Meet the finalists: Time to Shine Arts & Creativity – sponsored by Creative Scotland

If all the world’s a stage, then youth work plays a powerful role in nurturing young people’s talents. Using an innovative blend of the Arts and youth work practice, our finalists are all helping young people to develop life skills, whilst encouraging imagination.

Through creative youth work, more young people in Scotland are now getting involved in all forms of the Arts. It all goes to show the power of creativity as an effective way of learning.

This award is kindly sponsored by Creative Scotland and the finalists are:

SambaYaBamba Youth Street Band, Glasgow

Being Scotland’s largest street band, there’s no way you’ll not hear this group of enthusiastic musicians coming! Since setting up the Youth Street Band in 2016, they have involved over 2,000 young people in the thrill and music of carnival out on the street.

Now each week, 40 young people aged 11 to 25 come together to rehearse and have fun. No cost, no experience needed, just a shared joy of making music with like-minded people. From gala days to the first-ever Encontro Street Band Festival in Glasgow, SambaYaBamba have now taken their rhythm to 50 streets. It’s not just the love of the beat that’s being fostered, leadership skills are also being developed and supported through a range of partnerships.

In the words of one young person: “I can’t afford music lessons outside of school, so going to Samba is an opportunity I am grateful for. It has taught me so much and I am glad to be a member of such a great organisation.”

Rebekah Aitken, PEEK, Glasgow 

 “Even on a dull day she is able to put a smile on my face.”

Play, Create, Thrive, those are the buzzwords of PEEK in Glasgow and exactly what Rebekah works to achieve through her drama project.

Rebekah’s caring nature, relatable approach and commitment to every single young person that walks through the doors, has enabled her to build strong relationships with young people and make a real difference in their lives.

Most recently, Rebekah has been supporting four groups of young girls to explore issues important to them from period poverty to equal pay. With her support, the young girls have gone on to present their work at the Women’s Library in Glasgow. Rebekah’s work has helped many young people build their self-esteem, confidence, presentation skills and much more, giving young people a voice, stage and skills to share their own stories and matters that are important to them.

Re-Formation Project, Dundee  

Few cities can say they’ve turned a whole street into an artistic masterpiece, but thanks to 10 youth projects in Dundee, Reform Street was transformed to celebrate the art and style of young Dundonians for Year of Young People.

This youth-led community art project turned cobbles into inspirational words, designs and images by working in partnership with local artists. Young people chose a range of themes to be represented within their art installation including equality, diversity, feelings, challenging stereotypes and of course celebrating Dundee itself.

Youth Worker, Laura Cooney, was instrumental in the organisation of the innovative project and in building young people’s confidence and skills throughout. The saying goes ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ but Reform Street was transformed into a vibrant hub for the community over a weekend thanks to determination and hard work in this citywide initiative! 

Book your ticket

If you've not booked your ticket for the National Youth Work Awards and want to join these awesome finalists as well as many others, head over to our National Youth Work Awards pagewhere you can book your ticket and meet all of the other fabulous finalists.

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