More than 100 disadvantaged young people in Teesside have the chance to try a whole range of creative activities, from acting and photography to playing the drums, thanks to a £1000 grant from UK Steel Enterprise.
The Creative Crew project, run by Hartlepool-based charity Red Dreams, sees groups of six to 19 year olds from Hartlepool and other parts of Teesside being introduced to musical theatre, song writing, film, scriptwriting, acting and learning to play a musical instrument.
This is the third time that the UK Steel Enterprise Community Support Fund, set up to help fund projects that improve the lives of people living in steel areas, has backed Red Dreams. The charity, started in 2007 by Dawn and Ian McManus in memory of their talented musician and actor son Kyle, has now received a total of £3,800 from the Fund.
Dawn McManus said: “This latest grant from UK Steel Enterprise has enabled us to bring more mentors on board who have fantastic expertise and experience in a whole range of creative arts.
“We’ve been able to plan Open Day and taster sessions and get the word out around local housing estates and the town. We are running different Creative Crew groups five nights of the week, catering for about 20 young people in each group and they will also have the chance to showcase their new skills to parents, friends and the local community.”
Red Dreams, based on Whitby Street, also works with local schools and has attracted visits from national music scouts who have praised the centre and its talented youngsters. Many come from disadvantaged areas, have financial difficulties or disabilities, are carers, out of mainstream education or unemployed.
“Working creatively really helps build their confidence and self-esteem and develops a whole range of skills including communication and teamwork,” said Dawn. “It is such a boost and a vote of confidence in Red Dreams to get a third grant from UK Steel Enterprise. We have a waiting list of young people and were struggling to find the money for this project.”
Joan Cook of UK Steel Enterprise, the business-support subsidiary of Tata Steel, said: “So many children and young people are benefitting from Red Dreams and its great team of mentors and volunteers. The young people not only have a lot of fun but are also developing their creativity and acquiring skills that will help them into employment and be with them for life.”
For details of UK Steel Enterprise’s support for businesses and steel communities visitwww.uksteelenterprise.co.uk. Red Dreams is at www.reddreams.org.uk