Seaham youngsters use creative skills to celebrate the town’s history

Seaham youngsters have been putting their creative skills to good use in a project celebrating the history of the coastal town.

More than a dozen children in the Deneside area have been working with locally-based arts group Creative Youth Opportunities on a 10-month project to research and celebrate the history of their surroundings. County Durham Housing Group awarded £4,939 to make the project possible.

Children aged 11 to 17 were able to pick up new skills in areas like video and performance during 22 individual workshops. Many of those taking part also had the chance to gain a nationally recognised Arts Award qualification.

The project culminated in a public display of the work produced, which includes a collection of specially created postcards and posters celebrating Seaham as a visitor destination.

County Durham Housing Group Community Investment Officer, Debbie Howe, said: “This project gave the young people a great chance to learn more about the history of their area and take a more active role in its future. It was a fantastic opportunity for them to gain useful experience and a qualification that will improve their own futures too.”

Deneside is one of a number of communities across the county that have been given priority status by County Durham Housing Group. Each of the areas will receive funding for projects that will improve opportunities for residents and provide extra support for those looking to start or improve their careers.

Creative Youth Opportunities CIC Managing Director, Michelle Harland, said: “It was great to receive the funding and be able to deliver the project to these young people. They explored different art forms, really looked at their local area and what it has to offer and they created some great art work. They applied for secondary funding as part of this project, which was an amazing experience for them and the Arts Award is a really beneficial qualification to have. The young people all showed a great level of commitment and the benefits of their involvement has been far reaching with a high percentage continuing to be involved in creative and community projects.”

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