Young people ensure their voice is heard!

Young people from SHYPP and Close House have been ensuring that their voice is heard and their talents are seen, over a busy period of award ceremonies and live performances that have received both local and national recognition.

Young people from SHYPP stood in front of a crowd of over 100 people packed into The Courtyard Studio to perform deeply personal poems and spoken word, amidst the backdrop of electronic music, large art installations, portrait photographs and film being presented on a cinema screen.

“There literally wasn’t a dry eye in the house! Deeply emotional, powerful, engaging and simply awe inspiring”, said a member of SHYPP’s staff. The Big Lottery Funded project was titled My Voice and was led by Toni Cook in partnership with the mediaSHYPP project, and was inspired by previous work with Ledbury Poetry Festival and a visit to a Kate Tempest (spoken word artist) gig. One young participant said ‘My Voice project has meant the world to me. It has taught me to never give up and what things matter most”.

Local artist Levi Cooke, who supported the young people to create the art installation, said of the event “The young people really opened up and it was such a privilege to be part of something so real, and so honest. It made me realise how important organisations like SHYPP are and how much of a difference they make”

On the night SHYPP presented their annual Young Persons Awards; Karol Kujawa received the SHYPP Young Person of The Year award presented by The Lord Lieutenant Lady Darnley.  Karol really thrived during his time at SHYPP gaining part time employment and progressing to undertake a BA in Criminology and Training to become a Special Constable.

Presenting the SHYPP Transformations Change award was the High Sheriff Bill Jackson and the award went to Seana Russell who has blossomed during her time with SHYPP developing confidence and becoming a positive role model for other young people within the project.

The final award was for Community Impact and was presented to Mellissa McGregor by The Mayor Jim Kenyon.  Mellissa has grown tremendously during her time with SHYPP and has taken the lead on foyer and community activities including volunteering and organising a community Halloween party.

A surprise invitation to a prestigious awards ceremony was awaiting SHYPP shortly after the My Voice event. SHYPP and Close House had been nominated for a national Into Film award for the revered Best Live Action (13+) award. Some of the young people involved in making the film along with Toni Cook, staff from SHYPP and Close House, attended a star-studded ceremony hosted by popular TV and radio presenter Edith Bowman at ODEON Leicester Square on Tuesday 14th March 2017. The Awards were hosted by film and education organisation Into Film, which is supported by the BFI through National Lottery funding and counts Eddie Redmayne among its Ambassadors, who alongside Daniel Craig and other stars were there to hand out the awards. The Awards pay tribute to outstanding 5-19 year-olds who have shown exceptional achievements in filmmaking or film reviewing, and to educators who have demonstrated inspirational use of film in the classroom at the annual awards.

The film, titled ‘Two Kids Lost’ is a modern day retelling of the story of Hansel and Gretel where two sisters find their home life with dad and stepmother intolerable. Rejected and removed from home they embark on a journey to discover who they really want to be. The young people were involved in all stages of the project working with SHYPP and Toni Cook, from coming up with the concept, writing the script, location scouting, acting, shooting, directing, editing and composing the music.

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