
We want to continue to provide quality opportunities for young people who may traditionally experience barriers to accessing art and culture. Over the last five years, with your help, we have supported over 800 young people and in the coming 18 months we hope to expand our provision across the borough to support more young people than ever before. We cannot do this without your help.
As a charity, Storyhouse relies on the support of individuals, companies, and charitable trusts to provide opportunities for young people across the city. To find out about becoming a regular giver go to storyhouse.com/donate