Multi media activity
LIFE can be tough for youngsters living in the rural areas of East Cambridgeshire. Once school finishes they can find themselves socially isolated and relying on parents or friends to take them to activities in the nearest town or city. But now a new £1 m
LIFE can be tough for youngsters living in the rural areas of East Cambridgeshire.
Once school finishes they can find themselves socially isolated and relying on parents or friends to take them to activities in the nearest town or city.
But now a new £1 million initiative is about to bring significant change. LESLEY INNES looks at the multi media activity van which is heading for East Cambridgeshire this summer.
YOUNG people in East Cambridgeshire will be making music this summer as a new multi media activity bus rolls into their area.
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The van has been converted into a recording studio with the capacity to create music and film using modern technology.
It will be packed with musical instruments and set up to encourage youngsters to make music, dance and perform.
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The van will tour the region, targeting youngsters living in rural areas, as part of an initiative launched on Monday by Bedfordshire-based national children's charity KidsOut and a £1 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund.
Cambridgeshire is one of the first regions to benefit from the scheme which has been developed in partnership with county organisation Young Lives, which successfully bid for the project.
With its head office in Peterborough and offices in Cambridge and St Ives, Young Lives consulted its members on what they wanted to see included in the bus and how often it should visit.
During a residential course in October, a DVD consultation and survey the youngsters told of their hopes for the project.
Young Lives head of young people's programmes, Tracy Hyland, said: "Our intention is to get this vehicle into areas where young people don't have any youth provision.
"It will become a community vehicle so young people will be able to build a relationship with their own decision makers.
"This is not just a mobile youth club but an informal learning centre. It has been fully equipped with the internet and digital recording and photographic equipment. We will set up a programme for young people and smaller groups will be able to provide funds to set up workshops in their own areas."
Niz Smith, director of children's services for KidsOut said: "Because 44 per cent of disadvantaged people do not live in those areas recognised as being disadvantaged, there are many children and young people who miss out on the types of activities their peers are offered.
"The KidsOut multi media van will be used to impact positively on the issues facing young people in the rural areas and fringe estates where children and young people often lack access to such facilities."
The Big Lottery Fund grant was awarded to Kids Out following the huge success of a pilot scheme launched by the children's charity in East Riding last year.
There the van attracted 900 young people who took part in a whole range of activities including generating computer games to dancing and performing.
The van, which can hold up to nine people, will also be able to download its equipment into centres, schools, youth clubs and other local venues. A separate awning can expand the number of available spaces inside.