Youthact! Project in

Alperton School

Five students from Alperton School have chosen to campaign to bring the diverse community they live in together and to improve employability and skills through art activities for everyone. Their campaign for art workshops has been so succesful that the group have secured over 16,000 in funding towards running further sessions and building an art gallery, a permanent space to exhibit work from their community art workshops.

Project started: May 2007

Following training with Youth Act in May 2007, the campaign group at Alperton School identified a distinct need to improve the employability of people in Brent, particularly young people. The group felt that one way to address this would be to run art and skills sessions at their school for students and the wider community where people of all ages and backgrounds can learn about different art forms from collage and drawing to graffiti art.

The campaign group now run regular art sessions at school taught by volunteers and art teachers. They believe that through such sessions, people, both young and old, are given the chance to meet, learn together, develop new skills and confidence and understand one another.

The group put up posters in their local shops and community to advertise the sessions but the students found that as the sessions gained in momentum and popularity, there was not only a need to not recruit experts in a wider range of arts subjects but also the need for a permanent space to exhibit and promote the work produced in the sessions.

Impressed with their work, the senior management team invited the students to present their proposal for building an art gallery and children's centre on the school premises. The group are now continuing to approach funders to raise a further 53,000 to build the gallery and reach their ultimate aim of establishing themselves as a Not for Profit Organisation.

It is very encouraging to see young people tapping into the avenues and using the resources that you learn normally as an adult are necessary to use in order to get a project going. They have learnt so much in one year: planning, managing complex budgets, networking with decision makers and presenting proposals. They have developed a lot of confidence as the project has moved along and they have this fantastic Can Do! attitude.

Eileen Sabur, the group's Supportive Adult told Youth Act.

Alongside the classes, the group are now approaching funders to receive the additional 53,000 needed to build the art centre. In addition, the group are completing Youth Action awards as accreditation for their work and to further their learning some of the group participated in a three day politics course at Queen Mary University to further their understanding of political processes.

Watch this space to see the campaign develop!

Youth Act training and campaigns are running throughout London. A national Youth Act Train the Trainers programme is also available. Please contact the Youth Act team for more information 020 7566 5033 or email Ade Sofola (

This project is based on the internationally successful Youth Act! programme of street law begun by Street Law Inc in the United States (, which has campaigned to increase provision for homeless people, challenge discrimination and reduce gun crime.

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