An exciting new partnership is helping to shine a spotlight on the artistic and creative talents of young people brought together through the shared experience of a mental health issue, physical or learning disability.
The Shine Bright programme, developed by Youth Action in partnership with Phoenix Natural will see young people with significant challenges engage in an exciting arts programme to develop their confidence and boost their social and personal skills while breaking down access to participation in the arts and creative sector.
Shine Bright builds on the partnership between Youth Action and Phoenix Natural Gas which last year resulted in the development of the Virtual Rainbow Factory providing young people with virtual access to Youth Actions local performing arts centre and its events and classes throughout the pandemic.
The stars of this year’s Shine Bright programme include young people from Downpatrick Autism Family Support Group, Foyle Down Syndrome Trust and the National Autism Society Larne & Carrickfergus branches.
Speaking about the partnership, June Trimble MBE, Chief Executive of Youth Action said: “Youth Action is all about celebrating young people and ensuring that they have access to the services and supports to enable them to reach their potential and be the best versions of themselves possible.
“The Shine Bright partnership will enable us to work with young people facing significant challenges, engaging them with performing arts workshops to help stretch their imaginations and have fun in a supported learning environment. We are delighted that Phoenix Natural Gas have got behind us once again to help power this important programme.”
Kailash Chada, Chief Finance Officer at Phoenix Natural Gas said: “Supporting communities has been at the heart of our business since its inception and we are pleased to be renewing our partnership with Youth Action through this exciting new programme.
“As an inclusive employer we believe that everyone should feel and be valued and we’re delighted to be part of the Shine Bright programme to help break down barriers to participation and ensuring all young people have the chance to step into the spotlight.”
Shine Bright will be delivered by professional arts tutors and supported by the Rainbow Factory’s Young Leaders, which as Maire Campbell, Artistic Director at The Rainbow Factory explains is a key element of the programme:
“We’re delighted to have our Rainbow Factory Young Leaders involved in the design and delivery of Shine Bright as peer support is so important. This is not a programme about disability, it’s about potential and how with the right support, every young person really can shine.”
Further details on the range of opportunities and support programmes available from Youth Action is available at: https://www.youthaction.org/
Further details on the Phoenix Natural Gas and it’s Responsible Business Programme can be found at: www.phoenixnaturalgas.com/about-us/phoenix-group/corporate-responsibility