Funded by the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Creativity Targeted Fund, New Territory was a partnership project between Youth Theatre Arts Scotland, Toonspeak Young People’s Theatre and Ignite Theatre delivered across Glasgow, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire and West Lothian.
The project incorporated a wide range of activities, including new and existing weekly drama sessions (Toonspeak), summer projects (Ignite) and Young Arts Leaders bespoke training and mentoring (YTAS) all located in regions which are ‘new territory’ for the partners.
The project was funded by the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme, via Creative Scotland, with activity targeted in key areas of multiple deprivation across Glasgow, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire, West Lothian, Stirling, Clackmannanshire and South Ayrshire. All activities were provided for free in areas with a high concentration of SIMD 20% postcodes. As such 422 participants came from 0-20% SIMD postcodes (55% of the total). Only 17.7% of participants came from above 50% SIMD postcodes.
What was the outcome for participants?
As a result of the project…
- 768 young people engaged in total, 83% of which were ‘new to these types of activities’
- 160 equality group characteristics were recorded within the participants, including; BME, disabled, refugees and asylum seekers, looked-after children, young carers, young people with mental health issues, and LGBTI
- 85% of participants reported their ‘confidence increasing’
- 84% of participants reported ‘increased aspirations’
- 81% of participants reported ‘increases in feeling safe, healthy, active, respected, responsible and included’.
- 87% of participants reported their ‘skills increasing’
- 61% of participants progressed onto further learning and development opportunities.
Feedback on New Territory activities included…
“Toonspeak has boosted my confidence not only with this certain group of people but in school as well. It has also made me part of a family who are always there for me no matter what.”
“I would describe Ignite as my family – it doesn’t matter where you come from or who you are, they care about you. A lot of young people here have never had the opportunity to experience the things we’ve been able to experience, like going to exhibitions or shows and stuff like that. It costs a lot of money and we don’t have that, so to have access to support and these events for free has also broadened our horizons.”
“I loved my time with the other YTAS Young Leaders on New Territory. I learned how to be confident in myself and the work I do, I feel like I have grown in confidence and self-esteem and compared to how I started the project I have definitely become a different person. (…) I wholeheartedly believe that I wouldn’t be in the position I am in today if it wasn’t for the wonderful experience that New Territory provided me with.”
What was the outcome for the organisations?
As well as the impact on participants and regions targeted during the project, YTAS, Toonspeak and Ignite also gained considerable learning from their work together:
- The funding supported Toonspeak to deliver their first sustained projects in their new base community of Barmulloch. The two weekly drama groups have formed a nucleus around which a huge programme of other creative projects have developed. Toonspeak then expanded their delivery in this community from two sessions, one night a week to 10 sessions weekly across six days.
- Ignite improved the longer-term sustainability of their organisation, including; multi-year support of some of its activities, progression for its senior participants and support in developing organisational infrastructure. This enabled Ignite to sign a longer-term lease on their premises, bring in more expert tutors for their workshops and summer camps, as well as look ahead to ambitious and bespoke projects for the future.
- YTAS improved its knowledge and support of groups across Scotland who engage young theatre makers in the most deprived areas. This led to improvements to YTAS’s activities and resources as well as making better use of existing events and services. YTAS has seen evidence of the long-term impact of these changes through increased uptake in its national events by theatre makers in the most deprived areas of Scotland. More recently, it has also informed YTAS’s renewed approach to advocacy, impact / evaluation planning and engagement with youth work networks.